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French in Quebec - Essay Example

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This paper "French in Quebec" focuses on the fact that the struggles between English Canada and French Canada have a very long history dating back to the beginning of immigration within the country. These struggles were brought about primarily as neither culture living in Canada. …
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French in Quebec
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Download file to see previous pages The peoples felt they should retain the right to send their children to French-speaking schools that taught religion the way they interpreted it while the Irish Canadians attempting to assimilate the French felt that the only way to do so was to eliminate the language differences and ‘squeeze out’ the French resistance by raising the children of the region to the Irish way of thinking in English-speaking schools. Language emerged as the major ground of contention because, as Jane Jacobs (1980) says: “Cultural sovereignty revolves around language” (111). Having lost their connection with France, the French Canadians were soon overwhelmed by their English-speaking neighbours and found it necessary to either fight for their culture and heritage or learn to live as a disenfranchised people. To understand how they managed to retain their own culture and language within the confines of a predominantly English-speaking country, thus establishing the true concepts of nationalism and democracy, it is necessary to trace the history and evolution of the cultural identity of French Canada.

Founded in 1608 by the French Samuel de Champlain, the region has seen tremendous swings in the recognition and rights of French Canadians ever since. The colony and new country thrived until 1759 when the Quebec and French armies were defeated in the Siege of Quebec. In the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Quebec and the French-speaking residents of New France suddenly became an English colony, immediately subject to the same laws and restrictions placed on English residents – namely, English was the official language, Catholicism was abolished and the French citizens of yesterday were now expected to follow English civil and criminal laws (“Perspective”, 2001). These restrictions were eased significantly with the signing of the Quebec Act in 1774 as the British attempted to focus their military strength against the growing resistance of the lower American colonies that would, in two years, declare independence and begin the United States of America.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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