Search for "British North America Act"

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Battle of the Plains of Abraham (Plain-Language Summary)

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham took place on 13 September 1759. The Plains of Abraham are in Quebec City. It was fought between the French and their Indigenous allies against the British. The British won. Losing the battle was a major defeat for the French. Soon after, France lost all of Quebec. In 1763, France gave all of Canada to Britain. The era of New France was over. Until Confederation in 1867, Britain would control the colonies that became Canada. (See Confederation (Plain-Language Summary).)

(This article is a plain-language summary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Battle of the Plains of Abraham.)

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Quebec Act, 1774

The Quebec Act received royal assent on 22 June 1774. It revoked the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which had aimed to assimilate the French-Canadian population under English rule. The Quebec Act was put into effect on 1 May 1775. It was passed to gain the loyalty of the French-speaking majority of the Province of Quebec. Based on recommendations from Governors James Murray and Guy Carleton, the Act guaranteed the freedom of worship and restored French property rights. However, the Act had dire consequences for Britain’s North American empire. Considered one of the five “Intolerable Acts” by the Thirteen American Colonies, the Quebec Act was one of the direct causes of the American Revolutionary War (1775–83). It was followed by the Constitutional Act in 1791.

This is the full-length entry about the Quebec Act of 1774. For a plain language summary, please see The Quebec Act, 1774 (Plain-Language Summary).

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Rebellion in Upper Canada

The 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada was a less violent, more limited affair than the uprising earlier that year in Lower Canada. However, its leaders, including William Lyon Mackenzie, were equally serious in their demands. They wanted democratic reform and an end to the rule of a privileged oligarchy. The rebellion itself failed, but its very failure helped pave the way for moderate and careful political change in British North America. This included the union of Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada and the eventual introduction of responsible government.

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Rebellion in Lower Canada (The Patriots' War)

In 1837 and 1838, French Canadian militants in Lower Canada took up arms against the British Crown in a pair of insurrections. The twin rebellions killed more than 300 people. They followed years of tensions between the colony’s anglophone minority and the growing, nationalistic aspirations of its francophone majority. The rebels failed in their campaign against British rule. However, their revolt led to political reform, including the unified Province of Canada and the introduction of responsible government. The rebellion in Lower Canada, which is also known as the Patriots' War (la Guerre des patriotes), also gave French Canadians one of their first nationalist heroes in Louis-Joseph Papineau.

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Province of Canada (1841-67)

In 1841, Britain united the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada. This was in response to the violent rebellions of 1837–38. The Durham Report (1839) recommended the guidelines to create the new colony with the Act of Union. The Province of Canada was made up of Canada West (formerly Upper Canada) and Canada East (formerly Lower Canada). The two regions were governed jointly until the Province was dissolved to make way for Confederation in 1867. Canada West then became Ontario and Canada East became Quebec. The Province of Canada was a 26-year experiment in anglophone-francophone political cooperation. During this time, responsible government came to British North America and expanded trade and commerce brought wealth to the region. Leaders such as Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier and George Brown emerged and Confederation was born.

(This is the full-length entry about the Province of Canada. For a plain language summary, please see Province of Canada (Plain Language Summary).)

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Fort Nelson

Fort Nelson, BC, population centre, population 3,366 (2016 census), 3,561 (2011 census). Fort Nelson is the service centre for the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM). The NRRM is made up of a number of communities, of which Fort Nelson is the largest. Fort Nelson is located in the northeast corner of British Columbia, near the confluence of three rivers: Muskwa, Prophet and Sikanni Chief. Together these rivers combine to become the Fort Nelson River. The community is 387 km north of Fort St. John. It was named after British Admiral Horatio Nelson, famous for the Battle of Trafalgar. Incorporated as a town in 1987, Fort Nelson became a part of the NRRM in 2009.

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Dominion of Canada

Dominion of Canada is the country’s formal title, though it is rarely used. It was first applied to Canada at Confederation in 1867. It was also used in the formal titles of other countries in the British Commonwealth. Government institutions in Canada effectively stopped using the word Dominion by the early 1960s. The last hold-over was the term Dominion Day, which was officially changed to Canada Day in 1982. Today, the word Dominion is seldom used in either private or government circles.

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Squamish

Squamish, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1964, population 19,512 (2016 census) 17,158 (2011 census). The district of Squamish is located 70 km north of Vancouver at the head of Howe Sound. The municipality is governed by a mayor and six councillors. It is the service centre for a richly endowed recreational area, with road, rail and water access to Vancouver.

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Surrey

Surrey, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1993, population 517,887 (2016 census), 468, 251 (2011 census). The city of Surrey is the second-largest municipality by population in British Columbia, after Vancouver. Part of Metro Vancouver, it is bounded by the Fraser River on the north and Washington state on the south. The municipalities of Langley and Delta lie to the east and west.

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Slocan

Slocan, British Columbia, incorporated as a village in 1958, population 272 (2016 census), 296 (2011 census). The village of Slocan is located 70 km by road northwest of Nelson, at the south end of Slocan Lake. Slocan is an Okanagan word meaning “pierce or strike on the head,” referring to the salmon-fishing practice of the Okanagan (see Interior Salish). The community was also known as Slocan City when it was an incorporated city (1901-1958).


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New Westminster

New Westminster, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1860, population 70,996 (2016census), 65,976 (2011 census). The city of New Westminster is located on the north bank of the Fraser River, 20 km east of Vancouver. Governor James Douglas established New Westminster in 1859 as the capital of British Columbia. The Royal Engineers surveyed the city and Queen Victoria named it. As a result, New Westminster’s nickname is “The Royal City.” New Westminster is western Canada’s oldest city.

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Chilliwack (BC)

Chilliwack, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1999, population 83,788 (2016 census), 77,936 (2011 census). The city of Chilliwack is located 100 km east of Vancouver on the south shore of the Fraser River. It is governed by a mayor and six councillors elected for four-year terms. The name is derived from the word Ts’elxwéyeqw. According to elder Albert Louie, in Halq’eméylem, the traditional language of the Stó:lō, the word means “going as far as you can go upriver” by canoe on the Chilliwack River.

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Sparwood

Sparwood, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1966, population 3,784 (2016 census), 3,667 (2011 census). The District of Sparwood is located 32 km northeast of Fernie in the Elk River Valley, and on the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa people.

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Nakusp

Nakusp, British Columbia, incorporated as a village in 1964, population 1,605 (2016 census), 1,569 (2011 census). The village of Nakusp is located on the east shore of Upper Arrow Lake at the foot of the Selkirk Mountains. It is in the West Kootenay district of south-eastern British Columbia. Nakusp is located on the traditional territory of the Sinixt, Ktunaxa, Secwepemc and Okanagan peoples. (See also Interior Salish.) The name is derived from a Sinixt word, though its meaning is debated. One interpretation is that the name Nakusp comes from a word meaning “the bay behind the long point,” another is that it means, “closed-in” or “safe.”

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Kelowna

Kelowna, British Columbia, incorporated as a city in 1905, population 127,380 (2016 census), 117,312 (2011 census). The city of Kelowna is located in south-central British Columbia on the east shore of Okanagan Lake.

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Elkford

Elkford, British Columbia, incorporated as a district municipality in 1981, population 2,499 (2016 census), 2,523 (2011 census). The District of Elkford is situated on the west side of the Elk River. The Elk River is a tributary to the Kootenay River, in the East Kootenay district of southeastern British Columbia. The district is 35 km north of Sparwood. It’s located among the Rocky Mountains, near the old coal-mining communities of Crowsnest Pass, and on the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa people. At 1,300 m elevation, Elkford is the highest community in British Columbia.