Thoughout The 20th Century, Relations Between French Canadians, And English Canadian's Had An Negative Impact On Canada

1514 words - 6 pages

Throughout the 20th century, the relations between the French and the English in Canada had a significant negative impact on Canadian history. The defining moments that changed French-English relations in Canada were the WWI conscription crisis, the creation and the governing of the Union Nationale Party in the 1930s, and Quebec's Quite Revolution in the 1960s.The WWI conscription crisis considerably weakened the relations between the French and the English in Canada during WWI. By 1917, the casualty rates at the front in France and Flanders exceeded 109 4891 soldiers. As the number of volunteer soldiers was only about 64 3392 men, the lack of reinforcements forced Prime Minister Robert Borden to make conscription or compulsory military service a law for Canadians to ensure victory in war. However, many French Canadians opposed forcing men to enlist in the armed forces because they did not want to get involved in a European war and felt no obligation to defend France who had abandoned Quebec to defend its culture and language on its own in 1759. On the other hand, the English felt an obligation to defend Britain and could not comprehend why Quebec had only provided twenty percent3 of the volunteers in proportion to its population to defend France. As a result, the social unity of the French and the English in the country was threatened. The vote for conscription was split fifty-fifty4 along linguistic lines and the tragic outcome of this crisis was that civil war almost broke out in Canada when the French rioted in Montreal against fighting a foreign war. The demonstrations and protests in Quebec against conscription and the mistrust of the English who felt that a vote against conscription was a vote for Germany's victory proved that conscription was disastrous to French-English social relations because of national unity had been destroyed for only 45 0005 recruited soldiers. Similarly, the long-term effects of the WWI conscription crisis caused extensive damage to French-English unity and proved to be a disaster in politics for the Conservative Party. Because Robert Borden and the Conservative Party passed laws such as the Military Voters Act and the War Time Elections Act to make conscription a law during WWI by giving votes to soldiers and women, the French turned against the Conservative Party because they saw them as the representatives of the English. These long-term political disasters that resulted from conscription crisis continued to demonstrate the weakened French and English relations to this day since Quebec had no Conservative Party premier for the past hundred and fifteen years.6 Because of the violent social conflicts such as riots and bitter political catastrophes such as the French mistrust of the Conservative Party, the WWI conscription crisis strained French-English relations and created bitter feelings that would affect the peacetime.Another defining moment in Canadian history that greatly weakened French English relations...

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