Quebec wanting to lose it

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French Canadian nationalists favoured some form of enhanced status for Quebec: special status within confederation, a new form of association on the basis of equality with English Canada, or complete independence as a sovereign country. During the late s the movement was motivated primarily by the belief, shared by many Quebec intellectuals and labour leaders, that the economic difficulties of Quebec were caused by English Canadian domination of the confederation and could only be ended by altering—or terminating—the ties with other provinces and the central government.

By the late 20th century, economic conditions had begun to improve, and cultural and linguistic differences became the primary motivation for the resurgence of Quebec separatist sentiment in the s. French Canadian nationalism was also the outcome of profound economic and social changes that had taken place in Quebec since about Until that time French Canadians had lived by agriculture and seasonal work in the timber trade.

The middle-class French of Quebec and Montreal acted as intermediaries between the working-class French and the English industrial and commercial leaders. The growth of hydroelectric power and the wood pulp industry helped to create manufacturing plants in Quebec and Ontario and brought French Canadian workers into the cities, particularly Montreal.

The rate of growth of the French Canadian population and the lack of good workable land outside the narrow St. Lawrence and Richelieu valleys contributed to the rush to low-paying jobs in urban industries and to the growth of urban slums, especially in Montreal. By Quebec was the most urbanized and industrialized of all Canadian provinces, including Ontario, which remained the most populous and the wealthiest.

The Quebec government, devoted to the 19th-century policy of laissez-faire economics, recklessly encouraged industry and did little to check its worst excesses. With few exceptions the new enterprises were owned and directed by English Canadians or U. At the same time, industrialization destroyed the myths by which French Canada had survived: that of the Roman Catholic mission to the New World and the cult of agriculture as the basis of virtuous life. The clash of the traditional and the new came to a head in the last years of the regime of Premier Maurice Duplessis , an economic conservative and Quebec nationalist who led Quebec in —39 and — Reelected in , Duplessis refused to cooperate with most of the new social and educational initiatives launched by the King and Saint Laurent governments.

Montreal and other urban centres grew rapidly after the war, and a burgeoning French-speaking urban middle class was entering business and other white-collar professions. Increasing s of students completed high school and entered Canadian colleges and universities. A prolonged and bitter strike by asbestos workers began a period of labour conflict and gave young idealists—one of them Pierre Trudeau , future prime minister of Canada—a chance to combine with labour in a struggle for a free society of balanced interests. At the time of his death in , the province was ready for major political changes.

Lesage launched several new legislative initiatives aimed at reforming the corruption that had become widespread during the Duplessis years, transforming and improving the social and educational infrastructure , removing the Roman Catholic church from most secular activities, and involving the provincial government directly in economic development. It also established a new provincial pension plan, creating a large pool of investment capital. After the Liberals were defeated by the Union Nationale in , the range of extremes widened in Quebec.

The Liberal Party was federalist, holding that the reforms needed in Quebec could be obtained within the federal system. To the left of the traditional parties, however, opinion ranged from a demand for a special status for Quebec to support for separation and independence. An active minority of leftist Montrealers broke with the Liberals and began advocating independence as a first step to social change. Other social revolutionaries, inspired by refugees from Algeria and by events in Cuba at that time, began to practice terrorism.

Bombings began in and continued sporadically. Subsequently some people were arrested, and troops were moved into Quebec. The Canadian public generally approved of the act, but few convictions followed, except of those accused of the murder of Laporte. Fast Facts. Videos Images Audio. Additional Info. Load . Quebec separatism French Canadian nationalists favoured some form of enhanced status for Quebec: special status within confederation, a new form of association on the basis of equality with English Canada, or complete independence as a sovereign country.

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Quebec wanting to lose it

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