Baldwin and LaFontaine: Union
The victory of the Reform Party on 24 January 1848 was one of the most significant in Canadian history.Baldwin, LaFontaine and Responsible Government, The Canadian Encyclopedia
English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians are not incompatible. Lord Durham suggested an assimilative Union, but Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine, the Reformers, mapped out a genuine union.
Therefore, would that Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine had been alive when Confederation occurred. Confederation had French-speaking opponents, but several French Canadians wanted to join Confederation and Sir George-Étienne Cartier had good reasons to persuade his province to enter into a strong partnership: Confederation.
When the ancestral thirty acres (trente arpents) could no longer be divided or were too expensive to puchase; when, moreover, there was no prospect of employment in Quebec, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 French-speaking Canadians and Acadians left for the United States. Le curé Labelle asked farmers to go north and make land (faire de la terre), but many couldn’t. This period of Canadian history is called the exodus.
When Québécois fully realize the harm John A. Macdonald inflicted on 1) Amerindians, 2) French Canadians, and, to a large extent, on 3) English-speaking Canadians, they must stay calm. All must stay calm.
We have a future to build, and it must be built harmoniously.
A word on Covid-19. Quebec and other Canadian provinces have entered the second wave of the Covid-19 crisis. Let us protect one another and make sure that people do not resort to suicide. Losing one’s position is a terrible affliction, but this is a crisis and governments must help. People are afraid. My little area of Quebec is a pale yellow zone, but that will probably change. Quebec City, Québec’s capital, is the current epicentre of the pandemic in this province. However, it seems Covid-19 will not spare anyone. I’ve been indoors since early March. It isn’t good. Yet, I pity those who must go out. Let us help one another.
A few novels tell about the exodus and the many obstacles French Canadians had to face. These are:
- La Terre paternelle (Patrice Lacombe; 1846) (novel: Canadiana.2)
- Maria Chapdelaine (Louis Hémon; 1914) (novel: Canadiana.2)
- Un Homme et son péché (Claude-Henri Grignon; 1933) (novel: Canadiana.2)
- Trente Arpents (Ringuet; 1938) (novel: Canadiana.2)
- Alexis de Tocqueville on Lower Canada (17 September 2018) (a related posts)
- Lord Durham’s Report
- Le curé Labelle
- See Canadiana.2
I have written posts about all four novels. Besides, these are novels I have taught. As you know, my teaching-load was very wide: six areas. It was all but lethal. I also created language-lab components.
Love to everyone 💕
© Micheline Walker
22 Octobre 2020