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1791 in Canada

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Years in Canada: 1788 1789 1790 1791 1792 1793 1794
Centuries: 17th century · 18th century · 19th century
Decades: 1760s 1770s 1780s 1790s 1800s 1810s 1820s
Years: 1788 1789 1790 1791 1792 1793 1794

Events from the year 1791 in Canada.


Federal government



  • 1791–95 – British Captain George Vancouver explores Northwest Coast exhaustively with two ships, but finds no Northwest Passage.
  • Edmund Burke supports the proposed constitution for Canada, saying that: "To attempt to amalgamate two populations, composed of races of men diverse in language, laws and habitudes, is a complete absurdity. Let the proposed constitution be founded on man's nature, the only solid basis for an enduring government."
  • Charles James Fox declares that "Canada ought to remain attached to Great Britain through the good-will of the Canadians alone."
  • Lord Grenville, denying that Canadian attachment to French jurisprudence is due to prejudice, says it is founded "on the noblest sentiments of the human breast."
  • George Vancouver leaves England to explore the west coast; Alejandro Malaspina also explores the northwest coast for Spain.
  • In response to Loyalist demands, the Constitutional Act of 1791 divides Quebec into Lower Canada (mostly French) and Upper Canada (mostly English who recently migrated from America). In so doing, the Crown hopes to create a stable society that is distinctly non-American. Although French-Canadians retain the privileges granted by the Quebec Act, the Anglican church receives preferred status, including the clergy reserves.

An Anglo-French colonial aristocracy of rich merchants, leading officials, and landholders is expected to work with the royal governors to ensure proper order. Legislative assemblies, although elected by propertied voters, have little real power.

  • Population of Lower Canada is 160,000. Population of Upper Canada is 14,000.



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1791 in Canada
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