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Canada Act 1791

By 1791 the population of the colony known as Quebec had changed considerably. A lot more English speaking people had added their numbers to the original United Empire Loyalists who fled the American Revolution. These new settlers weren't happy living under French law and the Roman Catholic Church. They wanted to hold their lands outright, not as part of the seigneurial system and they wanted privileges for their Protestant churches similar to those granted to Roman Catholics. Also they were used to having democratic institutions like an elected Assembly to give them a say in how they were governed. The British were faced with a dilemma. A single Assembly for the whole colony wouldn't work for the English settlers because the French had the majority. And, while the British had to create the appearance of an Assembly, they didn't really want to give it much power because they knew from the American Revolution what that would lead to. So the British answer was to divide the colony into two parts - Upper Canada for the English and Lower Canada for the French and give each its own Assembly, but in such a way that the British Governor and his appointed Council still made the final decisions about most things.

First meeting of the Legislative Assembly in Upper Canada. Today Upper Canada is known as Ontario.