Quebec - A Double Revolution

Lemoi, B. Roy
Publisher:  SUPA Research Information and Publications Project , Canada
Year Published:  1964  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX11859

Discusses Quebecois nationalism in the early 1960s.

Abstract:  Quebec: A Double Revolution discusses Quebecois nationalism in the early 1960s and the momentum and desire of French Canadians to obtain greater independence from the Canadian government. Quebec's social and constitutional revolutions collided during the 1960s, bringing forth concerns about Quebec's rural population and the province's role within confederation. Lemoi presents a case for the French Canadian Liberation movement, arguing that a peaceful solution may be worked out by allowing Quebec to have greater control over political and economic decisions as well as their foreign policy. If Quebec were able to "conclude international agreements in the fields of culture, education, scientific and technical assistance" within confederation, Lemoi believes this may help solve some of the issues driving the separation movement.

Lemoi also discusses the gap between rural and urban Quebec, and how it poses serious social issues for the province. Lemoi summarizes two trends growing out of social change and institutional development. "First we have the growing concept of the role of the state both in securing of national and social goals. To the nationalists the growth of government power in Quebec is the only manner in which the nation can survive and develop. To socialists the government must play a more active role and more creative one in securing the economic well-being of Quebecers. The second trend in Quebec is the growth of what the Quebecers call "les corps intermediares" or intermediary institutions acting between the government and the population." The author refers in one case to a group of organized farmers who protested against the price of milk subsidies, eventually forcing the government to give in to their demands.

On the one hand, there is Quebec's struggle as a nation within a nation, and on the other, is the struggle to bridge the gap between the urban and rural populations of the province. Lemoi believes that Quebec requires political and economic changes, a revised immigration policy, and international recognition to improve the situation and diffuse the growing tensions. Lemoi's article speaks clearly of the atmosphere of Quebec in 1964 and demonstrates many ideas that would become central to the Quebecois movement.

[Abstract by William Stevenson]

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