The Evolution of French Canada

By Jean Charlemagne Bracq | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
THE UPRISING OF 1837

THE spirit of a relative amity and friendliness between the two peoples during the French Revolution did not please the colonial clique. The Gazette of Quebec, founded in 1764, and The Gazette of Montreal, in 1778, though strongly British, were too moderate to please men of an extreme type. In 1805 they started the Quebec Mercury which soon began to stir up animosities.1 The paper, disapproved of by moderate Britons, was filled with much material of an aggressive character. Its spirit is reflected in the pages of Christie's history which is so harsh and unfair as to irritate an impartial Briton today. It not only abused France, which was natural enough at the time, but constantly hurled invectives at the French Canadians. In May, 1808, it suggested, sarcastically, that an elementary school should be established for the members of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec to teach them reading and writing.2 Upper Canada ought to have had such a school sixteen years later according to E. A. Talbot3 and thirty years later, if we believe Mrs. Jameson, for some members of the Toronto Assembly.

Le Canadien, called into existence by this provoking publication, gave, at the start, positive proofs of the loyalty of the editors to Great Britain, and of their admiration for British liberty.4 At the same time, they defended them-

____________________
1
J. E. Roy, Royal Society, III, Vol. V, p. 99.
2
Lieutenant-Colonel Cruickshank, Royal Society III, Vol. III, p. 67.
3
Vol. II, p. 118.
4
Abbé Roy, Nos Origines littéraires, p. 326; Lareau, Mélanges, pp. 25-30.

-74-

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