If you are having trouble with the NLR website, please provide details here, and we will try to improve the site accordingly.
The Case of Quebec
The experience of nationalism in Quebec remains an oddly belated affair—especially considering its proximity to the United States, with its precocious example of nation-statehood. Despite its apparent blandness, at least in the lexicon of American comedy, Canada remains a perpetually irritated anomaly in the Americas: a state comprised of two nations (if not more, considering the significance of the aboriginal ‘First Nations’). Lord Durham’s Report, the imperial response to the Rebellion of 1837, infamously observed that Lower Canada (now Quebec) consisted in fact of ‘two nations warring in the bosom of a single state’, and the observation has been easily extended to the constitutional problems of modern Canada.  More than 150 years later, Lord Durham remains both a threat to Québécois nationalism—recommending the assimilation of the francophone population—and an oracle: the decisive appearance of the language of ‘nationhood’ in British North America. Thus, in the nationalist imaginary, the only means of avoiding assimilation into the rest of anglophone North America is to realize Durham’s two nations with the creation of a sovereign state, definitively marking the appearance of a mature French-speaking people in North America.
Subscribe for just £35 and get free access to the archive
Please login on the left to read more or buy the article for £3