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Precipitation is also somewhat less than farther south, except at some of the higher elevations. The primary influences in this region are the Arctic Ocean currents such as the Labrador Current and continental air masses from the High Arctic. The four calendar seasons in Quebec are spring, summer, autumn and winter, with conditions differing by region. They are then differentiated according to the insolation , temperature, and precipitation of snow and rain. At Quebec City, the length of the daily sunshine varies from hrs in December to hrs in June; the annual variation is much greater from to hrs at the northern tip of the province.

Quebec is divided into four climatic zones: arctic, subarctic, humid continental and East maritime. The all-time record of the greatest precipitation in winter was established in winter —, with more than five metres [42] of snow in the area of Quebec City, while the average amount received per winter is around three metres. Also, the winter of was the warmest and driest recorded in more than 60 years. The large land wildlife is mainly composed of the white-tailed deer, the moose , the muskox, the caribou , the American black bear and the polar bear.

The average land wildlife includes the cougar, the coyote , the eastern wolf , the bobcat wild cat , the Arctic fox , the fox, etc. The small animals seen most commonly include the eastern grey squirrel, the snowshoe hare , the groundhog , the skunk , the raccoon , the chipmunk and the Canadian beaver. Biodiversity of the estuary and gulf of Saint Lawrence River [46] consists of an aquatic mammal wildlife, of which most goes upriver through the estuary and the Saguenay—St. Among the Nordic marine animals, there are two particularly important to cite: the walrus and the narwhal.

Among the birds commonly seen in the southern inhabited part of Quebec, there are the American robin, the house sparrow, the red-winged blackbird, the mallard, the common grackle , the blue jay , the American crow , the black-capped chickadee, some warblers and swallows, the starling and the rock pigeon , the latter two having been introduced in Quebec and are found mainly in urban areas.


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Avian fauna includes birds of prey like the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon, the snowy owl and the bald eagle. Sea and semi-aquatic birds seen in Quebec are mostly the Canada goose, the double-crested cormorant , the northern gannet, the European herring gull, the great blue heron, the sandhill crane , the Atlantic puffin and the common loon. Given the geology of the province and its different climates, there is an established number of large areas of vegetation in Quebec.

These areas, listed in order from the northernmost to the southernmost are: the tundra , the taiga , the Canadian boreal forest coniferous , mixed forest and deciduous forest. On the edge of the Ungava Bay and Hudson Strait is the tundra , whose flora is limited to a low vegetation of lichen with only less than 50 growing days a year. Not as arid as the tundra , the taiga is associated with the sub-Arctic regions of the Canadian Shield [56] and is characterized by a greater number of both plant and animal species, many of which live there all year. Given a warmer climate, the diversity of organisms is also higher, since there are about plant species and vertebrates species.

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By virtue of its transient nature, this area contains a diversity of habitats resulting in large numbers of plant and vertebrates species, despite relatively cool temperatures. The ecozone mixed forest covers Its relatively long growing season lasts almost days and its fertile soils make it the centre of agricultural activity and therefore of urbanization of Quebec. Most of Quebec's population lives in this area of vegetation, almost entirely along the banks of the St. Deciduous forests cover approximately 6. The total forest area of Quebec is estimated at sqkm. Some species of deciduous trees such as the yellow birch appear when the river is approached in the south.

The deciduous forest of the Saint Lawrence Lowlands is mostly composed of deciduous species such as the sugar maple , the red maple , the white ash , the American beech , the butternut white walnut , the American elm , the basswood , the bitternut hickory and the northern red oak as well as some conifers such as the eastern white pine and the northern whitecedar.

The distribution areas of the paper birch , the trembling aspen and the mountain ash cover more than half of Quebec territory. At the time of first European contact and later colonization, Algonquian , Iroquois and Inuit nations controlled what is now Quebec. Their lifestyles and cultures reflected the land on which they lived. Algonquians organized into seven political entities lived nomad ic lives based on hunting, gathering, and fishing in the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield James Bay Cree, Innu , Algonquins and Appalachian Mountains Mi'kmaq, Abenaki. Lawrence Iroquoians , a branch of the Iroquois, lived more settled lives, growing corn, beans and squash in the fertile soils of the St.

Lawrence Valley. They appear to have been later supplanted by the Mohawk nation. See main article: New France.

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It was the first province of New France. However, initial French attempts at settling the region met with failure. French fishing fleets, however, continued to sail to the Atlantic coast and into the St. Lawrence River, making alliances with First Nations that would become important once France began to occupy the land. Lawrence River. Coureurs des bois , voyageurs and Catholic missionaries used river canoe s to explore the interior of the North American continent.

However, Samuel de Champlain argued that the English seizing of the lands was illegal as the war had already ended; he worked to have the lands returned to France. As part of the ongoing negotiations of their exit from the Anglo-French War , in the English king Charles agreed to return the lands in exchange for Louis XIII paying his wife's dowry.

These terms were signed into law with the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Most of the French were farmers " Canadiens " or " Habitants " , and the rate of population growth among the settlers themselves was very high. See main article: Seven Years' War. Authorities in New France became more aggressive in their efforts to expel British traders and colonists from the Ohio Valley. They began construction of a series of fortification s to protect the area. It came at a time when no declaration of war had been issued by either country. With the exception of the small islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon , located off the coast of Newfoundland, France ceded its North American possessions to Great Britain through the Treaty of Paris in favour of gaining the island of Guadeloupe for its then-lucrative sugar cane industry.

See main article: Quebec Act. With unrest growing in the colonies to the south, which would one day grow into the American Revolution , the British were worried that the French-speaking Canadians might also support the growing rebellion.

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To secure the allegiance of the approximately 90, French-speaking Canadians to the British crown, first Governor James Murray and later Governor Guy Carleton promoted the need for change. There was also a need to compromise between the conflicting demands of the French-speaking Canadian subjects and those of newly arrived British subjects. These efforts by the colonial governors eventually resulted in enactment of the Quebec Act [75] of The Quebec Act provided the people of Quebec their first Charter of Rights and paved the way to later official recognition of the French language and French culture.


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  • The act also allowed the French speakers, known as Canadiens, to maintain French civil law and sanctioned freedom of religion, allowing the Roman Catholic Church to remain, one of the first cases in history of state-sanctioned freedom of religious practice. Although the Quebec Act was unrelated to the events in Boston of , and was not regarded as one of the Coercive Acts , the timing of its passage led British colonists to the south to believe that it was part of the program to punish them.

    The Quebec Act offended a variety of interest groups in the British colonies. Land speculators and settlers objected to the transfer of western lands previously claimed by the colonies to a non-representative government. Many feared the establishment of Catholicism in Quebec, and that the French Canadians were being courted to help oppress British Americans.

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    British reinforcements came up the St. The army withdrew to Ticonderoga. Although some help was given to the Americans by the locals, Governor Carleton punished American sympathizers, and public support of the American cause came to an end. The arrival of 10, Loyalists at Quebec in destroyed the political balance that Haldimand and Carleton before him had worked so hard to achieve. The swelling numbers of English encouraged them to make greater demands for recognition with the colonial government.

    In ten years, Quebec had undergone a dramatic change.

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    What worked for Carleton in was not likely to succeed in Specifically, there was no possibility of restoring the previous political balance — there were simply too many English people unwilling to reach a compromise with the , Canadiens or their colonial governor. The situation called for a more creative approach to problem solving. Loyalists soon petitioned the government to be allowed to use the British legal system they wereused to in the American colonies.

    The creation of Upper and Lower Canada in allowed most Loyalists to live under British laws and institutions, while the French-speaking population of Lower Canada could maintain their familiar French civil law and the Catholic religion. The Loyalists were thus given land grants of acres per person. Basically, this approach was designed with the intent of keeping French and English as far apart as possible.

    Therefore, after the separation of the Province of Quebec, Lower Canada and Upper Canada were formed, each with its own government.

    See main article: Lower Canada Rebellion. In , residents of Lower Canada — led by Louis-Joseph Papineau and Robert Nelson — formed an armed resistance group to seek an end to the unilateral control of the British governors. An unprepared British Army had to raise militia force; the rebel forces scored a victory in Saint-Denis but were soon defeated. After the rebellions, Lord Durham was asked to undertake a study and prepare a report on the matter and to offer a solution for the British Parliament to assess. In , Baldwin and LaFontaine, allies and leaders of the Reformist party, were asked by Lord Elgin to form an administration together under the new policy of responsible government.

    The French language subsequently regained legal status in the Legislature. See main article: Canadian Confederation. In the s, the delegates from the colonies of British North America Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland met in a series of conferences to discuss self-governing status for a new confederation. The first Charlottetown Conference took place in Charlottetown , Prince Edward Island, followed by the Quebec Conference in Quebec City which led to a delegation going to London, England, to put forth a proposal for a national union. As a result of those deliberations, in the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the British North America Acts , providing for the Confederation of most of these provinces.

    The other provinces then joined the Confederation, one after the other: Manitoba and the Northwest Territories in , British Columbia in , Prince Edward Island in , Yukon in , Alberta and Saskatchewan in , Newfoundland in and finally Nunavut in When Great Britain declared war on August 4, , Canada was automatically involved as a dominion. About 6, volunteers from Quebec participated on the European front.

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    Although reaction to conscription was favourable in English Canada the idea was deeply unpopular in Quebec. The Conscription Crisis of did much to highlight the divisions between French and English-speaking Canadians in Canada. See main article: Quiet Revolution.