History and Citizenship Education, Secondary III

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Demands and struggles in the British colony

The second half of the 18th century was a period of intellectual ferment in Europe. The liberal ideas expressed by the philosophers circulated throughout the Age of Enlightenment. Financial and political circles were influenced by liberalism, which crossed the Atlantic and reached the Province of Quebec. Protest movements and struggles for nationhood developed. Their objective was to circumscribe political power and obtain recognition for certain rights and freedoms. The debates sparked by these demands had repercussions─political and social in particular─in the colony. The designated focus for the study of the social phenomenon Demands and struggles in the British colony is The influence of liberal ideas on the affirmation of nationhood.

The concepts prescribed by the program are not explained by means of specific statements. It is through the appropriate use of knowledge related to the social phenomenon studied that students develop their understanding of the following concepts: bourgeoisie, democracy, issue, liberalism, nation, Patriotes, Rebellions, representation, rights, society, territory.

The table below shows how some historical knowledge has been reorganized.


Reorganization Progression of learning
  • Liberal ideas
  • Communication of ideas

These elements of knowledge are included in Section 2.1.

Secondary III:
Demands and struggles in the British colony

  • 2.1. Communication of liberal ideas
  • Demographic trends

This element of knowledge has been moved to Secondary IV.

Secondary IV:
Population and settlement
British rule

  • 2. Migration flows
  • Economic policies

This element of knowledge has been moved to Secondary IV.

Secondary IV:
Economy and development
British rule

  • 6. Economic policies
  • Relations between Church and state

This element of knowledge has been moved to Secondary IV.

Secondary IV:
Official power and countervailing powers
British rule

  1. Power relations between Church and state

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.


Student reinvests knowledge.

3 4
  1. The idea of nationhood in Québec today
    1. Lists the main elements of a nation: a common territory, a shared history, culture and values
    1. Indicates conceptions of nationhood (e.g. Québec as part of the Canadian federation, Québec as a sovereign state)
  1. Demands and struggles in the British colony
  • 2.1.   Communication of liberal ideas
    1. Names some liberal values and ideas disseminated in the early 19th century: freedom, equality and the principle of nationhood
    1. Indicates means used to disseminate liberal ideas in the early 19th century (e.g. publications, newspapers, circulating libraries)
    1. Indicates political demands associated with liberal ideas: representativity, power sharing
  • 2.2.   Political organization of the colony
    1. Names the constitutions of 1791 and 1840: Constitutional Act and Act of Union
    1. Indicates the boundaries of Upper Canada and Lower Canada in 1791 and the boundaries of United Canada in 1840
    1. Names the political regime introduced by the Constitutional Act: constitutional monarchy
    1. Names the institution that gave the population representation at the political level after the passage of the Constitutional Act: legislative assembly
    1. Describes the political structure introduced by the constitutions of 1791 and 1840 and some of the powers of the constituent parts (e.g. the governor had a right of veto and appointed the members of the councils; the executive council saw to the application of laws and administered public funds; the members of the legislative assembly passed laws)
  • 2.3.   Interests of social groups
    1. Describes the place of British merchants and members of the French Canadian professional bourgeoisie in the political structure of Lower Canada in 1791: British merchants formed a majority on the executive and legislative councils; members of the French-Canadian professional bourgeoisie sat in the legislative assembly
    1. Indicates political interests of the British administrators and the professional bourgeoisie in Lower Canada in the early 19th century (e.g. the British administrators wanted to retain control of the colony; the French-Canadian professional bourgeoisie defended the interests of the people)
  • 2.4.   Political and social tensions
    1. Names topics of dispute between the governor, the members of the councils and the legislative assembly of Lower Canada (e.g. funding for the construction of canals, the language used in the legislative assembly)
    1. Indicates the main demands made in the 92 Resolutions: responsible government, control of the budget by the legislative assembly, elected council members
    1. Names some facts related to the Rebellions (e.g. suspension of the legislative assembly, the Toronto Declaration, the declaration of independence of Lower Canada, disavowal of the general amnesty granted by Durham to the Patriotes, hanging of Patriotes ordered by the Special Council)
    1. Indicates the recommendations of the Durham Report: union of the two Canadas, granting of responsible government, assimilation of the French Canadians
    1. Indicates the general reaction of the population of Lower Canada to the Durham Report: rejection of the proposed union
  1. Concepts of nationhood and debates on social issues in Québec today
    1. Indicates the subject of debate: Québec’s political status
    1. Identifies players in the debate about Québec’s political status (e.g. the premiers and the Prime Minister, political parties, the governments of Québec and Canada, the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the Monarchist League of Canada)
    1. Indicates the positions of players in the debate about Québec’s political status: federalism, renewed federalism, autonomism, sovereignty

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