The Province of Lower Canada (french: province du Bas-Canada) was a
British colony A Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original coun ...
on the lower
Saint Lawrence River The St. Lawrence River is a large river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its c ...
and the shores of the
Gulf of Saint Lawrence , image = Baie de la Tour.jpg , alt = , caption = Gulf of St. Lawrence from Anticosti National Park Anticosti National Park (French (official): ''Parc National d'Anticosti'') is a provincial park of Qu ...

Gulf of Saint Lawrence
(1791–1841). It covered the southern portion of the current Province of
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

and the
Labrador , nickname = "The Big Land" , etymology = , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = Canada , subdivision_type1 = Provinces and territories of ...

region of the current Province of
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador (; sometimes abbreviated as NL) is the easternmost province of Canada The Province of Canada (or the United Province of Canada or the United Canadas) (french: link=no, Province du Canada) was a British North Am ...
(until the Labrador region was transferred to Newfoundland in 1809). Lower Canada consisted of part of the former colony of
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
of New France, conquered by Great Britain in the Seven Years' War ending in 1763 (also called the French and Indian War in the United States). Other parts of New France conquered by Britain became the Colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The Province of Lower Canada was created by the ''Constitutional Act 1791'' from the partition of the British colony of the Province of Quebec (1763–1791), Province of Quebec (1763–1791) into the Province of Lower Canada and the Upper Canada, 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. Lower Canada was abolished in 1841 when it and adjacent Upper Canada were Union of Upper and Lower Canada, united into the Province of Canada.


Like Upper Canada, there was significant political unrest. Twenty-two years after an invasion by the United States in the War of 1812, a rebellion now challenged the British rule of the predominantly French population. After the Lower Canada Rebellion, Patriote Rebellion in the Rebellions of 1837–1838 was suppressed by government troops and Loyal (Lower Canada), Loyal volunteers, the Constitutional Act 1791, 1791 Constitution was suspended on 27 March 1838 and a Special Council of Lower Canada, special council was appointed to administer the colony. An abortive attempt by revolutionary Robert Nelson (insurrectionist), 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 ''Act of Union 1840'' came into force. Their separate legislatures were combined into a single parliament with equal representation for both constituent parts, even though Lower Canada had a greater population. file:WilliamLyonMackenzie.jpeg, William Lyon Mackenzie, Upper Canada Rebellion, rebellion chief in Upper Canada File:Louis-Joseph Papineau by William Notman.jpg, Louis-Joseph Papineau, Lower Canada Rebellion, rebellion chief in Lower Canada


The Province of Lower Canada inherited the mixed set of French and English institutions that existed in the Province of Quebec during the 1763–1791 period and which continued to exist later in Canada-East (1841–1867) and ultimately in the current Province of Quebec (since 1867).


Lower Canada was populated mainly by Canadiens, an ethnic group who trace their ancestry to French people, French colonists who settled in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
from the 17th century onward.


Travelling around Lower Canada was mainly by water along the St. Lawrence River. On land the only long-distance route was the Chemin du Roy or King's Highway, built in the 1730s by New France. The King's Highway was, in addition to the mail route, the primary means of long-distance passenger travel until steamboats (1815) and railways (1850s) began to challenge the royal road. The royal road's importance waned after the 1850s and would not re-emerge as a key means of transportation until the modern Highways in Quebec, highway system of Quebec was created in the 20th century.

See also

*Canada East, period after the ''Act of Union 1840'' *Former colonies and territories in Canada *French and Indian War * French and Indian Wars *French colonial empire *List of lieutenant governors of Quebec *National Patriots' Day *Ottawa River timber trade *Province of Quebec (1763–1791) * Rebellion *Republic of Lower Canada *The Canadas *Timeline of Quebec history *Upper Canada


Further reading

* Robert Christie (Quebec politician), 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

External links

* * *
Lower Canada - Encyclopædia BritannicaGouvernors of Lower Canada - ''Histoire du Québec'' Lower Canada - Library and Archives CanadaLower Canada - Quebec Parliament library
{{coord, 50, N, 69, W, region:CA-QC_scale:10000000, display=title Lower Canada, 1841 disestablishments in Canada History of Quebec by location British North America Former British colonies and protectorates in the Americas 1791 establishments in the British Empire States and territories established in 1791 1841 disestablishments in the British Empire 1791 establishments in North America 1791 establishments in Canada States and territories disestablished in 1841