The modernization of Quebec
Society
The Great Depression
 A period of economic hardship in North America
from 1929 to 1939
 Many people were left unemployed and homeless
and overwhelmed charity and religious groups
 At first slow to react, the government had to respond
by creating public work programs like building
bridges and roadways to try and employ those people
without jobs.
 The government also offered “direct relief”, which
was providing money to families to buy basic needs
Meurling Refuge - 1933
Wellington Tunnel
Reactions to the Great Depression
 The working people of Quebec and Canada and suffered
greatly during the Depression and lost confidence in the
traditional Conservative and Liberal political parties
because of their inaction.
 Many people wanted the government to take a greater a
role in protecting the people (state interventionism).
 People turned away from capitalist parties and started to
support socialist parties.
 In Quebec, people turned to French nationalist parties
like the Union Nationale (led by Maurice Duplessis) that
promoted traditional French Catholic values and an
agricultural way of life.
Maurice Duplessis
Duplessis’ Politics – “Grande Noirceur”
 Duplessis’ main concern was protecting the traditional
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French Canadian identity. Everything else was not
important.
He funded modernization of Quebec’s farms and built
new roads to access agricultural areas better.
He left all social programs (education, health care, etc.)
in the hands of the Catholic Church.
He left developing the economy up to private businesses
and let businesses buy up natural resources for next to
nothing.
Duplessis also hated unions and would hire “strike
breakers” (thugs) to beat union members on strike.
Duplessis Orphans
 Many children during the Depression were orphaned
because their parents were not married, had died or
abandoned them to look for work.
 Children in Quebec orphanages (run by the Church)
were declared mentally insane and moved to insane
asylums. Asylums received funding from the federal
government and not the Quebec government.
Children underwent shock treatment, lobotomies,
physical and sexual abuse.
 Survivors successfully sued the government and the
Church in the 1990’s.
Quebec and WWII
 Canada’s participation in WWII gave a boost to the
economy. Parliament passed the War Measures Act
which gave the government the power to control the
production of factories for the war effort. It employed
many men and women in Quebec.
 WWII also brought back conscription and created
tensions between French and English Canadians. Most
French Canadians voted against conscription in the
referendum.
 During WWII many women worked in the war factories
giving them greater financial independence. Women
gained the right to vote in Quebec in 1940 also.
Quebec society between 1960
and 1980
The Quiet Revolution and the modernization of
the province (1960-1970)
 The Liberal party in 1960-66, under the leadership of
Jean Lesage, started to change the province in many
ways that made it very different from the Quebec
that Duplessis wanted.
 The Quebec government nationalized
hydroelectricity (Hydro Quebec), created numerous
Crown corporations, and made education more
accessible.
 Under Lesage, the government is much more
involved in the economy (interventionist) than
Duplessis.
Jean Lesage
Hydro Quebec
The Quiet Revolution
 The Quiet Revolution is the name given to the great
change in the society of Quebec during the 1960’s.
Some of those changes were:
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Less importance for the Catholic Church, social services are
taken over by the government (Secularization)
- There were more civil servants (people working for the
government) who were all a part of unions
-Greater rights for women. Feminists demanded that women
be paid equal to men.
Quiet Revolution
 There was also an affirmation of Quebec
nationalism. The newly created Parti Quebecois
believed that Quebec should “maitres chez nous”
(“masters in our own house”). The PQ promoted the
French language and Quebec culture.
Presentations
 Do a 1-2 minute presentation on one of the following
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questions:
What were the consequences of the Great Depression for
Quebec and Canada?
What were the consequences of WWII in Quebec?
Explain why the Duplessis era government has been
called the “Great Darkness”.
Explain how Quebec became more modern in the 1960’s
during the Quiet Revolution.
Explain the events of the October Crisis and how it
affected the relations between the people of Quebec and
the federal government.
What you need to include in your presentation
 Specific details: people’s names, places, dates, names
of important laws
 Give your audience the who, what, when, where, why
and how of your topic.
 Make sure you answer the question directly. Don’t
wander off topic.
 Make sure you know what you are talking about it.
Do not read off your cue cards, actually know what
you want to say before you go up there.
Monday
 Toni, lillya, Kelly, Ross, Eunji, Hanad, Roshan,
Tabatha, Tim
 Kasey, David, Anthony, Effie, Tyrone, Damien,