A Nation Beyond Borders : Lionel Groulx on French-Canadian Minorities
282 pages

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Recipient of the 2005 Governor General's Literary Award in non-fiction, Quand la nation débordait les frontières is considered the most comprehensive analysis of Lionel Groulx's work and vision as an intellectual leader of a nationalist school that extended well beyond the borders of Québec.

For over five decades, historians and intellectuals have defined the nationalist discourse primarily in territorial terms. In this regard, Groulx has been portrayed—more often than not—as the architect of Québecois nationalism. Translated by Ferdinanda Van Gennip, A Nation Beyond Borders will continue to spark debate on Groulx's description of the parameters of the French-Canadian nation. Highlighting the often neglected role of French-Canadian minorities in his thought, this book presents the Canon as an uncompromising advocate of solidarity between all French-Canadian communities.



Publié par
Date de parution 29 avril 2014
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9780776621579
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 6 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0050€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


A Nation Beyond Borders
A Nation Beyond Borders Lionel Groulx on FrenchCanadian Minorities Michel Bock Translated by Ferdinanda Van Gennip
University of Ottawa Press 2014
The University of Ottawa Press acknowledges with gratitude the support extended to its publishing list by Heritage Canada through the Canada Book Fund, by the Canada Council for the Arts, by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences through the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program and by the University of Ottawa.
The UOP would also like to acknowledge La Fondation Lionel-Groulx as well as the Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française (CRCCF) for providing the photographs used in this book. Contributions from La Fondation Lionel-Groulx include the cover image as well as photographs used in chapters 1 to 5. Contributions from the CRCCF include the frontispiece as well as the photograph used in chapter 6.
Copy editing: Lisa Hannaford-Wong Proofreading: Joanne Muzak Typesetting: Édiscript Enr. Cover design: Édiscript Enr.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Bock, Michel, 1971-[Quand la nation débordait les frontières. English] A nation beyond borders: Lionel Groulx on French-Canadian minorities/Michel Bock; translated by Ferdinanda Van Gennip.
Translation of: Quand la nation débordait les frontières. Includes bibliographical references and index. Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn978-0-7766-0821-1 (pbk.). isbn978-0-7766-2157-9 (pdf). isbn 978-0-7766-2156-2(epub).
1. Groulx, Lionel, 1878-1967--Political and social views. 2. Canadians, French-speaking—Ethnic identity. 3. Linguistic minorities—Canada. 4. Nationalism—Canada. 5. Canadians, French-speaking—Ontario. 6. Canada—Ethnic relations. 7. Nationalism— Canada—Historiography. 8. Canada—Ethnic relations—Historiography. 9. Historians—Canada—Biography. 10. Historians—Québec (Province)— Biography. I. Gennip, Ferdinanda van, 1948-, translator II. Title. III. Title: Lionel Groulx on French-Canadian minorities.
FC151.G76B6213 2014
© University of Ottawa Press, 2014
Printed in Canada
Table of Contents
Translator’s Note
Chapter One The French Minorities in the Work and Thought of Lionel Groulx: The Blind Spot of Historians of French-Canadian NationalismFrench-Canadian Nationalism and the Emergence of the Theory of Provincialism The Historians andL’Action française The Historians and the Thought of Lionel Groulx Modernity, “Americanity” and the French Minorities Québec and the French Minorities in Recent Historiography
17 22 28 38 43
Chapter Two The French Minorities, Remnant of an Empire: French Canada, Its Apostolic Vocation and Founding Mission 51 The French-Canadian Nation According to Lionel Groulx: Conceptual Clarifications 55 Nation and State in Groulxist Nationalism 55 Essential Conditions: Tradition and Will 63 The Minorities and French-Canadian Messianism 72 French Canada and the Theory of the Providential Creation of Nations 72 Providence, History and French America 77 The Minorities and the Compact Theory of Confederation 86 The Minorities and the Pact of 1867 86 The Minorities in the Anglo-Protestant World 90
viA Nation Beyond Borders
Chapter Three Québec and Its Relationship to the French Minorities: The Ties That BindQuébec, the Metropolis of French Canada The Citadel and the Vanguard The French Minorities and the Ineffectualness of Québec National Solidarity At Work L’Action française: Preaching by Example Building Bridges:La Fête de Dollard, the “Saving Organization” and Other Measures
Chapter Four The Franco-Ontarians and Regulation 17: The Awakening of the NationGroulx and French Ontario: Contacts and Connections In Ottawa In Southern Ontario The French-Canadian Nationalist Movement and the Catalyzing Role of Regulation Groulx Intervenes in the Franco-Ontarian Crisis The Franco-Ontarian School Penny The Ninth Crusade The Lecture: Another Means of Action Lionel Groulx,L’Action françaiseand the Franco-Ontarian Crisis The Schools Conflict as Represented in the Review TheGrand Prix d’Action françaiseAlonié de Lestres andL’Appel de la raceThe Novel and its Reception by Franco-Ontarians Literature and Theology Jules de Lantagnac and Napoléon Belcourt
Chapter Five The French Minorities and the “French State”: TheIndépendantisteTheory During the Interwar PeriodL’Action françaiseand “Our Political Future”: The 1922 Study Reactions to the 1922 Study Lionel Groulx, the French Minorities and the Idea of Independence During the 1930s
95 99 99 105 113 113
133 137 137 143
149 153 153 155 158 160 160 163 166 166 169 171
179 182 189
Table of Contentsvii
Chapter Six From the Second World War to the Quiet Revolution: Lionel Groulx, the French Minorities and Québécois Neo-Nationalism (1945–1967) 209 Anticlericalism, Laicization and Materialism: Challenges to Groulx’s Intellectual Legacy 212 The Intellectual Context of the Postwar Period 212 Groulx, the Neo-Nationalists and the Burial of the French Minorities 219 Groulx and the Minorities: Ongoing Relations 226 Groulx and the Conseil de la vie française en Amérique 226 Contact Maintained through Lectures, Articles and Travel 230 The Minorities in Groulx’s Historical Work 235 The Minorities and the Theory of Messianism in the Later Works of the Oldmaître 235 Groulx, the Minorities and the Institut d’histoire de l’Amérique française 240
Selected Bibliography
Translator’s Note
A few points of clarificationregarding the style and terminology used in this book may be useful. While the lack of inclusive language may offend some, it was felt that in a work of historiography such as this, it would be too jarring to translate, for example,les hommesas “men and women” rather than “men,” or to translateilas “they,” rather than “he” and that the tone should reflect the mindset of Groulx and the thinking of his day. It is also hoped that the extensive use of quotation marks throughout the book will not be a distraction. Terminology is of central importance in this book. Was the Confederation compact a “pact” or not? Were the French minorities “persecuted”? Was the French-Canadian nation an “organism”? Did it really have an “apostolic mission”? The author has used quotation marks to remind the reader that these terms are being used specifically in the way that either Groulx or another historian used them and with the mean-ing that they attached to them. Especially the wordracehas by and large been kept in quotation marks, as in Groulx’s ideology its meaning is equivalent to that of nation, nationality, ethnic group or people. In this work, “America” (Amériquein the original) refers not to the United States of America, but to the New World, the North American continent, for that is what Groulx meant by it. For the wordsur-vivance, a decision was made to retain the French, as its meaning is not limited to “survival,” for which the French word would besurvie. Thesurvivanceof a people is not only about continuing to exist and entails more even than cultural and spiritual survival. It refers to a truly viable nation with its own strong sense of identity. I found the original French work to be one of exceptional clarity and cohesion, and I hope I have done justice to it in this English version. It was a great privilege to translate this book, which manages to be at the same time intellectually stimu-lating and rich in the kind of vivid detail that brings history to life. I wish to thank the publishers for their gracious assistance and patience throughout this project and, especially, the author, Michel Bock, for his timely and helpful replies to all my queries.
Ferdinanda Van Gennip Windsor, Ontario September 2013
In 2004, when this book was originally published, the historiographical debates surrounding the ideology of Abbé Lionel Groulx (1878–1967) were once again heating up. As French Canada’s most influential nationalist intellectual from the 1920s to the 1950s, the interest Groulx has elicited over the past sixty years among historians, as well as various other commentators, has been cyclical, with each generation choosing to see something new or different in his œuvre. Groulx’s power to fascinate has always been remarkable and suggests that, as an historical figure, there is very little, if anything, about him, that can be considered banal or trivial. From a strictly quantitative point of view, his production as an intellec-tual is, quite simply, staggering: dozens of books and brochures covering many genres, hundreds of articles of all kinds, a collection of personal correspondence comprised of thousands of letters, numerous unedited manuscripts and more. From a qualitative point of view, Groulx’s life’s work has, of course, been the subject of many controversies, both during his lifetime and afterward. Here was a man, born and raised in the nineteenth century in a very modest habitant home, whose initiation to the world of culture and ideas would come from his classical education and his exposure to the ideals of philosophical traditionalism. Here was a man who would be thrust quickly into the position of leader of the French-Canadian nationalist movement at a time when Québec’s social structure had begun to undergo tremendous upheaval as a result of rapid industrialization and urbanization, and of the increasingly important role American capital had come to play in the Canadian and Québec economies. These things worried him. The reasons for this apprehension were numerous, but what it all boiled down to was a fear that French Canada, as a culturally autonomous national entity, would be unable to negotiate these very far-reaching social and economic changes on an equal footing with those who seemed, in his eyes, to be determining the rules of the game on their own. As historians, there are many ways for us to approach the analysis of Abbé Groulx’s ideology. One is to see him simply as a reactionary who rejected change, idealized the past and was out of touch with the realities of his time. Another is to attempt to penetrate the man’s intellectual and cultural universe, one which is vastly different, in many ways, from our own, in order to decipher its logic and de-code its own particular “language.” This is perhaps more difficult to accomplish,
xiiA Nation Beyond Borders
as it requires that the historian strike a more delicate balance between compre-hension and judgment (and/or condemnation). It also calls for a very refined understanding of the cultural context that provides the backdrop against which these issues played out. This can be achieved only through a great deal of patience and humility. With respect to Groulx, this means understanding that every as-pect of his thought and his actions, including his nationalism, was subordinated to (though inseparable from) his Catholicism, which remained the backbone of his life’s work, and not the other way around. The French-Canadian nation, in his view, remained instituted not within the state—not even within the Québec state—but within the Church, as it had been since the 1840s (or, in Groulx’s understanding of things, since the birth of New France). The state could certainly be a tool put at the disposal of the nation but could never assume the task of structuring it, a task which belonged to the Church alone. The transcendent role Groulx attributed to Catholicism in French Canada’s historical development and national existence kept him at distance from extreme right-wing ideologies and thinkers in Europe, especially those of the FrenchAction françaiseof movement Charles Maurras, contrary to what a certain historiographical tradition has main-1 tained. It also kept him from considering the idea of state corporatism or fas-cism during the 1930s, as he aligned himself, instead, with the school of thought that looked toward social corporatism as the solution to the woes of the Great 2 Depression. In fact, Groulx devoted precious little time to thinking about the question of which political regime would best suit French Canadians, whose national 3 problems were more spiritual, in his view, than political or institutional. Only by renewing their commitment to the apostolic mission he believed Providence had laid out for them and by being peaceful beacons of Catholicism in the New World would they succeed in rising above the obstacles they faced as a national collective. The nature of the regime was thus of very little concern to him on the whole. One also needs to keep this in mind when considering his so-called “sep-aratism.” Unable, for essentially theological reasons, to invoke the principle of nationalities in order to justify the independence of an eventual “French state,”
 1. For a survey of the studies devoted to the question of Groulx’s so-called Maurrassisme, see Michel Bock, “L’influence du maurrassisme au Canada français: Retour sur le cas de Lionel Groulx,” in Olivier Dard, ed., Charles Maurras et l’étranger. L’étranger et Charles Maurras(Berne: Peter Lang, 2009), p. 135–152. See also: Michel Bock, “Lionel Groulx devant la France catholique: Contacts, échanges et collaboration,”Études d’histoire religieuse, vol. 79, N0, 1 (2013), p. 31–44; Michel Bock and Hugues Théorêt, “Les revues traditionalistes canadiennes-française devant les droites radicales européennes. L’exemple deL’Action nationaleet deTradition et progrès(1945 à e 1970),” in Olivier Dard, ed.,Supports et vecteurs des droites radicales au XX siècle (Europe/Amériques)(Berne: Peter Lang, 2013), p. 169–185.  2. See E.-Martin Meunier and Michel Bock, “Essor et déclin du corporatisme au Canada français (1930–1960): Une e introduction,” in Olivier Dard, ed.,siècleLe corporatisme dans l’aire francophone au XX  (Berne: Peter Lang, 2011), p. 179–200.  3. See the pioneering work of Jean-Claude Dupuis on this topic, “La pensée politique deL’Action française de e Montréal (1917–1928),” Lsièclees Cahiers d’histoire du Québec au XX , N0. 2 (Summer 1994), p. 27–43.
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