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Quiet Revolution


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A term which first appeared in Canada's main national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, to describe the changes in the Canadian province of Quebec, introduced by the provincial Liberal government of Jean Lesage, 1960–6. Succeeding a Conservative, traditionalist government with a rural base (Union Nationale), Lesage tried to respond to the social changes brought about by the industrialization of Quebec. He ended the control of the Roman Catholic Church over the education system through the creation of a modern system of state schools, revised the labour laws, and introduced legal equality for women. The Quiet Revolution interfered directly in the economy, most importantly through the nationalization of the electricity industry under Lévesque, which had hitherto been largely controlled by capital from English‐speaking Canadians. The Quiet Revolution heightened Quebec's self‐confidence, increased the power of the provincial government which was dominated by French‐speaking interests, and thus sparked off the growth of popular demands for sovereignty.

Subjects: History of the Americas.


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