"The St Lawrence River ? and military background #1" Quebec's Military Background Tip by tiabunna

Quebec's Military Background, Quebec: 8 reviews and 18 photos

  St Lawrence River, looking downstream
by tiabunna
  • St Lawrence River, looking downstream - Quebec
      St Lawrence River, looking downstream
    by tiabunna
  • Shipping passing Québec - Quebec
      Shipping passing Québec
    by tiabunna

Favorite thing: I hope you will wander with me down the historical path for this and the next few tips? In the early days of European settlement in Canada, the St Lawrence River provided the sole realistic access to the interior of the country. Not surprisingly, the penny dropped that whoever controlled the river essentially controlled the region. High escarpments over a narrow point in the river provided a natural defensive point and Québec became a key fortress for the new colony of New France. It served to defeat a British invasion attempt in 1690, then new city walls were built.

Apparently the French considered the approaches up the St Lawrence to Québec impassable at a place called La Traverse to all but those with special knowledge. Time for one of my heroes from history, James Cook, to make an entrance ? at that time he was one of the few practitioners of the new skill of detailed nautical surveying and cartography. Cook found and mapped a route past the natural barrier, the French gunners failed to stop the British ships from passing (seems they must have been poor shots), and General James Wolfe was able to travel upstreamwith his army. He subsequently returned, as in the next tip.

From the top of the walls, watching shipping passing up and down the river, it is easy to understand Québec?s strategic importance.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 21, 2008
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