If anglo Canadians knew Canadian history …
Letter posted in several newspapers in Western Canada, was written by Frank Hart
If anglo Canadians bothered to know the history of Canada, they would welcome their French Canadians partners with open arms because, without the French Canadians of the 1770s, Canada would not exist today.
If Quebecers were English at that time, all the colonies of North America including Canada would have been freed from King George III of England during the American Revolution.
It was the distinct society of French Canadians, their language, religion and customs that gave England its last chance to remain in North America.
After the conquest of Quebec in 1759, Britain tried to assimilate the French Canadians in English medium (Royal Proclamation 1763). We may wonder how 65,000 French Canadians were able to survive in an American empire of two and a half million people who spoke only English. The French Canadians did not know where to go. With the exception of about 5000, all were born in Quebec. They were home. Quebec was not a wilderness but a budding country. The problems today have their genesis in this undeniable fact. French Canadians are undoubtedly a separate company and Britain recognized this fact. England had many other things to do than deal with trying to eradicate the French language and the Catholic religion.
Although the Catholic religion was outlawed in Britain, it was virtually unaffected in Quebec.
In addition, the Quebec Act of 1774 was passed in Britain. It was the final withdrawal of the rule of assimilation. The Act also annexed the western territories between the Ohio River and the upper Mississippi to Quebec. The Quebec Act specified that the province of Quebec had been given special status by an Act of the Imperial Parliament of Great Britain (number 2). The Quebec Act of 1774, 14 George 111 Ch.83 (UK). « An act that solidified the Government of the Province of Quebec in North America. »
Only 16 years after the conquest of Quebec, the 13 American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. Less than 40 years later, in 1812, American southern insurgents tried to invade Canada. In both cases, the British needed the French Canadians. The British knew that the French Canadians were determined to remain a separate company. The British also knew they would need their help, or at least the passivity of French Canadians to repel the invasion. It was not until the exasperating that Britain could gain their support. Without the French Canadians, there would be no English Canadians today. We would all be citizens of the United States of America.
I thank my brothers, the French Canadians, for saving Canada. I am an Anglo-Canadian, but I do not agree with the attitude of English.
Note: This letter, posted in several newspapers in Western Canada, was written by Frank Hart, residing at 25, Cortez Place, Nanaimo, BC
Following a telephone conversation with the author (July 5, 2001), we obtained permission to publish his letter in The Oak Leaf, review of the Genealogical Society of Saint-Eustache, and AWAKENING, weekly in our region, in honor of our families at the time.
Norman-Guy Goudreau, SEMS