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The Quiet Revolution And Its Negative Impact On Quebec

2089 words - 8 pages

In Canadian history, nationalism and sovereignty tend to be common themes prevalent since Confederation. A well-known example of this in Quebec was during the Quiet Revolution which strengthened the need for change through Premier Lesage’s reforms and in turn, developed a strong sense of nationalism in Quebec. In contrast to beliefs that the rapid modernization of the Quiet Revolution had a positive impact on Quebec, it rather had a negative impact on Quebec and its citizens and identity. The three consequences which arose in Quebec as a result of the revolution are the encouragement of separatism, the elimination of traditional values and roles and the establishment of powerful bureaucratic control. Quebec’s attempt to be more like the rest of Canada and to protect French Canadian identity unleashed a new form of nationalism, capable of threatening Canada’s unity and destroying Quebec itself, as witnessed during the Quiet Revolution.
The first consequence to be investigated with regard to the revolution having a more negative impact on Quebec rather than a positive one is the encouragement of separatism. Maître chez-nous, the new mentality for Quebec to be masters in their own house, was established by Premier Lesage with goals for Quebec to determine their own fate; however, separatists advocated full independence as the only real solution. The strong feelings of separatism consequently led to the formation of the Front de Liberation du Quebec and other revolutionary groups who were committed to terrorism because they, “believed words didn’t get them anywhere so perhaps someone in Ottawa would listen to bombs.” (FLQ Backgrounder Web) The FLQ was responsible for more than 200 bombings between 1963 and 1970 (Baldwin 15) to push for Quebec independence, though the federal government wanted to maintain Canada’s unity. This violence could have been avoided if the revolution had not awakened these separatist feelings during a time when Quebec had recently experienced the Dark Ages. In further analysis, angry people are more likely to listen to militants and commit violent acts, building a tense environment for Quebec citizens to live in. According to CBC Digital Archives, in response to the FLQ and other revolutionary groups forming, “when innocent people became injured from terrorist attacks, the cry for police involvement became shrill.” (FLQ Backgrounder Web) It is evident in this statement that many separatists who resorted to acts of terrorism consequently stimulated anger and fear in Quebec. If the Quiet Revolution had not occurred and the feelings of separatism and rise of terrorist groups did not follow, fewer people would have been hurt by the violence, both directly and indirectly. All things considered, the encouragement of separatism also weakened English-French relations as Quebec left 30 large shared programs, though the other provinces did not have the right to do so. All things considered, “from the Quebec Act of 1774 to the...

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