Trajectory of Quebec Nationalism
2. Constitutional Landmarks (7)
3. Historical Landmarks (9)
4. Ideological Evolution (3)
A good question for our test based on the last class about regionalism:
- 5 waves of immigration to Canada
1. Quebecois think of themselves as only Quebecois (31%)
Canadian and Quebecois = less than 20%
- Canadian first: 7%
- 1% only think of themselves as Canadian
Referendum in 1980 and 1995 on sovereignty-association.
-In 1980 the vote was 60 to 40.
-Quebecois friend says the political climate is not good for secession.
2. Constitutional Landmarks
Quebec tended to see confederation as a solemn pact between two distinct cultures. There was an understanding that each
side would have a veto on any unilateral changes. Because the French Canadians have this view, this meant stressing group
rights defined by language, culture, tradition…
English Canadians had a diff view of confed. were more wary of group rights, saw it more as equal provinces, individual
provinces, provincial rights, equality of individuals…
English believed in democracy to solve problems, French view was having a grand legal design, a constitution with abstract
social goals, comprehensive, definitive, personal rights…
1759 and 1959 two most important years for French Cans.
1759 = defeat on plains of Abraham.
1959 = death of Maurice Duplessis. Was the leader of the Union National, conservative ideology. The quiet revolution was
unleashed in the 1960’s.
a) Royal proclamation (1763) Direct product of treaty of Paris, ended war between Britain and France, gave up its territories in
Canada to the British. Now that the Brits were in charge of Northern part of British North Amer. The king issued a royal
It meant the end of New France. Provided for a representative legislature but it wasn’t acted upon because at the time of the
conquest there were only about 600 anglos and under British law only protestants could vote and be appointed to government
positions. Having a leg. assembly where only 600 people could vote didn’t make sense.
Wiseman thinks there were about 70 000 French Canadians in Quebec. Now there’s millions.
At proclamation, there were 1.5 million British North Americans living in North America, so French Cans made up half a percent
of the population.
Now they make up 2 percent.
Under the royal proc. the Brits were now getting uncomfy with representative assemblies because they saw they American
colonies were becoming troublesome.
Official policy of the Brits was assimilation. The Brits needed the French in case there was a revolt against them in the more
southerly colonies so in 1774 they passed the Quebec act. First piece of legislature that applies to Canada, everything before
was under the royal crown.
This was passed by the British parliament, extended the boundaries of Quebec (all lands between Ohio and Mississippi rivers) and established freedom of worship for Catholics, meaning they could be appointed.
A legislative council was appointed (like an upper house, they still didn’t have a lower house, the Fren Can didn’t want one,
cause they saw what was happening in the lower colonies, cause you elect someone, then they tax you)
They could also now use their civil law and not be controlled by English common law. Still under English Criminal Law.
This was very shrewd under British law, cause it kept them from staying loyal and not turning against the Brits. Then there was
the American Revolution, and loyalists started coming in.
A number go to Quebec.
One more constitutional landmark: act of 1771, reaction to all the loyalists coming. The ones who came to Ontario wanted
representative assemblies they way they had them in the southern states and they wanted English Common Law, trial by jury,
habeas corpus… so the Brit gov. passed the constitutional act which divided Quebec into lower Canada and upper Canada and
each would get a rep. assembly.
Each would also have a legislative council (like a senate) so the structure would be bicameral, as it is federally.
Const. act helped the survival of the French because it gave them their own government. It reinforced their civil law.
b) Quebec Act (1774)
c) Constitutional Act (1791)
d) Union Act (1840)
There were rebellions in upper and lower Can in 1837 and 38 the Whigs became known as the liberal party, reformers.
The Brits send over Lord Durham to analyze the sit. and he says I see two nations warring in the bosom of a single state.
We’ve got to pull together lower and upper, and make one province called the province in Canada.
The rebellion in Upper Canada was for responsible gov. and that’s what the rebels in lower Canada said they wanted too but it
was more than that.
The act said the objective should be assimilating the French and it should get responsible gov. representative gov means the
reps could pass anything and the governor and his council could ignore it. The two Canadas reunited but didn’t get resp. gov
That was brokered here by Lafontaine.
So there was now one governor for Canada, and he appointed the upper house, 42 members from Canada east and 42 from
This favoured upper Canada because there were more Fren