In this Book
- A Nation Beyond Borders: Lionel Groulx on French-Canadian Minorities
- Published by: University of Ottawa Press
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“The dominant fact about French life in America, during the past century, is without a doubt that it has become dispersed. French Canada can no longer be considered a geographical expression defined by the borders of Québec.” These were the words Lionel Groulx used in 1935 to describe the parameters of the French-Canadian nation.Intellectual leader of the nationalist school from the 1920s to the 1950s, the priest and historian became one of the chief advocates of solidarity between Québec and the French minorities, his nationalism extending well beyond the borders of la vieille province.
For some fifty years now, the redefinition of nationalist discourse in terms of territory alone has been reflected in the writings of many Québec historians and intellectuals. With a few exceptions, researchers have, in their studies of Groulx, tended to disregard the issue of the French minorities, one that nevertheless constitutes a fundamental element of his thought. Since the 1950s, the Canon has been portrayed, more often than not, as the architect of a “Québecois” nationalism, sometimes a separatist nationalism, essentially seeking greater political autonomy for Québec.
If the recent debates surrounding Lionel Groulx’s thought are any indication of a sustained interest in the man, they also suggest that historians have not nearly exhausted their study of his work.