After victory in the Seven Years’ War, the British gained possession from France of vast Canadian territories together with the western hinterlands of their American colonies. In the aftermath of the war, those American colonies became increasingly alienated by the British government’s attempt to recoup its war debts by ‘taxation without representation’. Britain’s new Québécois subjects were overwhelmingly of French extraction, and there was concern that they would be infected by the unrest in the American colonies. The Québec Act aimed to solve this problem by extending tolerance to the Catholic religion, and recognition of French law and systems of land tenure, in both Québec and the American colonies. It also incorporated large tracts of land surrounding the Great Lakes into the Province of Québec. For the Americans, already in uproar over a procession of legislation they viewed as repressive, and termed the ‘Intolerable Acts’, this would prove a catalyst for revolution.
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