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HIS314H1 (5)

Migration, Colonization, and Rebellion.docx

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Kenneth Mills

HIS314 Migration, Colonization, and Rebellions September 24 2012h - During the Quiet Revolution, the concept of French Canada switched from a cultural and linguistic definition to a territorial one based on Quebec - Importance of Le Devoir in the discussion of French Canadian identity and definition Migration from Rural Quebec th th - In the late 19 and early 20 century, Quebec was both a sender and receiver of migration - We don’t often think of Canada as an exporter society in migration, but this was the case in Quebec in this period - The number of people arriving in Quebec could never match those leaving - One could therefore argue that migration, and not just immigration, was a central defining characteristic of Quebec - Mass exodus of French Canadians from Quebec to Ontario, Western Canada, and New England - Why? - There was a great agricultural crisis, there simply wasn’t enough arable land to sustain the incredible population growth of this period - Life was hard in Quebec’s rural regions, there weren’t many banks, hard to get credit o One of the reason why a vast credit union system developed in Quebec, to be discussed in a later lecture - Many people had a lot of debt - Searching for work, many of these young people and large families from rural Quebec where land wasn’t available, began moving to Quebec’s major metropolitan centres (Montreal) but also New England, Ontario, and Western Canada - Like nearly all migration, this would often be seen to start out as something temporary, but would then turn into something more permanent - Workers would move to lumber camps, factory jobs in Quebec cities, etc. - But there is also this exodus, migration beyond the borders of Quebec Migration of French Canadians to New England - The clerical nationalists deeply opposed this migration both to the cities and to New England - There was very little they could do about it - Migrants felt both the push of an uncertain future in Quebec and the pull of new opportunities in other locations - Often, church figures would accompany this migration to set up churches in New England and maintain the fabric of French Canadian life - New England was going through its own sort of industrial revolution, springing up great textile mills with great needs for labour - Following the workers were priests, French Canadian professionals, and soon French Canadian societies and villages wre occupying the landscape of New England HIS314 Migration, Colonization, and Rebellions September 24 2012h th - In the second half of the 19 century, hundreds of thousands were leaving - 1840-1930, 900,000 French Canadians settled in the United States Migration to Ontario and Western Canada - Another 150,000 left for Ontario - This exodus was so pronounced that by 1901, only 55% of all French Canadians lived in Quebec - In, 1867, 85% lived in Quebec Idea of ‘French Canada’ - It was because of this exodus that there is a growth of this idea of French Canada, that transcended borders of Quebec - Defined linguistically, religiously, and ethnically - Idea that French Canada had a providential mission to spread the virtues of Catholic civilization in North America - Back in Quebec, the transformation of farm life continued, many of these farms had been static with not enough farm work, but there was also the transformation of farm work (introduction of new technologies) - Important introduction of new farming methods, growth of dairy farming, all promoted by the Quebec government - Yet despite these changes people were still leaving - It should be said that this migration is not very well remembered in Quebec, though it had a huge impact on those it effected at the time (broke families apart, etc.) Migration from the rural countryside to Montreal th th - In the late 19 and early 20 century, much of the surplus population of the rural countryside relocated to Montreal - This city was undergoing a vast expansion, becoming a major centre of industrial expansion - Montreal became both the sight of migration from Quebec and immigration into Quebec/Canada - First half of the 19 century saw a mass migration of Irish immigrants and major conflicts emerged - Conflict between these two Catholic cultures gave much of the texture of French Canadian life in this period - With the arrival of this Irish Catholic population, there was no longer a clear distinction between language and religion th - If in the middle of the 19 century the population of the English speaking part of Quebec was large in Montreal, by the end of the century this flipped and the majority were now French- speaking (migration from rural to Montreal) - Major urbanization of Quebec society  Industrialization o Neighbourhoods sprung up around the factories o Work in factories was extremely hard (long hours, low wages, conditions)  Royal Commission on Capital and Labour, 1889 HIS314 Migration, Colonization, and Rebellions September 24 2012 o Heard testimony from workers in these factories about the conditions, testimonies from women and children, about the fire and regulation problems, about the extremely long work weeks, etc.  Ethnic division of Labour o The ethnic division of labour is a system through which in Montreal many of the owners of factories spoke English, lived in Anglophone parts of town, and the growing emerging proletariat of this industrial expansion largely spoke French and lived in East Montreal (though of course there were Anglophone parts of this workforce, like the Irish) o This would give potent force to the revolts in the 1960s (east Montreal has generally been the centre of radical political movements that have emerged) o East Montreal had become symbolically associated with the consequences of this industrial expansion o In the 1960s, many would begin talking in very simplistic ways about how capital speaks English and labour speaks French o This is the ethnic division of labour Colonization Attempts at Colonizing the Interior - Attempts by the French Canadian elites to stem the tide of emigration out of Quebec - One plan was an attempt to colonize the Interior of Quebec - These plans of colonization were forged by priests and nationalists who feared about the health of the nation - They felt that the heart of French Canadian society resided in rural life and the rural family - They wanted to preserve this rural community and family structure - So they tried to colonize the interior of Quebec - Labelle (sp?) headed this effort - The Church and the Government worked together to develop
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