History of Canada

Quiet Revolution
"Maîtres chez nous" (Masters in Our Own Home) was the electoral slogan of the Liberal Party during the 1962 election.
1960 Jan 1

Quiet Revolution

Québec, QC, Canada

The Quiet Revolution was a period of intense socio-political and socio-cultural change in French Canada which started in Quebec after the election of 1960, characterized by the effective secularization of government, the creation of a state-run welfare state, as well as realignment of politics into federalist and sovereigntist (or separatist) factions and the eventual election of a pro-sovereignty provincial government in the 1976 election.

A primary change was an effort by the provincial government to take more direct control over the fields of healthcare and education, which had previously been in the hands of the old establishment which centered around the Roman Catholic Church and led to modernizing of the economy and society. It created ministries of Health and Education, expanded the public service, and made massive investments in the public education system and provincial infrastructure. The government further allowed unionization of the civil service. It took measures to increase Québécois control over the province's economy and nationalized electricity production and distribution and worked to establish the Canada/Québec Pension Plan. Hydro-Québec was also created in an attempt to nationalize Québec's electric companies. French-Canadians in Québec also adopted the new name 'Québécois', trying to create a separate identity from both the rest of Canada and France and establish themselves as a reformed province.

The Quiet Revolution was a period of unbridled economic and social development in Québec, French Canada and Canada; it parallelled similar developments in the West in general. It was a byproduct of Canada's 20-year post-war expansion and Québec's position as the leading province for more than a century before and after Confederation. It witnessed particular changes to the built environment and social structures of Montreal, Québec's leading city. The Quiet Revolution also extended beyond Québec's borders by virtue of its influence on contemporary Canadian politics. During the same era of renewed Quebecois nationalism, French Canadians made great inroads into both the structure and direction of the federal government and national policy.