Chapter 13: Language Politics:
The Demographics of Language Politics:
• When New France was formally placed under British control in 1763, francophones
outnumbered Anglophones by about eight to one in the territory that would become
o Forty years later - the two groups were of roughly equal size
Immigrants increased Anglophones
High birth rate increased Francophones
• The high birth rate of francophones and the vast majority of immigrants who have chosen
English as their adopted language, finally led to a decline in the francophone share of the
Canada population by the early 1960s
• Montreal was the second largest French-speaking in the world, until more immigrants
continued to arrive – splitting the state equally French and english
• The key factor in shifting linguistic balance of Quebec = immigration
• Immigration became the sole reason for provincial population growth by the 60’s.
o 46% of foreign-born residents of Quebec spoke only English, another 25 spoke
english and french, and only 17% spoke french only
• People speaking French is = to those with mother tongue of French
o People speaking english is greater than those with mother tongue of English
• Quebec has not become less Francophone.
Outside of Quebec
• Only in Quebec and, to a lesser degree, New Brunswick is the rate of French language
• The rate of language transfer is greatest among the younger generation
o the ability to speak the language while shopping, working, going to church and
other things keep the language alive
o bilingual belt – the narrow region running from Monc
• A combination of aging populations, low birth rates, marriage to non-francophones and
the general lack of supportive social and economic surroundings for French speakers will
lead to the collapse of many francophones communities outside Quebec in a generation
o 50% of married francophones living outside Quebec and New Brunswick had
Receptive Bilinguals - people who are capable of responding to French communications but do
not themselves initiate conversations in French, consume French language media, or seek out
opportunities to live in their acquired second language
• The rate of functional bilingualism is still relatively low outside of Quebec, , as over half
of bilingualism Canadians reside in Quebec, where the rate of bilingualism is about four
times greater than in Ontario.
• BOTTOM LINE - the social and economic surroundings outside Quebec have not
become more supportive for francophones
The Trajectory of Nationalism: • French-Canadian nationalism was originally a system of self-defence – English
• Francophones did not succumb to the pressure of assimilation because:
1. Official recognition of the rights of the francophone Catholic majority
2. There was a somewhat remotely equal balance of English and French
3. French Canada met the challenge of English domination by remaining loyal to
traditional values and institutions.
• Traditional French- Canadian nationalism was guided by the idea of La Survivance -
Survival against the pressures of a dominant culture that was Anglicizing(to make or
become more English).
o Protestant, materialistic, liberal democratic, and business orientated all the
things French Canada did not want to become
• The preservation of language is absolutely necessary for the preservation of race.
• French Canada has a mission, to remain faithful to its roots, and to resist the lure of
materialistic, English, Protestant pressures.
• Quebec was following the path of modernization
o About four fifths of the Quebec population, were largely shut out of the centres
of economic decision-making and controlled relatively little of the province’s
‘Unholy Alliance’ – the Catholic Church, Anglophone capital, and the Union Nationale party
Rattrapage - To bring Quebec’s society, economy and government up to date catching up
The Quiet Revolution and It’s Legacy:
• 1960’s - turning point in the history of Quebec, political reforms and social changes
o Duplessis’s death led to provincial Liberals under Jean Lesage.
o Replaced the authority of the Catholic Church in the areas of social services and
education and increased role for the Quebec state.
• The traditional nationalism had emphasized preservation of the patrimoine - the
language, the faith, the mores, of a community whose roots went back to New France.
• Nationalism is always based on some concept of the nation: who belongs to it and who
o The boundaries of La nation extended beyond Quebec to embrace French
Canadians throughout Canada, and there were two reasons:
1. Catholicism and the role of the Church were important elements of the
2. The anti-statist quality of the traditional nationalism prevented it from
associating the French-Canadian nation with the Quebec state
• The survival of the nation depended on the institutions that were crucial to continuation
from generation to generation of the French language and Catholic religion
• In order to take con