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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 13

Progress of the Colony Under the Improved Conditions

The catholic inhabitants were granted the free exercise of their religion and the undisturbed possession of their church property and the right in all matters of litigation to demand a trial according to the former laws of the province. The boundaries of the country were extended to include the region south and west of the great lakes as far as the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The enlarged boundaries provoked opposition in parliament from William Penn, who claimed jurisdiction beyond the Ohio where some of his colonists had already found homes. The passage of the act stirred up much feeling among the British merchants, among the English living in Canada, and especially among the American colonists. It is cited in the Declaration of Independence as "abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same arbitrary rule into these colonies. " The act was highly acceptable to the people of Canada. When it was before parliament Governor Carleton testified that there were in the province of Quebec three hundred and sixty persons who claimed to be Protestant and one hundred and fifty thousand catholics. It is easy to understand why the great mass of people approved an act which secured to them the rights of administration of their civil and ecclesiastical affairs in the manner to which they had been accustomed. And it is to be noted that when, a few years later the American colonies in the midst of the revolution sent a delegation to Canada to swerve that province from its allegiance to Great Britain, they met with no encouragement. Even to this day, the people of Canada appear to be sincerely attached to the British crown.

MICHIGAN


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