Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Eastern Townships (les Cantons de l'est in French) is a region in south central Quebec, lying between the Saint Lawrence River and the US border. The principal city is Sherbrooke. The region comprises the counties that are divided into townships after the traditional New England method of land grants, as opposed to other Quebec counties which are divided into municipalities based on the former seigneuries.
The Eastern Townships consist of the following counties:
- Arthabaska County
- Brome County
- Compton County
- Drummond County
- Frontenac County
- Megantic County
- Missisquoi County
- Richmond County
- Stanstead County
- Shefford County
- Sherbrooke County
- Wolfe County
In the early 1990s Quebec was reorganized into 17 official regions divided into regional county municipalities. The bulk of the Eastern Townships became the Estrie region (which is often called les Cantons de l'est in French), but Arthabaska, Drummond, and part of Wolfe and Megantic counties became part of the Centre-du-Québec region, the remainder of Megantic County became part of the Chaudière-Appalaches region, and part of Shefford and Missisquoi counties became part of the Montérégie region.
The first inhabitants of the region were the Abenaki Indians. This can be observed by the different names of towns, lakes and rivers which many are of Abenaki origin. They allied themselves with the French during the French and Indian War to fight the British.
The region was part of New France until the 1763 Treaty of Paris which granted the region to the British. Shortly after the American Revolution, United Empire Loyalists who fled democracy in order to stay loyal to the British, settled in the Eastern Townships. The peak of this migration occurred between 1783 and 1784.
Even though the region is predominantly French speaking, the influence of the loyalist can still be observed by the architecture of older buildings and the name of various towns.
- Western Townships of Upper Canada
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