Jewish Folk

Quebec was a province of Catholicism and its government was very conservative (not the big C, but the little c).  It truly believes in preserving old customs, and following traditions that were made hundreds of years ago. The cultural/religious differences between French Canadians and Jewish folk was the main reason the French-Canadians were anti-Semitic (against Jews).

The Jews aren’t the only opposition of the French, in terms of religion. Most of the British were Protestant and there would always be religious conflicts between the Catholics (French) and the Protestants (British).

Now, the question lies: How did the French and the British start fighting and hating each other? Well, it started when French explorers (Champlain, Cartier, et al) claimed Canada for France. With this declaration, French civilization flourished for approximately 200 years.

Samuel de Champlain

In 1756, the Seven Years’ War started, which was a battle caused by the global conflict between Britain, France, and their respective colonies. It ended in seven years (hence the name) in 1763, with the British being victorious, and ending the French rule in Canada. The British defeated the French in the Plains of Abraham, and Canada becomes a British colony under the Treaty of Paris. The British do permit the French to pursue their Catholic faith and their culture (language and civil law).

In 1774, the Quebec Act was launched that further entrenches the rights of French Canadians. About a century later, in 1867, Quebec joins the Confederation, providing that the French rights would be protected. However, certain events and occurrences really dissatisfied the French Canadians. Some of these events include:

  • Riel uprising
  • Manitoba schools controversy
  • Boer War (a war where the Dutch were fighting against the British)
  • Naval Crisis (under Laurier)

The Anglo society in Quebec flourished under the British rule, whereas the French chose to be become isolated and adhere to their own culture.

The French culture that the French strongly adhered to are known as the 3F’s & C:

Faith

  • Regardless of British settlement in Quebec, Roman Catholic faith remained the dominant religion in the province until the mid-20th century
  • The Protestant and the Catholics had many conflicts which led to conflicts throughout Europe (Seven Years’ Wars, etc.)
  • The Church was involved in all aspects of French life: education, politics, land use, labour, etc.

Farm

  • Until the mid-20th century, most of French Canada had been rural, based on a long standing tradition of French Seignurial System
  • Farming is the central economic unit of French society and is the livelihood approved by the Church

Family

  • French Canadian families are extremely large, compared to British families
  • Catholicism disapproves of birth-control (a message sent from the Church)
  • Large families are required to work family farms

Civil Law

  • The foundation of this law came out of the French Revolution, often referred to as Napoleanic code (based on the Roman Law)
  • This law covers private matters only: the legal attributes of a person (e.g. name, age of majority, etc); the relationship between individuals (e.g. marriage, adoption, parentage); property (e.g. possession, land boundaries); the legal institutions, governing or administrating these relationships (e.g. wills, sales, leases, partnerships); plain language, easy to understand and apply
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