Essay Outline: Quebec’s Quiet Revolution
Introduction: The conquest of Quebec in 1759 by the English forces started the continuous conflict between French and English Canadians. Even though the French were allowed to practice Roman Catholicism and to retain their French language, discontent abounded because of economic pressures and the Federal Government’s greater interest in Anglophone Canada. The French felt, since they were the first European settlers in Canada, they deserved certain rights and privileges. With the advent of Premier Maurice Duplessis’ twenty year rule of Quebec, the province of Quebec became quite strong and the birth of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution. Unfortunately, for Canada, as the movement gained strength, the seeds of separatism started to grow.
Duplessis promoted a policy of survival for Quebec within a different culture. Jean Lesage furthered Quebec’s demands within a Canadian partnership in which Quebec determined its own fate, while Rene Levesque advocated full independence for Quebec, an independence that would amount to separation from Canada.
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As premier of Quebec for twenty years, Maurice Duplessis was able to introduce an era of stability that emphasized the importance of Quebec as a province within Canada.
Quebec officially adopted the fleur de lis as the flag of Quebec.
Duplessis battled Ottawa for the respect and power granted in the B.N.A. for Quebec.
Duplessis’ moto was “co-operation always, assimilation never”.
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Although the older generation of Quebecers and most rural Quebecers accepted Duplessis’ policy of survival within a different culture, younger Quebecers such as Jean Lesage demanded change that would allow Quebec more power to determine her own fate.
Lesage ensured the survival of the French language and French culture.
Removed much power from the Roman Catholic Church.
Lesage got the right to not pay towards major cost-sharing program such as the Canada Pension Plan.
Under Lesage, Quebec gained special rights, privileges and conssions.
With the defeat of Lesage by Daniel Johnson and the Union National Party in 1966 the Quiet Revolution was over.
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The Quiet Revolution contributed to the birth of Separatism and under Rene Levesque, the separatists wanted complete independence.
Levesque recommended full independence for Quebec (separatism).
Rene Levesque became a separatist.
The Quebec Government’s attempt to open offices in foreign nations?when they are not suppose to?strained relationships between Quebec and Ottawa.
In 1976 Levesque’s Parti Quebecois gained power of 76 seats.
The movement towards separatism became violent with the formation of the F.L.Q.(Front de Liberation du Quebec).
The F.L.Q. committed acts of terrorism.
The 1980 referendum advocating that Quebec be a sovereign state failed by a 60%(Non)to 40%(Oui)vote.
Quebec’s Quiet Revolution resulted in more power for Quebec within the Canadian Nation; it also led to the birth of separatism under Levesque and even to the use of terrorism in Quebec against pro Canada supporters. As Levesque’s influence grew, the first referendum was held in 1980. Although failing to get a majority yes vote, this referendum would give birth to a second referendum in 1995 which lost by only 1.16%.