The Historical And Cultural Context Of French-Canadian Identity In Canada

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While surveying the historical and cultural context of Quebec as well as the various language debates that have occurred over time, one may notice that certain themes continue to reemerge. Reoccurring themes such as French-Canadian identity, survival, nationalism, and sovereignty span a large period of history and can be applied in both a modern and historical context and are applicable to many peoples, both francophone and others, who have lived in Quebec and in other French speaking areas across Canada.
The concept of French-Canadian identity is one that has been constantly evolving, and for that reason it is worthy of much closer examination. This theme is crucial for understanding how the Québécois have viewed themselves throughout history
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It is about surviving using specific means and unique French-Canadian identified by Alexis Lachaîne as French Language, Roman Catholicism, and the ideal of a traditional farming vocation (Lachaîne, 69). However, these ideals were not always enough to ward off attack from many areas of the outside world: first with the Riel Affair and later with the Ontario Schools Crisis. These events made clear the threat facing the survival of French outside of Quebec’s boarders and greatly encouraged solidarity among French speakers across the nation for the sake of survival. However, by the 1960s, neo-nationalists sought to disrupt this solidarity, arguing “that the survival of French Canada could only be maintained within Quebec itself” (Lachaîne, 76). The allusions made to French dying in Canada and to Quebec being a sick nation prompted the creation of legislation in order to ensure the survival of French within Quebec’s …show more content…
If one would like to understand Québec culture, it is necessary to look at nationalism and its roots in history starting from early conflicts between the English and French and continuing to today. Though there had been a strong belief in a French-Canadian nation spread across Canada but, according to Alexis Lachaîne, “the timing of the [Ontario] schools crisis… solidified French-Canadian nationalism within Quebec itself” (Lachaîne, 74). As Quebec fostered a growing nationalist sentiment, the idea of the Quebec State emerged in the years following the Quiet

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