Language Conflict In Canada Essay

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The conflict in Canada between the people who speak French and those who speak English can trace its roots to Colonial times. Since Canada was originally a French colony, the majority of the people originally spoke French. In 1760, during the French Indian War, England gained control of Canada. This led to a large number of English speaking settlers who eventually became more numerous that the original French speaking settlers. Two distinct cultural groups evolved the French, mostly in Quebec, and the English in the other provinces. Initially, there was very little conflict between the two societies as they lived under the rule of the English crown.
     At the time of the Confederation in 1867, most Canadians
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The English offered this compromise rather than risk failure of the Confederation, but included the provision that the emerging western provinces would be English-speaking. The long-term effect was to continue a sense of separateness and autonomy among the French in Quebec.
     The accommodation was only a temporary. English-speaking Canadians continued to try to suppress French culture and land language. Illegal laws were passed in many of the provinces against teaching in French in schools (Conlogue, 27). Compounding the problem were the religious differences between traditionally Protestant English and the Catholic French. The Orange Order, a group dedicated to preserving the Protestant religion and the English way of life, had a strong hold in Canada in the early twentieth century and were against the French at every opportunity.
     The English majority also developed a romantic vision of the value of a national homeland for the ethnic minorities. This was rooted in the democratic ideals on which Canada is based. Among the more liberal English Canadians, there was a hope that a uniquely Canadian cultural identity could come from the integration of the French and English. As a step toward achieving this. They suggested bi-lingualism, the recognition of both French and English as official Canadian

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