Freedom of speech and press, equality before the law, right to property and security, and the separation of Church and State. All of these things we take for granted as our fundamental rights but until the Quiet Revolution, these concepts were rare in most nations. The English-French relations have not always been easy. Each is always arguing and accusing the other of wrong doings. All this hatred and differences started in the past, and this Quiet revolution, right after a new Liberal government led by Jean Lesage came in 1960. This was the beginning of the Quiet Revolution. Lesage had an excellent team of cabinet ministers which included Rene Levesque.
The Liberals promised to do two things during the Quiet Revolution; one was to improve economic and social standards for the people of Quebec, and the other was to win greater respect and recognition for all the French people of Canada. The Liberals started a program to take control of hydro-electric power companies. French-Canadian engineers from all over Canada returned to Quebec to work on the project. Slogans during these times were “we can do it” and “masters in our own homes”. The government also started to replace programs the Church previously ran, which included hospital insurance, pension schemes and the beginning of Medicare.
For these programs, the Quebec Liberals had to struggle with Ottawa for a larger share of the tax dollars. One of the greatest reforms was the modernization of the entire school system. The Church used to own the schools of Quebec. Most of the teachers were Priests, Nuns and Brothers. They provided a good education but Quebec needed more in business and technology. Lesage wanted a government-run school system that would provide Quebec with people in engineering, science, business and trade. However much it may be challenged today in its assumptions and contributions, the Quiet Revolution was a high point of Quebec History. It was a fantastic time to be young, to have ideas and ideals, to be alive, to wish to do things, to want to improve the world, to be a Québécois.
Courtney from Study Moose
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