For the rebel armies coming from the Thirteen Colonies into Montreal and Quebec what kind of welcome were they hoping for from the locals

For the rebel armies coming from the Thirteen Colonies into Montreal and Quebec what kind of welcome were they hoping for from the locals

They thought that if they were nice, paid for the stuff they took, etc.they would convince “Quebecers” (Canadiens) to join their cause.When they started losing, they started to be much less nice to the locals and hence created antipathy.

In some case it worked well.However, the population what really not sure what to think : The Bostonnais (that’s how we called them) were often fiercely anti-catholic.In fact, among the five Intolerable Acts, the most intolerable was the 1774 Quebec Act.Solution : In 1774, there would be a first letter from the Continental Congress of Philadelphia to the inhabitants of Québec (26th of October 1774), printed in 2000 copies.

Several English merchants would distribute them while pretending to sell grain.The letter would point out no Parliament was created, that the status of the French laws was precarious and even appealed to the philosophy of Montesquieu.“Your province is the only missing ring” they said, and as for the catholic religion, they took the example of Switzerland, in which catholic and protestant cantons could coexist.

The Canadiens were invited to elect delegates and to send them to Philadelphia.Simon Sanguinet said in his journal that the inhabitants of the countryside were impressed by those Bostonian rhetorics.Those Canadiens lacked the culture of parliamentarism, of English rights, etc.The most democratic aspect of life was the Conseil de Fabrique in each parish.

This is why in the letter they rather referred to Montesquieu, rather than John Locke.The top of that French-speaking society was made of lords that quite did not want a Republic that would strip them of their land privileges, but also of a catholic clergy that was wary of the Bostinian anti-catholicism.The bottom of the society was undecided, and rather opportunist : they would side with whoever seems to win.The spy John Brown came to Montréal pretending to be a horse merchant and said :The French of Canada constitute a sort of people that know no other way to get riches and honour than by making of themselves court sycophants ; and, as the introduction of the French laws will give posts to the small French nobility, they gather around the governor.They [the people of La Prairie] appear to have no indisposition against the colonies, but they rather prefer to remain neutral.

The English were not able to force people to enroll in the militia.There was no real enthusiasm to do so.The pressure from the lords and the clergy was not enough.

The English would really be afraid the colony would be lost :Lieutenant-governor Cramahé : Possesing strenght, the rebels have on their side the Canadian peasants, that neither the zealed efforts of their nobility, of the clergy or the bourgeoisie would convince to fulfill their duties.We could not either persuade them or force them to.Two battalions, this spring, could have saved the province.

I doubt that twenty of them could take it back.Basically, the English had to rely more on the German mercenaries and allied indigenous nations.After the defeat of the Bostonians, there was an inquiry.

Over the 4492 militiamen reviewed for the district of Québec city, 757 were openly rebellious.Another commission was made for the district of Montréal, but the documents were lost.The low clergy really hesitated to not side with the rebels when it became known that France joined their cause.More details about what happened : Thomas de La Marnierre (トマ・サレ)’s answer to What was going on in the rest of modern day America during the Colonial American Revolution?

The so called rebel armies were naive enough that they thought that they would be welcomed with open arms.You know your enemy is my enemy too.But the French had long memories of how the same rebel treated them and their religion in the French and Indian War.

The British were always cool about religious tolerance but the colonists, the nascent Americans, were as anti Catholic then as they are racists now.

They were hoping the Canadians would support them, the Canadians did not