Following are texts associated with the chapter on “Some Figureheads of the Quiet Revolution.”

They include:

Maurice Duplessis
Jean Lesage
Pierre Elliott Trudeau
René Lévesque
Following are texts associated with the chapter on “Some Figureheads of the Quiet Revolution.”

They include:

Maurice Duplessis
Jean Lesage
Pierre Elliott Trudeau
René Lévesque

© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

There is no lack of epithets to describe Union nationale party leader, Maurice Duplessis. Many regard him as the saviour of the race, the paragon of French Canadian nationalism; others depict him as an autocrat, a dictator and a xenophobe. It was said of Duplessis that he managed Quebec in the manner of a lawyer become store manager. Newspaper editor André Laurendeau for Le Devoir ruthlessly referred to the Premier as the Negro king of Quebec. That said, it is important to place the man in his context. René Lévesque rightly wrote that Duplessis reflected part of his era. He then added, He also exacerbated it

A lawyer by training, Maurice Duplessis ventured into politics for the first time in the elections of 1923 as a Conservative Party candidate in his native riding of Trois-Rivières. He lost, but tried again in 1927. This time he won. He was re-elected in 1931 and became leader of the Conservative Party two years later. Then, as leader of the Union nationale, he sat as a member of the Legislative Assembly for the riding of Trois-Rivières from 1936 until his death in 1959. Duplessis dominated political life for 18 years. No other politician in Quebec in the Read More

There is no lack of epithets to describe Union nationale party leader, Maurice Duplessis. Many regard him as the saviour of the race, the paragon of French Canadian nationalism; others depict him as an autocrat, a dictator and a xenophobe. It was said of Duplessis that he managed Quebec in the manner of a lawyer become store manager. Newspaper editor André Laurendeau for Le Devoir ruthlessly referred to the Premier as the Negro king of Quebec. That said, it is important to place the man in his context. René Lévesque rightly wrote that Duplessis reflected part of his era. He then added, He also exacerbated it

A lawyer by training, Maurice Duplessis ventured into politics for the first time in the elections of 1923 as a Conservative Party candidate in his native riding of Trois-Rivières. He lost, but tried again in 1927. This time he won. He was re-elected in 1931 and became leader of the Conservative Party two years later. Then, as leader of the Union nationale, he sat as a member of the Legislative Assembly for the riding of Trois-Rivières from 1936 until his death in 1959. Duplessis dominated political life for 18 years. No other politician in Quebec in the 20th century has been Premier for as long as Duplessis. A populist through and through, he drew crowds. At the Legislative Assembly, he was a formidably sharp debater and his adversaries were often taken aback by argumentation bordering on electioneering. Duplessis left no one indifferent, sparking passion among both admirers and critics.



© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

Official portrait of Maurice Duplessis

Union nationale leader Maurice Duplessis, Premier of Quebec from 1936 to 1939 and from 1944 to 1959, the year of his death.

unknown
20th Century
Gabriel Desmarais Collection.


His name is intimately associated with the Quiet Revolution. It is even said that he was its father and guide. As a young lawyer, he learned about politics from his boss, lawyer and House of Commons member Charles Gavan Power, nicknamed Chubby, a leading architect of the federal Liberal organization in Quebec. In the 1945 election, he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament at age 33. The charismatic and spirited Lesage was re-elected in 1949, 1953, 1957 and 1958. He was a parliamentary assistant prior to becoming Minister of Finance in 1953, making him the youngest member of the Cabinet. After the victory of John Diefenbaker’s Conservatives in Ottawa in 1958, Lesage entered provincial politics and was named leader of the Liberal Party. Surrounded by men with new ideas such as René Lévesque, Paul Gérin-Lajoie and Georges-Émile Lapalme, the former Liberal Party leader, Jean Lesage promised to change Quebec and review the role of the State during the elections of 1960. Once in power, he kept his promise.

In the early 1960s, Jean Lesage ushered in a new political style. He was a great speaker with a knack for getting messages across and, with the growing prominence Read More
His name is intimately associated with the Quiet Revolution. It is even said that he was its father and guide. As a young lawyer, he learned about politics from his boss, lawyer and House of Commons member Charles Gavan Power, nicknamed Chubby, a leading architect of the federal Liberal organization in Quebec. In the 1945 election, he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament at age 33. The charismatic and spirited Lesage was re-elected in 1949, 1953, 1957 and 1958. He was a parliamentary assistant prior to becoming Minister of Finance in 1953, making him the youngest member of the Cabinet. After the victory of John Diefenbaker’s Conservatives in Ottawa in 1958, Lesage entered provincial politics and was named leader of the Liberal Party. Surrounded by men with new ideas such as René Lévesque, Paul Gérin-Lajoie and Georges-Émile Lapalme, the former Liberal Party leader, Jean Lesage promised to change Quebec and review the role of the State during the elections of 1960. Once in power, he kept his promise.

In the early 1960s, Jean Lesage ushered in a new political style. He was a great speaker with a knack for getting messages across and, with the growing prominence of television, a fine craftsman of image. Although initially opposed to radical measures such as the creation of a Ministry of Education and the nationalization of electricity, once convinced of their merit he became their staunchest defender. Lesage repeated to Quebecers that the State belonged to them and that they had to use it as an instrument. In a way, one might affirm that Lesage invented the contemporary Quebec Government.

© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

Official photo of Jean Lesage

Liberal Party leader and Premier of Quebec from 1960 to 1966, Jean Lesage, the “man of monumental change” in the context of the Quiet Revolution.

unknown
20th Century
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec


After completing his studies and spending time travelling around the world, Pierre Elliott Trudeau became a civil servant of the Privy Council in Ottawa in 1949, followed by joint editor of the magazine Cité libre, to which he was a contributing founder and then professor at the Faculty of Law at Université de Montréal in 1960. Along with his friends Jean Marchand and Gérard Pelletier, Trudeau became a Liberal Party candidate in the elections of 1965 and won. As Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada since 1967, Trudeau disapproved of Pearson’s conciliating attitude towards Quebec. As chief representative of the federal government during the federal-provincial conference of 1968, he made sure that Premier Daniel Johnson returned home to Quebec without having made significant gains. During this conference, Trudeau garnered a considerable amount of good feeling from English Canada, which allowed him to become leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister a few months later.
After completing his studies and spending time travelling around the world, Pierre Elliott Trudeau became a civil servant of the Privy Council in Ottawa in 1949, followed by joint editor of the magazine Cité libre, to which he was a contributing founder and then professor at the Faculty of Law at Université de Montréal in 1960. Along with his friends Jean Marchand and Gérard Pelletier, Trudeau became a Liberal Party candidate in the elections of 1965 and won. As Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada since 1967, Trudeau disapproved of Pearson’s conciliating attitude towards Quebec. As chief representative of the federal government during the federal-provincial conference of 1968, he made sure that Premier Daniel Johnson returned home to Quebec without having made significant gains. During this conference, Trudeau garnered a considerable amount of good feeling from English Canada, which allowed him to become leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister a few months later.

© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

Official Photo of Pierre Trudeau

Under Pierre Elliott Trudeau, new Prime Minister of Canada in 1968, relations between the governments of Canada and Quebec become more strained.

unknown
20th Century
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec


Everyone agrees that René Lévesque was a figurehead of the Liberal Party’s tiger team in 1960 and one of the instigators of the Quiet Revolution. But prior to entering politics, Lévesque was an experienced journalist. At age 14, he was behind the microphone at a radio station. During the Second World War, he enrolled in the American Army as a liaison officer and was a correspondent in Europe. After the war, he joined Radio-Canada first as an international service employee, followed by war correspondent in Korea, head of radio and television coverage and radio and television host. In 1960, Lévesque was recruited by Jean Lesage as a Liberal Party candidate. From the bully pulpit, he delivered a new style of speeches that captivated audiences. On the subject of Lévesque, former Liberal party leader Georges-Émile Lapalme wrote in his memoires, Has a political party ever recruited such star material at the last minute?’ He was certainly instrumental in our victory (translation). Once elected, René Lévesque was named Minister of Hydraulic Resources and Public Works and began the long fight to nationalize electricity. In 1967, he left the Liberal Party and c Read More
Everyone agrees that René Lévesque was a figurehead of the Liberal Party’s tiger team in 1960 and one of the instigators of the Quiet Revolution. But prior to entering politics, Lévesque was an experienced journalist. At age 14, he was behind the microphone at a radio station. During the Second World War, he enrolled in the American Army as a liaison officer and was a correspondent in Europe. After the war, he joined Radio-Canada first as an international service employee, followed by war correspondent in Korea, head of radio and television coverage and radio and television host. In 1960, Lévesque was recruited by Jean Lesage as a Liberal Party candidate. From the bully pulpit, he delivered a new style of speeches that captivated audiences. On the subject of Lévesque, former Liberal party leader Georges-Émile Lapalme wrote in his memoires, Has a political party ever recruited such star material at the last minute?’ He was certainly instrumental in our victory (translation). Once elected, René Lévesque was named Minister of Hydraulic Resources and Public Works and began the long fight to nationalize electricity. In 1967, he left the Liberal Party and contributed the following year to the establishment of the Parti québécois. He was a candidate of this party in the elections of 1970 and 1973, but had to wait until 1976 before being elected. Lévesque was Premier of Quebec from 1976 to 1985. Much to the surprise of all, he died in 1987.


© 2011, Musée québécois de culture populaire. All Rights Reserved.

Photograph of René Lévesque giving a speech

Minister of Natural Resources, René Lévesque, makes a speech during National Electricity Week in 1962.

unknown
20th Century
Hydro-Québec Archives, H02,701631,32830,4,2, René Lévesque.


Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

Acquire a historic perspective. Establish relations between Quebec as it was before, during and after the Quiet Revolution

Educational Connections (cross-curricular competencies)

Build on information (make the most of information).
Build on information (place knowledge in perspective).
Express one’s opinion (exercise critical judgment).
Take advantage of technology (make the most of information technology and communication).
Immerse oneself in a situation (apply one’s creative thinking).
Commit oneself to exploration (apply one’s creative thinking).

Educational Results

Encourage the student to examine the subject from a historical perspective.
Bring the student to understand the present based on the past.
Bring the student to express an opinion on this history.
Bring the student to develop critical thinking.

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