Friday, June 14, 2024

McConville on the Quebec Act at 250, 27 June

Years back, I decided to look into the burning question of whether the Quebec Act of 1774 was one of what American Patriots called the “Intolerable Acts.”

That law wasn’t, after all, directed at Massachusetts, even if the Suffolk Resolves treated the acceptance of Roman Catholicism in a population hundreds of miles away as a serious affront and threat.

The result was discovering that the American Patriots of 1774 didn’t call anything the “Intolerable Acts.” As I wrote in this article, that label surfaced in U.S. history textbooks in the late nineteenth century and was then retroactively embedded in the past.

Nonetheless, the Quebec Act was one of the significant pieces of legislation to come out of Lord North’s government. Years in the making, that law incorporated a large formerly French territory into the British Empire. His Majesty’s government accepted the civil code and religion established under the former regime. The law even expanded the province to include the lands between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

On 27 June, the Congregational Library and Archives will host “The Quebec Act at 250,” an online discussion with Prof. Brendan McConville exploring the significance of how the francophone province was folded into the British North American colonies—and why it made Congregationalists so profoundly uncomfortable.

McConville is Professor of History at Boston University and Director of the David Center for the American Revolution at the American Philosophical Society. He’s the author of These Daring Disturbers of the Public Peace, The King’s Three Faces: The Rise and Fall of Royal America, 1688-1776, and The Brethren: A Story of Faith and Conspiracy in Revolutionary America. He’s always offering provocative ways to look at the American Revolution.

This online event is scheduled to start at 1:00 P.M. It is free. To register and receive the link for that session, go to this page.

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