Decolonizing the Uncolonized: France, French Canadian Identity, and the Quebecois Nationalist Movement, 1945-1967
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This research project intended to analyze and understand the relationship between Third World decolonization movements, the nascent nationalist movement in Quebec between 1945 and 1967, and the simultaneous development of a strong association between France and Quebec. In this paper, I argue that the nationalist movement in Quebec utilized the terminology and ideology of the decolonization movements in both Algeria and the Caribbean in order to legitimize their rapprochement with France. In a break from the past, nationalists in the Era of Decolonization began to argue that they had been colonized unfairly by the British— despite the fact that they were themselves colonizers of the North American territory— and thus had suffered at the hands of their colonizers, just as other Third World peoples had at the hands of other European powers. This argument, in turn, legitimized the nascent nationalist movement, and permitted both the Quebecois and the broader international community to at least tacitly accept the clear, pro-nationalist actions taken by the French on behalf of the Quebecois starting with de Gaulle’s “Vive le Quebec Libre” speech of 1967.
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