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Quebec

INTRODUCTION

Quebec, the largest of Canada’s provinces, has two official languages (French and English), is bordered by three provinces, two major waterways and three American states. The majority of the population lives in the southern region, while the northern region is home primarily to First Nations residents.

HISTORY

Archaeological evidence dates human habitation to around 10,000 BC. The Algonquian and Iroquoian First Nation’s tribes called southern Quebec home, supporting live primarily based on hunting, fishing and agriculture. A settlement called Hochelaga was established in the area that now comprises Montreal.

French explorers arrived via the St. Lawrence River in the early 1500s, and the Spanish were soon to follow. By the mid 16th century, Jacques Cartier landed on the Gaspé Peninsula and claimed the land for France. Cartier would establish contact with the Iroquois living along the river, near what is now Quebec City.

Jacques Cartier would later established the first French settlement in the region. Lack of financial growth, however, led to uncertainty with further exploration, and for a time France withdrew its interests in the land. Samuel de Champlain established the territory of New France with the founding of a settlement that would grow into the provincial capital of Quebec City in 1608.

By the end of the 16th century, other nations began exploring the region, based primarily on its rich stores of fresh fish. Trade with First Nation’s residents began, which caught the attention of many nations. The fur trade grew, spawning French interest in colonizing the area over the early years of the 18th century. Samuel de Champlain founded the settlement of Ville-Marie in 1642 which would become the city of Montreal, now the largest city in the province.

Early settlers found the winters harsh, and many were caught unprepared. This led to migration further along the river into the Quebec region. By the mid 1700s, the fur trade was booming and population grew.

Unfortunately, this growth and potential made New France a target for British expansion during the Seven Years War. France lost its hold on the region, and the Province of Quebec was formed. The boundaries were formalized with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

The population would grow once again following the defeat of the British in the American Revolution.

For a short time, the province was divided into Upper Canada (now part of Ontario) and Lower Canada (what is now southern Quebec), but the regions were united in 1840 to form the British colony of the Province of Canada.

Quebec City played host to the Quebec Conference in 1864, which paved the way for Canadian Confederation. The provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were the first to join the confederation in 1867. The provincial population continued to grow into the early years of the 20th century.

The province was affected little by the events of the First World War, but gained a dubious reputation in the subsequent years. American prohibition saw bootleggers flood the urbanized southern region, to the extent that the city of Montreal became known as Canada’s Sin City.

Residential life suffered during the depression years following the stock market crash of 1929. During the 1930s, however, the economy slowly began to bounce back, and major cities like Montreal and Quebec saw growth.

Over the next few decades, social reforms would shape the province considerably. An improved economy saw the construction of metro transportation routes and subways, and the province began to attract global attention. The province of Quebec was so prosperous that its largest city, Montreal, became the setting of important international events such as Expo 67 and the 1976 Summer Olympic Games. While the Montreal Olympics lost so much money that the future Olympic Games was uncertain, Expo 67 was considered the most successful international exposition of the 20th century.

The last half of the 20th century was marked by a movement for the Province of Quebec to separate from the country. Two referendums were voted down, and Quebec remains a prominent part of Canadian social and political culture. There has been some renewed interest in Quebec sovereignty in the early years of the 21st century.

Modern day Quebec is a strong force, despite the many issues connected with sovereignty. Maintaining large areas of highly fertile land provides the province with one of the largest industries, agriculture. Other natural resources have been contributing heavily as well, including forestry and mining. The province also proudly supports a growing high-tech industry.

Quebec is also attracting the attention of international travelers, bringing almost 10 billion dollars into the province annually. Due to their long history and urban growth, Montreal and Quebec City are the most popular provincial attractions, and the province consistently places in the top 20 travel destinations in the world.

-the largest province
-located in eastern Canada
-capital city is Quebec City, Quebec?
-Quebec is a French-speaking province.
-flower - the Blue Flag, tree - Yellow Birch, bird - Snowy Owl
-Algonquin called Quebec "Kebe" meaning "the place where the river narrows."
-one of Quebec's major cities is Montreal
-motto - "Je me souviens" which is French for "I remember".

For those who enjoy water a trip to the St. Lawrence River? would be ideal. The river is approximately 1000 kilometers long. There are tours and cruises offered on the river.


 
 
 
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