A Nation Beyond Borders
Lionel Groulx on French-Canadian Minorities
Publication Year: 2014
“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.
Published by: University of Ottawa Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Table of Contents
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Ferdinanda Van Gennip
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A few points of clarification regarding the style and terminology used in this book may be useful. While the lack of inclusive language may offend some, it was felt that in a work of historiography such as this, it would be too jarring to translate, for example, les hommes as “men and women...
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In 2004, when this book was originally published, the historiographical debates surrounding the ideology of Abbé Lionel Groulx (1878–1967) were once again heating up. As French Canada’s most influential nationalist intellectual from the 1920s to the 1950s, the interest Groulx has elicited over...
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“The dominant fact about French life in America, during the past century, is without a doubt that it became dispersed. French Canada can no longer be defined as a geographical expression limited by the borders of Québec.”1 Those were the parameters used by Lionel Groulx...
Chapter One. The French Minorities in the Work and Thought of Lionel Groulx: The Blind Spot of Historians of French-Canadian Nationalism
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The French-Canadian national identity issue is one that historians rarely seem to tire of. There is in our historiography—from François-Xavier Garneau to Gérard Bouchard, including Fernand Dumont and, of course, Lionel Groulx—a tradition which, despite different...
Chapter Two. The French Minorities, Remnant of an Empire: French Canada, Its Apostolic Vocation and Founding Mission
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We have observed, in the preceding chapter, that the vast majority of historians of French-Canadian nationalism and of Lionel Groulx’s thought tend to ignore the issue of the French minorities. The theory of “provincialism,” first proposed in the 1950s, has only in the last twenty years...
Chapter Three. Québec and Its Relationship to the French Minorities: The Ties That Bind
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Lionel Groulx regarded the French-Canadian nation as an organic entity or a “being” whose emergence, willed by Providence, dated back to the era of New France. As such, the national organism continued to evolve, grow and develop. Groulx’s view was that the English...
Chapter Four. The Franco-Ontarians and Regulation 17: The Awakening of the Nation The Awakening of the Nation
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The Regulation 17 crisis (1912–1927) is considered even today as a foundational event for the Franco-Ontarian1 identity. In fact, it was during those years of conflict that some of the most important Franco-Ontarian institutions were born, the Association canadienne-française d’éducation...
Chapter Five. The French Minorities and the “French State”: The Indépendantiste Theory During the Interwar Period
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To what extent did Abbé Groulx contribute to pushing the French-Canadian nationalist movement toward indépendantisme or, at least, a more territorial version of nationalism that limited itself to Québec and excluded the French minorities in the other provinces? The minorities, as we have demonstrated...
Chapter Six. From the Second World War to the Quiet Revolution: Lionel Groulx, the French Minorities and Québécois Neo‑Nationalism (1945–1967)
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Historians of French Canada generally consider the postwar years as a period of extraordinary transformation. Impelled by the young intellectuals of the 1940s and 1950s, the nationalist movement sought to “modernize” the French-Canadian nation. It wanted to see the nation reconciled...
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The political and ideological upheavals of the postwar period and the Quiet Revolution in Quebec, provoked a mixed reaction from Lionel Groulx. On the one hand, he applauded the ever-increasing numbers in the French-Canadian political class supporting nationalism (especially...
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Page Count: 325
Publication Year: 2014