Quebec, province, Canada: Confederation and the French-English Question

Confederation and the French-English Question

With the formation of the confederation of Canada in 1867, Canada East became the province of Quebec. Provisions for the preservation of its special, traditional institutions were specifically written into the Canadian constitution. English and French were made the official languages of both Quebec and the Canadian parliament, and a dual school system was established within Quebec. However, in 1974 French was made the sole official language of the province, and all non-English-speaking children were required to attend French-language schools. But the coexistence of majority-French and minority-English cultures within the province and the reverse situation within Canada as a whole have remained sources of tension. Attempts in Manitoba and Ontario at the beginning of the 20th cent. to curtail or abolish separate Catholic schools increased the French Canadians' feeling of isolation. In 1917 they vehemently opposed conscription for World War I.

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