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INTRODUCTION • F. C. A.]eanneret This symposium on "Quebec Today" will correct many popular misconceptions. The French Canadian will turn out to be a much more complex character than hitherto imagined , and un pays OU rien ne chi1nge will no longer be accepted as an accurate description of his province. In the cultural domain Ancients and Moderns are still at odds in Quebec as elsewhere, and the balance is fairly even; but a totally new phenomenon has recently emerged in the economic world, and here the New is rapidly outstripping the Old. Urbanization and industrialization have advanced at a very much faster pace than in any other part of Canada-in 1890, 37 per cent of the population lived in the towns and cities of Quebec, in 1951 more than 70 per cent-and this rapid transformation has resulted in widespread social restlessness. So, while the greatly reduced rural population still clings loyally to everything the Old Order stands for, to the much more numerous urban section new horizons are becoming increasingly attractive, especially when seeming to offer brighter social and economic prospects. The immediate phase of this rapidly evolving society is the subject of study of seven French-Canadian authorities, each interpreting his own field of specialization for the benefit of English-Canadian readers. The topics treated are of real significance and represent much that is distinctive , without any pretence, however, of giving a complete picture. If the aim were more encyclopaedic, much would properly be included by way of historical background, analysis, and evaluation of the French heritage and of individual achievement in the arts, professions, business, and industry. What the Editor requested from the authors of his choice was that each "article should treat the subject critically and should be addressed to an academic intellectual audience." The series was intended to represent no one school of thought, least of all that of the University of Toronto Quarterly, and the introduction called for from an outsider was merely to provide a brief explanatory setting. If any contributor 307 308 F. C. A. JEANNERET lays himself open to the suspicion of partisanship, this must be ascribed to his failure to regard the dispassionate objectivity of the Anglo-Saxon as a cardinal virtue. In the field of politics, thinking is a much more independent and highly individua1ized process in Quebec than anywhere else in Canada. A Torontonian could readily define nationalism to his own satisfaction in a sentence of not more than ten words. To such a Canadian, whose political creed is as often determined by instinct as by logic, Jean-Marc Leger's masterly exposition of this particular doctrine in its FrenchCanadian setting and application, with its infinite variety of concepts and total irreconcilability of factious disciples, will prove singularly revealing , and perhaps somewhat challenging to his mental faculties. Each succeeding article will disclose unsuspected qualities in JeanBaptiste and his milieu. While the authors take pride in some of his virtues and accomplishments, they are not unwilling to admit shortcomings and errors. Nor do they fail to indicate where English Canadians have fallen short in appreciation or co-operation. Perhaps the most novel, as well as the most completely documented, study in the series is that entitled "French Canadians and Democracy." Acceptance of the argument of Abbe Maheux might account for much that French Canadians find to criticize in their own electoral practices, though little palliative is left to their English-speaking compatriots for the incredible proceedings last June 10 in the St. Paul's constituency in Toronto. In any case, this article will serve to illustrate the dominant rBle that religion plays in every phase of the French Canadian's way of life. His every project, his individual and social planning, his political and economic thinking are all motivated and determined throughout by his religion. Yet even in the spiritual domain there is evidence of some change of attitude. While there is little likelihood of any serious anticlerical sentiment making much headway in French Canada in the foreseeable future, the growing social restlessness already referred to is reflected also in the establishment of numerous youth groups with various shades of political and religious affiliations, each with its own...


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pp. 307-309
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