The Province of Lower Canada (French: province du Bas-Canada) was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence (1791–1841). It covered the southern portion of the modern-day Province of Quebec, Canada, and the Labrador region of the modern-day Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (until the Labrador region was transferred to Newfoundland in 1809).
Lower Canada consisted of part of former French colony of New France, populated mainly by French Canadians, which was ceded to Great Britain after that Empire's victory in the Seven Years' War, also called the French and Indian Wars in the United States. Other parts of New France ceded to Britain became the Colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
The Province of Lower Canada was created by the "Constitutional Act of 1791" from the partition of the British colony of the Province of Quebec (1763–91) into the Province of Lower Canada and the Province of Upper Canada. The prefix "lower" in its name refers to its geographic position farther downriver from the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River than its contemporary Upper Canada, present-day southern Ontario.
Like Upper Canada, there was significant political unrest, 22 years after the invasions by the Americans (to ostensibly "bring democracy" to the North and annex Canada to the Union in the War of 1812 and now a rebellion challenged the British rule of the predominantly French population. After the Patriote Rebellion in the Rebellions of 1837-1838 were crushed by the British Army and Loyal volunteers, the "1791 Constitution" was suspended on 27 March 1838 and a special council was appointed to administer the Colony. An abortive attempt by revolutionary Robert Nelson to declare a Republic of Lower Canada was quickly thwarted.
The provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada were combined as the United Province of Canada in 1841, when The Union Act of 1840 came into force. Their separate Legislatures were combined into a single Parliament with equal representation for both constituent parts, even if Lower Canada had more population.
The Province of Lower Canada inherited the mixed set of French and English institutions that existed in the Province of Quebec during the 1763–91 period and which continued to exist later in Canada-East (1841–67) and ultimately in the current Province of Quebec (1867–).
- The Canadas
- French colonial empire
- French and Indian War
- Province of Quebec (1763–1791)
- Former colonies and territories in Canada
- Canada East, period after the Act of Union (1840)
- List of lieutenant governors of Quebec
- Ottawa River timber trade
- Timeline of Quebec history
- National Patriots' Day
- Republic of Lower Canada
- "The emigrant's handbook of facts concerning Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Cape of Good Hope, &c". Open Library. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
- "LABRADOR-CANADA BOUNDARY". marianopolis. 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2008. "Labrador Act, 1809. – An imperial act (49 Geo. III, cap. 27), 1809, provided for the re-annexation to Newfoundland of 'such parts of the coast of Labrador from the River St John to Hudson's Streights, and the said Island of Anticosti, and all other smaller islands so annexed to the Government of Newfoundland by the said Proclamation of the seventh day of October one thousand seven hundred and sixty-three (except the said Islands of Madelaine) shall be separated from the said Government of Lower Canada, and be again re-annexed to the Government of Newfoundland.'"
- "Canadian Encyclopedia: Act of Union".
- Censuses of Canada. 1665 to 1871, Statistics of Canada, Volume IV, Ottawa, 1876
- Robert Christie. A History of the Late Province of Lower Canada, Quebec City: T. Cary/R. Montreal: Worthington, 1848–1855 (Internet Archive: All 6 volumes)
- François-Xavier Garneau. History of Canada : from the time of its discovery till the union year, Montreal : J. Lovell, 1860 (Internet Archive: All 3 Volumes)
- Media related to Lower Canada at Wikimedia Commons
- The dictionary definition of Lower Canada at Wiktionary
- Lower Canada from The Canadian Encyclopedia