Historic roots and socio-economic consequences of the separatist movement in Quebec

by Karin R. Kollenz

Institution: Vienna University of Economics and Business
Year: 2000
Keywords: economy / historical development / economic development / separatism / language / Canada / Qu├ębec
Record ID: 1031762
Full text PDF: http://epub.wu.ac.at/1902/1/document.pdf


The objective of this work is to determine whether the political instability has had a significant impact on the development of Quebec during the last 35 years. The method of approach is to examine whether there is a correlation between economic indicators and political instability. In the first part the history of French Canadians, from the first settlements to the crucial political events of the 20th century are examined. Since this study is based on a time-correlation between political events and changes in socio-economic indicators, special attention is paid to the reception and interpretation of events by historians, the media and opinion leaders. As a next step the development of economic and socio-demographic indicators during the last 40 years is examined. Factors studied include gross domestic product, investment, consumption, and unemployment as well as demographic and demolinguistic indicators. In order to ensure that changes in factors are linked to political instability comparisons with other provinces, notably with Ontario, and other countries are made in the conclusion it will be summarized that a direct relation between separatism and Quebec's long-term economic development cannot be demonstrated by examining macro-economic indicators. However, the October crisis of 1960 and the referendum of 1995 had short-term negative impacts on Quebec's economic development. Other factors such as the French language legislation of 1977, which further accentuated Quebec's special linguistic status in North America and the historical differences between the development of the French, Catholic society and the English, Protestant one better explain the existing differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada. (author's abstract)