Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis: The Quiet Revolution

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In the late 19th century, attempts to settle in Western United States created violence between the First Nations and settlers. The Canadian Government also wanted to entice settlers to Western Canada, but wanted to avoid the result the USA faced. The government encouraged the First Nations people to sign treaties that offered benefits, such as health-care and education, in return for most of their land (they would be given Reserves). In 1876, Parliament passed the Indian Act, this gave the government nearly full control of the Reserves and the people living on them. The government restricted the rights of the Aboriginals: they were no longer able to govern themselves, to vote, they now required permission to leave the Reserve, and were prohibited…show more content…
Duplessis had been in control for decades and kept Quebec old-fashioned in regards to social conditions (e.g., women could not vote until 1940), but he had supported the Catholic Church, the French language, and Quebec’s rural culture. After his death, the Jean Lesage and the Liberals came into power and made Quebec society more secular. This caused many people to begin to question the social standards, and they were moving away from their traditions towards a more modern way of living. Before Lesage came into power, mostly anglophones controlled the provinces businesses and industries and francophones filled the unskilled positions. Lesage bought a privately owned electric power companies and put them together to create Hydro-Quebec, he had francophones run the company and conduct business in French. Hydro-Quebec began a source of pride to the francophones who saw it as a symbol of New Quebec. This time of intense change caused Quebec citizens to question the role of Quebec in Canada, and began to demand equal status in Confederation for francophone culture. Though the people liked Lesage’s changes, they were costly and rose taxes to the highest in Canada. The people were unhappy with this and began to question the authority of Lesage. Many thought he had gone too far, others believed he did not go far enough and wanted complete independence for Quebec. Eventually, Union Nationale came back into power in 1966. Francophone nationalism gave rise to a movement that believed they could control their own destiny, but only if Quebec was a country of its own. This rise of nationalism caused the federal government to take action in the form of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. The purpose was to examine the French and English language in Canada to make sure both languages remain prevalent in Canadian culture. English and French were

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