Courtesy Reuters

For over 150 years after the fall of Quebec to the British in 1759, the Province of Quebec was a poor, agrarian, patriarchal, clerical society. It wanted little more from the English Canadians than to be let alone to slumber peacefully and to preserve its language and (like Ireland) its Roman Catholic religion. But little by little, and particularly since World War II, the industrialization and prosperity of the United States and of the rest of Canada have brought great changes. Less than half of the people of Quebec now live on farms; the growth of its cities has been enormous (Montreal now has more than a million people); and its rich natural resources-minerals, timber and hydroelectric power-have been rapidly developed.

By the early 1950s, as a result, Quebec had a small but brilliant and dynamic élite, which was determined that Quebec should become a modern society by breaking the hold of

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.

Subscribe