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Encyclopedia > Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada

The Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada was written in French by the patriot rebel Robert Nelson on February 22, 1838, while in exile in the United States, after the first rebellion of 1837.

The 1838 declaration was primarily inspired by the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence and the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, but it also included some other political ideas that were popular in the 19th century.

The movement for the independence of Lower Canada (today Quebec) ultimately failed, as it did not result in the creation of an independent nation-state.


(Unofficial Translation)

...understood that we can no longer suffer these reiterated violations of our rights and patiently witness the insults and the multiplied and recent cruelties of the Government of Low Canada,

WE, in the name of the people of Lower Canada, adoring the decree of the divine providence who allows us to overthrow the government which has ignored the reason for which it was created, and allows us to chose the form of government most likely to establish justice, to ensure domestic peace, to provide for common defense, to promote the general good, and to guarantee to us and our posterity the benefits of civil and religious Liberty,


  1. That beginning to this day, the People of Lower-Canada is EXONERATED from any allegiance to Great Britain, and that all political connections between this power and Lower Canada ceases as of this day.
  2. That Lower Canada shall take a REPUBLICAN form of government and now declares itself, de facto, a REPUBLIC.
  3. That under the free government of Lower Canada, all citizens shall have the same rights; the Indians will cease to be subject to any kind of civil disqualification, and will enjoy the same rights as the other citizens of the state of Lower Canada.

See also

External links

  • Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada at Wikisource (http://sources.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Independence_of_Lower_Canada)
  • Déclaration d'indépendance du Bas-Canada (http://www.republiquelibre.org/cousture/NELSON.HTM) (in French)

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