French English Relations in Canadian History

Topics: Canada, Quebec, Manitoba Pages: 4 (1349 words) Published: July 11, 2013
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Throughout the 20th Century in Canada there have been large amounts of tension and hostility between two of the largest ethnic groups, French and English Canadians. Both groups have attempted to gain the upper hand in battles over politics, language, religion, and culture. It is unfortunate that this bitter battle between Canadians is still taking place today. It is worth noting that the French make up 24% of Canada’s population, about 6.5 million, 6.2 million are living in Quebec. The three main historical events that have pushed relationships between French and English Canadians to the breaking point that ultimately led to violence and the threat of separation are the Manitoba School Question, Conscription in World War I, and the October Crisis. The Manitoba Schools Question began in 1890 with the abolishment of public funding to Catholic Schools, and ended with the Laurier-Greenway compromise in late 1896. “The 1870 Manitoba Act established a dual system of Protestant and Roman Catholic Schools” (Crunican, Paul E. Pg. 1). This meant that The Board of Education used public funding for both Protestant and Catholic Schools. In later years the French Roman Catholic population decreased rapidly as the English Protestant population increased, and became a large majority in Manitoba. Liberal Premier of Manitoba, Tomas Greenway abolished the Board of Education and public funding to Catholic schools in 1890 and erected a Department of Education under ministerial leadership. “Two Privy Council decisions, 1892 and early 1895, upheld the validity of the Manitoba law but affirmed the federal government’s power to restore the lost school privileges” (Crunican, Paul E. Pg 1). The Federal election of 1896 was fought primarily on the issue of the Manitoba School Question and was won by Liberal leader Wilfred Laurier. He promised less abrasive and more effective “sunny ways” to...


Bibliography: CRUNICAN, PAUL E. “Manitoba Schools Question.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Foundation, 2012. Print.
"Conscription Crisis of Canada (1917)." Gale Canada in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2011.Gale Canada In Context. Web. 15 May 2012.
Auger, Martin F. "On The Brink Of Civil War: The Canadian Government And The Suppression Of The 1918 Quebec Easter Riots." Canadian Historical Review 89.4 (2008): 503-540. Canadian Reference Centre. Web. 14 May 2012.
Dominique Clément, "The October Crisis of 1970: Human Rights Abuses Under the War Measures Act" Journal of Canadian Studies  42, 2 (2008). 
Laurier, Wilfrid. "Wilfrid Laurier Quotes." Famous Quotes. N.p., 2011. Web. 28 May 2012.
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