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The Psychology and the History of Quebec Nationalism - Essay Example

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Since the beginning of civilization, people have had a desire to form and bond with groups. As civilization progressed, so did the organization and structure of these groups. Groups became towns, then states, then nations; with the rise of organized nations based upon common goals of people emerges the concept of nationalism…
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The Psychology and the History of Quebec Nationalism
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Download file to see previous pages "While nationalism does not necessarily arise in all nations, it, nevertheless, cannot exist without the context of the existence of a nation."2
Quebec is a nation that has repeatedly attempted to separate from Canada. Specifically, they are seeking to independence from Canada while retaining an economic partnership. Quebec was founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, became an English colony in 1763, was reestablished with French law in 1774, divided by the English in 1791, and reunited by the Act of the Union in 1840. Since then, Quebec has been in a constant battle with Canada to become its own nation. Recently, Canada has opposed all efforts and even some compromises of Quebec's drive for separation.3
In order to examine this issue within the context of Quebec, one must examine it from both an historical and a psychological perspective. The historical perspective will trace the significant developments within this struggle and analyze its historical (including legislative and judicial) issues and impacts. In addition, the psychological perspective will examine the underlying ideas of the conflict on a behavioral and socio/personal basis. Integrating these two approaches will effectively paint an overall picture of the political and social aspects involved with Quebec's battle for a national identity.
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1. Belanger, Claude,(2000),Events, Issues, and Concepts of Quebec History: Quebec Nationalism. Quebec History. Available from: Http://www2.marianopolis.edu/
quebechistory/events/natpart1.htm
2. Belanger
3. Perspective and History of Quebec Nationalism, UNI, Available from: http://www.uni.ca/history.html
History of the Conflict

It is impossible to analyze and issue of politics without first setting up its historical canvas. Before the mid 1900s, most nationalistic movements in Canada had to do with French Canadians as a whole rather than specifically Quebec nationalism. In 1962 Jean Lesage requested that Quebec be granted a type of "special status"; Daniel Johnson asked that proposed an establishment of "associated states" in 1967; Robert Bourassa asked that Quebec be given "distinct society" status in 1970, 1973 and 1976. All met with failure.4
Following this was the 1976 election of the Parti Quebecois. This party held a referendum in 1980 that sought to negotiate a political sovereignty from and an economic association with Canada. The people voted it down by a measure of 60/40. Many interpret this failure as a result of the belief in false promises of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. In fact, the federal government repatriated its own constitution which enabled Canada to then make modifications to it. The federal government did not reach this agreement with the provinces but on its own. It took effect in 1982 even though Quebec vociferously opposed it because it limited Quebec's ability to control matters of language and culture. Quebec has never signed this constitution. 5
In an attempt at compromise, Quebec asked the federal government to consider five clauses to be added to its constitution in a 1990 vote. These clauses became known as the Meech Lake Accord, and passing them would have allowed Quebec to sign the Canadian constitution. Two provinces refused to agree to the Meech Lake Ac ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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