Québec

Glossary

Glossary

Amerindian:
American Indian. More particularly: Indian of North America. As in: Amerindian peoples, tribes, nations or even confederacies. In Canada, Amerindians are also called the "First Nations". In the same manner that they are also called "Native Americans" in the United States. The term "Amerindian" applies to both Canada and the United States.
Bastion:
The projecting part of a fortification, pointing toward the enemy. Also: The main element of a classic fortification, usually made from earth on the inside and masonry on the outside, in a pentagonal or five-sided shape. A "half-bastion" is about half of a bastion.
Citadel:
A fortress or stronghold that commands or dominates a city, usually built on high ground for protection of that city. Also: A position viewed as unassailable, ideal for refuge or last-resort protection. In this particular case, both definitions fully apply to what has been called: "Québec City's permanent Citadel".
Ditch:
A long, lowered or dug-out piece of land in front of a rampart and an element of a classic fortification, part of which was sunk or excavated to put an additional obstacle in the path of an advancing enemy.
Embrasure:
The opening cut, usually with sides flaring outward, in a wall or a parapet or a defensive work belonging to a fortification, through which muskets or guns or cannons or artillery could be fired.
Fort:
A permanent army post used to fortify, strengthen, defend and secure a place (as a town, a city) or position. Usually occupied only by troops and surrounded by fortifications (with such works as ditches, ramparts and parapets).
Fortification:
Something that fortifies, strengthens, defends and secures (as a town, a city). Also: Works erected to fortify, strengthen, defend and secure a place (as a town, a city) or position. The essential purpose of a fortification, militarily speaking, is to be able to wait for reinforcements while being protected.
Fortified Wall (Old Québec's):
In the context of this particular presentation about Québec City's "Fortified Wall", the terms "fortification" and "wall" are combined in a specific way. In that perspective, we can say that Québec City's "Fortified Wall", as a "Wall", is: "A high and thick masonry structure forming a long rampart or an enclosure, that was used chiefly for defensive purposes and acted as a protective barrier for what is today the Upper Town of Old Québec." We can also say that Québec City's "Fortified Wall", as a "Fortification", is: "Something that fortified, strengthened, defended and secured Québec City for centuries by forts or batteries, with works that were specifically erected to fortify, strengthen, defend and secure Québec City as well as its strategic position of crucial importance in the eastern part of Canada and northeastern part of North America." Also: "The Fortified Wall" was fit to be used for the essential purpose of a fortification, militarily speaking, as it was proven in 1760 and in 1775-76: "To be able to wait for reinforcements while being protected." We can finally add this fundamental nuance that we talk about "Québec City's Fortified Wall" in the same manner that we generally talk about "The Great Wall of China". We call it "The Fortified Wall" and not "the fortified walls", just as we say "The Great Wall of China" and not "the great walls of China". Both of them were built in sections through a long period of time and not "built in three days". In fact, Old Québec's Fortified Wall was built over more than 400 years and can therefore be conceived as a series of fortified walls or "ramparts" forming altogether (once linked to their various gates, to the Dufferin Terrace and to the Citadel) that one "Fortified Wall" as a whole of which we speak.
Fortress:
A fortified place or military stronghold. Also: A large and permanent fortification, sometimes including a town, fit for a large garrison. In this particular case, we talk about the Québec City area as "a natural fortress" because its unique location on the St. Lawrence River "where the river narrows" and the high cliffs upon which the Upper Town of what is today Old Québec was perched made it exactly that. It was indeed "a natural fortress" before "The Fortified Wall" was built on top of those high cliffs.
Gate:
An opening in a wall or fortification. Also: A means to control the entrance or exit through the wall or enclosure of a fortified city, often with defensive structures (such as towers and parapets, for example).
Intercolonial:
Existing or conducted between colonies. In the context of the "Intercolonial Wars", the term means: Wars existing or conducted between New France as a colony of France and the British colonies of North America, during the years 1689 to 1760. There were four "Intercolonial Wars", altogether. In the United States, those same wars were known and are still known as the "French and Indian Wars".
Outworks:
All the defensive works located outside a rampart, beyond the ditch. Also: A minor defensive position constructed outside a fortified area.
Parapet:
The upper part of a defensive work and an element of a classic fortification, usually made of earth or stone to protect artillerymen as well as soldiers from cannon fire or enemy batteries.
Rampart:
A wall-like ridge used as a protective barrier or a defensive enceinte. Also: A broad embankment raised as a line of fortification, usually made from stones (rock fragments), earth or debris and implying a mass of earth or stone on its upper part (a parapet) to protect artillerymen as well as soldiers from cannon fire or enemy batteries.
Wall:
A high and thick masonry structure forming a long rampart or an enclosure, used chiefly for defensive purposes and acting as a protective barrier.