Can someone explain to me what the Quiet Revolution is and how it contributed to the modernization of Quebec?
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Explanation from Alloprof
This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.
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The “Quiet Revolution” is a period in Quebec history that unfolded between 1960 and 1966 under the government of Jean Lesage.
When we speak of "revolution", we are referring to rapid change with generally no turning back. Here, we are talking about a revolution with an objective of modernizing the values of Quebec society and its political elites. This revolution is said to have been "quiet" because it took place in a rather peaceful environment, compared to the struggles and violence in the United States and in France, for example.
Indeed, the Quiet Revolution in Quebec was influenced by the social struggles that were taking place at the same time in the United States and in France, which defended values such as justice, equality and the solidarity of peoples. In the United States, with key figures like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, they fought against the racial segregation of blacks people. In France, the massive arrival of students from the Baby Boom in universities is creating tensions. They are calling for changes in higher education. At the same time, French workers are demanding better working conditions.
In Quebec, the government of Jean Lesage, driven by these values of justice and equity, is implementing various social measures and investing in controlling the province's economy in order to ensure greater economic equality between the Quebecois. This is called the welfare state; a government which intervenes in the economic and social fields of its state to ensure the development of the whole community. The government of Jean Lesage is therefore putting in place measures to create jobs and reduce unemployment. During the 1960s, the Quebec government even became one of the largest employers in the province. Jean Lesage reformed the Quebec Labor Code by authorizing the unionization of workers and authorizing again the right to strike without risk of repression. In 1969, his government also put in place the Social Assistance Act, which provided financial assistance to the most disadvantaged in the province.
During the Quiet Revolution, Quebec's identity was defined and asserted as a nation. The term “French Canadians” is abandoned and it’s the start of the “Québécois” and “Québécoises” identity . Quebec is beginning to develop its own relations with other French-speaking states in the world as a distinct entity from the rest of Canada. Women got recognition in the issues of Quebec society by asserting themselves more and engaging in the fight for the equal recognition of their rights. We could also see a rise in the desire to protect the French language. At the time, Quebec's religious culture was also seriously questioned and people were fighting for the recognition of human rights and freedoms. These social transformations in the mentality of Quebecers promoted the development of a strong national feeling in Quebec. It was at this time that Quebec's desire for independence from Canada was born, which led, in 1968, to the founding of the Parti Quebecois and, in 1980, to the first attempt at a referendum.
With these changes in the mentalities of the Quebec people, culture and the arts are transformed to reflect this new identity. We are witnessing the emergence of Quebec theatre. Not only did the evolution of mentalities nourish the new Quebec artistic culture, but it also served as a means to propagate and reinforce these new values , which Quebec society has adopted.
The Quiet Revolution therefore established the welfare state that is today's Quebec government, founded Quebec's national identity as a people distinct from the rest of Canada, promoted equality between people and promoted effervescence of Quebec culture, particularly in the artistic field.
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