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Castle Frontenac, a souvenir of Quebec history

Quebec History, if Canada history were a person, it would be their heart!

One cannot emphasize the importance of Quebec history and its effects on Canada and its history too much. Quebec City, the capital of Quebec, is one of the first permanent settlements founded in Canada. It has been an important place throughout Canada’s history; the number of times it had been sieged and attacked shows it.

In this article, we take a deeper look into Quebec history, and after discussing the event and dates, we will talk about some of Quebec’s most famous historical sites.

Looking into Quebec history, what has happened there in the past?

Quebec history takes us back hundreds of years. Before the Europeans occupied the land, it was the indigenous people that lived there. In 1534, the first Europeans explored the grounds of Quebec, and of course, it was none other than the famous Jacques Cartier. For decades, explorers did come and go to Quebec.

1608 was an important year for Quebec history. Samuel de Champlain, also known as the father of Canada, founded the city of Quebec. He acted as Quebec City’s governor until his death. Quebec City has always been a strategic and vital place through Quebec history and Canada’s. So it is only natural that there have been many attempts to capture it. In 1690, the British that had grown strong courtesy of the fur business monopoly over the basin of Hudson lake (Hudson’s Bay Company), launched an attack to seize Quebec City. But it was not successful.

It did not stop the British from trying again. In 1759, through the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, they eventually captured Quebec City. But it did not mean that the time of sieges had ended for Quebec City. Apart from the times that the French tried to recapture the city, the independent Americans tried to seize it too and failed.

In the last decade of the 18th century, Canada was torn into two pieces, Upper Canada (Today Quebec) and Lower Canada (Today Ontario), but this did not last long. Amid the 19th century, the two parts of Canada were merged again. 1867 was a special year both to Quebec history and Canada history, for it was the year Canada became independent.

 In the more recent years of Quebec history, there have been movements from some social groups to become independent from Canada. Even there were terrorist attacks with casualties. In the end, in 1980 and 1995, the government did hold referendums to decide whether Quebec should become independent. It was decided not to become independent in both referenda, with a 20 percent margin in 1980 and a one percent margin in 1995.

In the following table, you can read about important events in Quebec history and their dates.

Important events and dates in Quebec history
Before the 16th centuryThe land was occupied by indigenous people.
1534Jacques Cartier landed in Quebec as the first European.
1608The City of Quebec was founded by Samuel Champlain.
1690Quebec successfully fended off Britain’s attack.
1759The British conquered Quebec through the “Battle of the Plains of Abraham”.
1775“Invasion of Quebec”, an attack from 13 colonies on Quebec City was failed.
1791The Old Province of Quebec was divided into two parts, Upper Canada (Today Quebec) and Lower Canada (Today Ontario).
1841Upper and Lower Canada were united, Upper Canada became known as Canada West, and Lower Canada became Canada east.
1867Became a province of the confederation of Canada through the establishment of the Dominion of Canada.
1940Women were given their right to vote in Quebec, the last province in Canada to give women the right to vote.
1963Front de libération du Québec (A group of separatist terrorists) members were sentenced to prison after their bomb killed a Canadian Army personnel.
1970Front de libération du Québec activities reached their peak when they took two hostages, the British Trade Commissioner to Canada, James Cross, and a provincial minister and Vice-Premier, Pierre Laporte. Laporte lost his life in this incident.
1980About 60% of Quebec people voted against independence through the Referendum of 1980.
1990The Oka Crisis, a land conflict between the Mohawk and the town of Oka, lasting 78 days with two casualties.
1995Another referendum for autonomy, this time the referendum failed by a small amount, about 1 percent.

One thing that stands out in Quebec history is that Quebec is the last province to let women vote. They did it in 1940, decades after other provinces. It is said that the reason for this matter is the influence of the Catholic Church.

Notable Historic Sites

In this part, we introduce some of the greatest Quebec historical sites to you, with impressive backgrounds in Quebec history.

Historic District of Quebec City

Samuel Champlain founded Quebec City in 1608, and throughout Quebec history, the city has seen many sieges, many attacks, etc. The Historic District of Quebec City or “Old Quebec” includes both Upper Town and Lower Town and was known as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1985.

Quebec City Hall, Upper Town, a souvenir of Quebec history
Quebec City Hall, Upper Town, Built in 1896
Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Lower Town, a souvenir of Quebec history
Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Lower Town, Built in 1687

Ramparts of Quebec City

The ramparts of Quebec City is a city wall erected to fortify Quebec on the western edge of Old Quebec’s Upper Town. These walls were constructed in the 17th century, the earlier years of Quebec history, but have been repaired and modified through time. These walls extend to 4.6 km, and the southern part reaches the Citadelle of Quebec.

Ramparts of Quebec City, token of Quebec history
Ramparts of Quebec
Kent Gate, one of remaining gates
Kent Gate, one of remaining gates

Our last words on Quebec history

Quebec history does not only take us centuries ago; even in the second half of 20th century, there are events worthy of note. It can be said that Quebec has been present in Canada’s history from the earliest days to the present days. Here we get to the end of our article on Quebec history; hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it.

If you are interested in other provinces’ history, check out other articles about them, and leave your feedback. We would be glad to know your opinion, anytime. Also you can check our other articles on Canada’s politics, historyeconomicsgeography, and Socio-cultural aspects.

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