Magic of Nationalism and Lure of Regionalism.docx

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 2211E
Adam Harmes

Magic of Nationalism and Lure of Regionalism The Concept of Nationalism:  National Identity: o Emotional attachment to the geographic territory o Common past with heroes and myths o Special kinship through a common language o Unique culture with shared values o Common literature that generates pride in traditions and custom and creates a sense of familiarity and belong  The concept of nation from that state are not synonymous o Nation: a politically conscious and mobilized ethnic group that may possess or aspire to autonomy, self-government or independent statehood o State: a form of political organization in which governmental institutions are capable of maintain order and implementing rules or laws over a given population and within a given territory  Nationalism: the collective action of a politically conscious ethnic group in pursuit of increased territorial autonomy or sovereignty o Not all ethnic interest groups or nations are nationalistic o Nationalist movements encompass at the very least features of:  Common ethnicity  Common grievance or threat  Common territory  Leadership  Great emotional intensity  Common goal (sometimes for a separate state o The separatist movement embodied all of these six factors o Regionalism is not nationalism Nationalism in Quebec:  Quebec leadership remains divided in its division for the province o Separatists: favour outright statehood for Quebec o Sovereignists: favour a greater degree of independence for Quebec o Devolution Sovereignists: an extreme decentralization of Canada in which very few powers would be left to the central government o Federalists: continued existence of Quebec within Canada  French-English conflicts erupted mainly over linguistic and education rights: o Exemplary: Manitoba in 1885  Ethnic groups were polarized  Manitoba government no longer funded Roman Catholic schools  French no longer used in secondary schools  Francophone were outraged and pushed for “federal disallowance” provincial legislation  Quebeckers supported the liberal party which argued for provincial autonomy - instrumental in blocking legislation that would have protected French Canadian interests in Manitoba o Increasing lack of French and Catholic schools outside of Quebec:  Abbe Groulx argued the loss of French rights outside of Québec  Led to the gradual assertion of Quebec nationalism  British North America (BNA) Act: affirmed the right of both groups to communicate in their own languages in debates, records, journals, courts, etc. o Most governmental employees were unilingual in English o Parliament and the Quebec National Assembly were to function in French and English o Charter of Rights and Freedom enshrined English hand French as the two official languages of Canada pertaining to all matters of the federal institutions  Conscription led to further division of French vs. English speaking Canadians: o Every riding where French was the majority language voted against Unionist government (coalition of Conservatives with Liberals) and its policy of conscription o Repercussion of unionist proposal crippled the conservative party (dominant partner of the coalition) where the party lost all seats in Quebec to the liberals in 1921  Two strains of nationalism developed in Quebec after Confederation:: o Abbe Groulx led inward-looking, corporatist and authoritarian solution to the Quebec situation  Characterized by Union National governments of Mauric Duplessis – popular until 1949 Abestos Strike  Values changed in the 1950s from rural to urban and eroded Union Nationale support o Henri Bourassa believed in a pan-Canadian vision and equal partnership between English and French Canadian  Trudeau, Jean Marchand and Gerard Pelletier later became major supporters for Bourassa style nationalism  Vision of a bicultural and bilingual federal state with no special state for Quebec  Typified by the Québec Liberal Party which increased the role of government in society:  Secularized the school system  Nationalized hydroelectricity  Reformed the civic service  Separatism for Quebec gained extreme momentum in 1960s: o Many French Canadians maintained that only with their own government could they fulfill aspirations of their community o Criticized the use of English in private sectors, banks, federal public service as well as economic domination of Anglophones o Front de la Liberation du Quebec (FLQ) represented the most extreme separatists:  October Crisis of 1970: Initiated terrorists activities  Kidnapped British diplomat and murdered Quebec minister of labour Pierre Laporte  War Measures Act invoked by the federal government and basic freedoms were infringed upon  The legal basis for language regulation in Canada is found in 3 jurisdictions: a) Constitution: - Establishes the frame work for rules about language usage and development - BNA Act - Parliament & Quebec National Assembly were to function in French and English - Charter of Rights and Freedom - English and French as the two official languages of Canada pertaining to all matters federal b) Federal Law: - Creates language policies within its jurisdiction - Official Language Act of 1969:  Regulates bilingualism in federal organizations and institutions (i.e. banks and airlines)  Provides a framework for promoting the two official language c) Provincial Law: - Can also legislate language policies - Charte de la Langue Francaise:  French = official language of the province  Normal language of communications, business and the workplace  Canada`s francophone population is increasingly concentrated in Quebec o 1999 study concluded that French is experiencing a period of slow but steady decline  Meech Lake Accord fail in May 1990: o Led to the creation of Bloc Quebecois – a separatist group led by Lucien Bouchard o Later joined with PQ to hold the Referendum in 1995  Separatist Parties in Quebec: o Parti Patriote:  First nationalist party in Québec  Party instigated an armed rebellion in 1836-37 o Parti Nationale:  Party faced financial problems, corruption and lack of support for constitutional change o Union Nationale (1936):  Leader – Maurice Duplessis  Remained strong until 1960 o Parti Quebecois (PQL):  Brought nationalists together  Advocated for Sovereignty-Association: political independence but with economic association  No taxes paid to Ottawa  Citizens would not be subject to federal law  1976 – proposed two referendums: 1) Right to negotiate sovereignty-association 2) Ratify the eventual results of the negotiations  Bill 101 Charter of the French Language: declared intent to make the province unilingual  Restricted access to English schools
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