User:Mathieugp/drafts/Timeline of Quebec French

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Timeline of the French language in Quebec. This timeline shows some of the key events in the history of the French language in Quebec in the fields of politics, education, literature, and science.


Period during which the French of France and that of New France are essentially the same.

  • 1608 - Samuel de Champlain founds the permanent settlement that will grow to become Quebec City.
  • 1635 - Founding of the Jesuits College in Québec City.
  • 1639 - Founding of the Ursulines school in Québec City.
  • 1652 - Le Cid, by Corneille is played in Québec City.
  • 1663 - Founding of the Séminaire de Québec.
  • 1690 - Mgr de Saint-Vallier publishes the first Catéchisme du Diocèse de Québec.
  • 1743 - Father Pierre-Phillipe Potier begins compiling his glossary: Façons de parler proverbiales, triviales, figurées, etc., des Canadiens au XVIIIe siècle.
  • 1744 - Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix publishes his Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle-France which contains comments on the language of the colonists.
  • 1759 - Following the capitulation and surrender of Québec City, James Murray requisitions the Jesuits College and turns it into a military barrack. It will continue to be used to that purpose until 1871.


  • 1760 - Nearly 100% of Quebec's inhabitants are native French speakers. 70% of adult men and women can read and write (contradictory sources on this: [1]).
  • 1760 - Most schools close their doors.
  • 1760 - Installation of military governments in the districts of Québec, Trois-Rivières and Montréal: English becomes the de facto language of the State, while French is authorized to be a language of translation.
  • 1760 - Articles of Capitulation of Montreal: French is tolerated in courts dealing with property and family affairs (non-criminal justice).
  • 1763 - Treaty of Paris:
  • 1763 - Royal Proclamation:
  • 1765 - A group of 95 new subjects petition the King to request that non-criminal justice be administered in French (as was during the military rule), that the King's orders be promulgated in French and that Catholics be allowed to exercise the functions of jury, lawyers and notaries.
  • 1765 - The Petit séminaire de Québec is turned into a college to try to replace the Jesuits college.
  • 1773 - After the Pope dissolved the Society of Jesus, the British government confiscates their estates.
  • 1774 - The British Parliament puts a stop to the colonial policy pursued since the Royal Proclamation: the new constitution of the colony (Quebec Act) says nothing of language specifically but the reintroduction of the civil law has strong implications concerning the language of the law and the administration of justice.
  • 1790 - A group of new subjects petition for a lay university which would have been called the Université de la Province de Québec.
  • 1802 - Joseph Quesnel writes the play L'anglomanie ou Le dîner à l'anglaise.
  • 1805 - Foundation of the Quebec Mercury, a newspaper opposing the Parti canadien or French Party as it was called by its adversaries.
  • 1806 - Foundation of Le Canadien by leaders of the Parliamentary majority in Lower Canada.
  • 1810 - Jacques Viger publishes the lexicon Néologie canadienne ou Dictionnaire des mots créés en Canada et maintenant en vogue [...]
  • 1822 - A bill for uniting Lower Canada and Upper Canada under one legislature, place the French-speaking majority of Lower Canada in position of minority, and ban the use of French in government, is introduced in the British House of Commons.
  • 1823 - Petitions signed by 60,000 people of Lower Canada and Upper Canada are sent to the Westminster in opposition to the union.
  • 1831 - The newspaper Le Canadien is resurrected, this time baring the motto Nos institutions, notre langue et nos lois (Our Institutions, Our Language, Our Laws).
  • 1831 - Alexis de Tocqueville visits Lower Canada during the summer and comments of the situation of the French language.
  • 1837 - Publication of the first Quebec novel L'influence d'un livre by Philippe Aubert de Gaspé, son.
  • 1839 - Publication of the Lord Durham's Report on the Affairs of British North America, whose main recommendation is to unite Upper Canada and Lower Canada under one legislature so as to prevent the French-speaking majority of Lower Canada from forming a parliamentary majority in a new Provincial Parliament where French would be banned.


  • 1840 - The UK Parliament adopts the Act of Union which implements the main recommendations of Lord Durham's report. Section 41 prohibits the use of languages other than English in Parliament, courts and the administration.
  • 1842 - Charles-Odilon Beauchemin founds a publishing house in Montréal.
  • 1844 - Founding of the Institut canadien de Montréal which offers a public library, conference room, and promotes scientific and literary works.
  • 1848 - Repeal of section 41 of the Act of Union. The French status goes back to its former status as a language of translation.
  • 1848 - James Huston publishes the Répertoire national ou Recueil de littérature canadienne.
  • 1850 - Since 1840, some 40,000 inhabitants of the former Lower Canada have emigrated to the United States. An estimated 900,000 more will expatriate between 1850 and 1940.
  • 1851 - The population of Canada West (former Upper Canada) now surpasses that of Lower Canada.
  • 1852 - The Séminaire de Québec is granted a royal charter and becomes a university (Université Laval).
  • 1855 - Jean-Philippe Boucher-Belleville publishes the Dictionnaire des barbarismes et des solécismes les plus ordinaires en ce pays, avec le mot propre ou leur signification
  • 1865 - Ernest Gagnon publishes the Chasons populaires du Canada collection of folk songs.
  • 1867 - The British North America Act is sanctioned: article 133 provides for the language.
  • 1870 - Oscar Dunn gives the lecture Pourquoi nous sommes Français (Why we are French) before the Institut des artisans de Montréal on October 14.
  • 1878 - Founding of the Université Laval à Montréal, later simply the Université de Montréal.
  • 1879 - Jules-Paul Tardivel, chief-editor of Le Canadien gives a talk entitled L’anglicisme, voilà l’ennemi ! (Anglicism: here is the enemy!)
  • 1879 - Founding of the newspaper La Patrie by Honoré Beaugrand.
  • 1880 - Oscar Dunn publishes his Glossaire franco-canadien [...].
  • 1880 - Poet Louis Fréchette is rewarded by the Académie française for his collection of poems Les Fleurs boréales.
  • 1884 - Founding of the daily newspaper La Presse.
  • 1888 - Arthur Buies publishes Anglicismes et canadianismes.
  • 1894 - Sylva Clapin publishes his Dictionnaire canadien-français.