Early Phase Of French Immigration To Canada essay example

3,097 words
Table of contents 1. Introduction 2. French immigration in the 17th century 3. Immigrant statistics 3.1.

Number of immigrants 3.2. Origin of immigrants 4. The turning point in 1760 5. French immigration to British-Canada 6. Francophones in the Canadian society 7. Outlook: The future of Quebec 8.

List of references 1. Introduction "Je me sou viens". Exactly this will be done over the following pages. This paper will deal with the French immigration to Canada and especially emphasize on the early phase, the immigration to Nouvelle France in the 17th century. Problematic about the French immigration is the time span. If one thinks of 1534 as the starting year of French engagement in North America (cf.

Kempf 1997: 7), the year in which Jaques Cartier set out on his first journey to that region which is now Canada by order of the king of France (cf. Sautter 1972: 23), this paper would have to cover 469 years. This approach is also difficult in another way: whilst one usually speaks of other ethnic groups (Italians, Ukrainians, etc.) as unmistakably immigrants, that term is mostly inappropriate when speaking of the French, who just as the British can't be described as immigrants due to their early arrival and therefore long history of settling (cf. Burnet / Palmer 1989: 13; T'etu de Labsade 1990: 43). Hence, the French population doesn't need to be integrated in a Canadian society but needs to be understood as a Canadian society that has lived in that area for centuries, even when the immigration waves brought lots of "immigrants" into the country. The history of French immigration led to the present ongoing conflict about the role of Quebec in the Canadian confederation and the fight over separatism and clinging on to Canada as one country.

Nevertheless, the main focus of this paper will be on Nouvelle-France and therefore on the 17th and 18th century. In doing that, the early phase of French immigration to Canada will be covered, particularly the conquest of New France by the British in 1760 as the turning point, which pretty much ended the phase of French immigration that year (cf. Burnet / Palmer 1989: 15). The reason for even discussing this topic is to find an answer to the present mood of the Quebecois, who after years of feeling repressed by Anglophones finally have stepped up and embraced their historical background and their unique status as one of the founding peoples of Canada. After this short introduction, the focal point of immigration to Canada will be discussed, giving an overview of the settlements in and immigration to New France three centuries ago.

The next chapter will be about the end of the French colonial reign in Canada and the rise of the British colonial empire after the defeat of the French in 1760. Following this, the since then British-ruled and British-influenced Canada will be looked at. In addition, the position of the Francophones in Candian society will be described. Finally, the last chapter will give an outlook for not just the future of Quebec but also for all of Canada, and furthermore mention the separatist tendencies of the Quebecois.

2. French immigration in the 17th century The French colonial efforts in North America in the 17th century were above all characterized by a backwardness in comparison to other European powers, in particular the British. Only very few French settled in the territory of what is today Canada, and the ones who did were outnumbered by the other colonial powers: Alors que l'Angleterre et les Pays-Bas ont d'ej'a [... ] 'eta bli des colonies qui de Terre-Neuve 'a la Virginie competent environ 2 600 colons, la Nouvelle-France ne support que deux fragile's 'etablissements: l'Acadie du cap de Sable o'u vivant une ving taine de Francais, et le Canada qui n'est que le comptoir de Qu " ebec. La Nouvelle-France de 1627, c'est en tout cas une cent aine d'habitants. (Trudel 1983: 3) This situation was not least dependent on the adverse living conditions and insufficient supplies the few settlers were faced with: Qu " ebec n'a de vivre's que ce qu'y laissant pour l'hiver les navies qui rent rent en France; le Canada n'a ni char rue pour labourer, ni moulin pour faire famine; depuis trois ou quatre ans seulement, les de Ca " en font un peu d'elevage dans leur ba ronnie du cap de Tour mente.

(Trudel 1983: 4) Also sharing this view is Francoise T'etu de Labsade, though only for a very early phase, the 16th century, about which he writes: Ces tentatives [de fonder un 'etablissement au Canada] se solvent par des 'echeck: les Francais support ant mal les rigours de l'hiver p'erissent du scor but et les relations avec les Am " erindiens deviennent t endues. (T'etu de Labsade 1990: 42) Sautter traces the bad supply system back to a wrong priority establishment: Die halbherzigen Anstrengungen hatten die weiss e Bev " olkerung in Kanada bis 1660 nur auf etwa 2000 Menschen wachsen lassen, zu wenig, um die Irokesengefahr zu banner; und die Kriegs not war nicht das einzige "Ube l. Dem Pelzhandel hatte bis her das Haupt interesse gegolten, und man hatte wenig Land wirtschaft getrieben. Auch jetzt noch muss te der gr " os sere Teil des Bedarfs an Lebensmitteln und Kleidung vom Mutter land ein gef " uhr t werden. (Sautter 1972: 39) Not as negative and harsh characterize Charbonneau et al. the living conditions when they describe the situation as following: Quand les Francais entreprennent de d'efricher les rives de (T'etu de Labsade 1990: 45). After a couple of transitional years the French subjects of the British monarchy profited from an incident that was to revolutionize the British colonial empire in North America: with the more and more noticeable independence endeavors of the 13 New England states, the later founding states of the United States of America, the British thought it necessary to defuse the situation in the newly-founded colony Quebec, in order to prevent that the Francophones could turn into another trouble spot, which wasn't needed at all during that time: [...

] 1774, im Jahr der Boston Tea Party, erliess das britische Parlament die Quebec-Akt e [... ] Autorit " at statt Volksvertretung und Anerkennung der Besonderheit Quebec waren ihre Quintessenz. Ein Gouverneur und ein ernannter Rat von durchschnittlich 20 Mitglieder n ohne R"ucksicht auf die Abstammung reagierten von 1775 an die Kolonien. Englische's Strafrechts und franz " osisches Zivilrecht bestand en nun offiziell nebeneinander. Das seigneurage System wurde in gleichen Weise wie die Aus " u bung katholischen Gottesdienstes garantie rt, und das Recht der r"o mischen Kirche, einen Bischop zu ernennen, wurde eben so best " at igt wie das An recht des Kle rus auf die Kirchensteuer.

[... ] [F] rank " osischerseits konate man mit den gew " ahr ten Privilegien zu frieden sein. (Sautter 1972: 89) The concessions made by the British government to the francophone population of Quebec were to ensure that the new subjects would remain loyal and calm during a conflict between Great Britain and the New England states and not support the American independence endeavors. This strategy proved to be very successful because all appeals by American separatists to join the fight for independence on the side of the "United States of America" went unheard. 5. French immigration to British-Canada Concerning the immigration of French to British-Canada since 1760, it must be said that British and French people had a very sceptical or disapproving attitude at first: In the decades following the British conquest of 1760, few French immigrants came to Canada.

Until Napoleon's fall in 1815, Britain and France were frequently at war. France did not encourage emigration and Britain did not want French immigrants to settle in a colony whose largely French population is often viewed as a threat. (Jones 1998: 4) In the meantime, the Roman-Catholic church tried to overcome its problem of being understaffed in Canada by specifically recruiting French priests. This custom went on to be prohibited by the British government. Only with the outbreak of the French Revolution did some pastors come to Canada from France, this time even with the permission of the government in London: The French Revolution offered the Canadian church new possibilities as nearly 8000 French priests fled across the Channel to England. London, interested in reducing the number of emir " es on British soil, now agreed that some could come to Canada.

Only about fifty did [... ]. (Jones 1998: 4) After 1840 more French clergymen went overseas, especially since the Bishop of Montreal personally set out to France for recruitment in 1842; between 1837 and 1876 225 people were recruited. Another wave can be registered after 1880, which is in connection with the declericalisation of France after the foundation of the. Republic. Between the turn of the century and the outbreak of World War I about 2000 clergymen emigrated to Quebec.

Jones sums up the immigration movement of the 19th century as following: French immigration to Canada in the nineteenth century was a relatively small-scale phenomenon. Perhaps 50,000 French were admitted to Canada between 1820 and 1910. (In the same period, 470,000 emigrated to the United States.) (Jones 1998: 6) During this time until World War II there have been several specific d'emarches to make more French people immigrate to Canada. That is why in 1887 the Soci " ete d'immigration francaise was founded and the Canadian government sent a new immigration commissioner, Paul Willard, to Paris in 1903.

But the results of these efforts were less higher immigration numbers but more so diplomatic ill feelings. The French government interpreted the recruiting of immigrants as a violation of effective French law and even filed a complaint with the British ambassador in Paris against this practise. To the question of why even into the 1950's such few French people emigrated to Canada, Jones gives the following answer: The traditional explanation has been that the French in general did not want to emigrate and that the French government impeded emigration. This explanation is partly true though it is incomplete. After the war, France suffered from an acute labour shortage as well as from a scarcity of dollars and imposed severe restriction on the capital that emigrants could take with them.

Before 1951 [... ] the limit was a mere 300$. (Jones 1998: 11) And even for the time after 1945 it can be marked that the share of French people in the total immigration number is relatively small, only 2, 9% for the period between 1946 to 1972. Still, the biggest part of French immigrants (about 75%) flows into the francophone provide Quebec (Jones 1998: 18). Detailed figures give the following overview: French immigration 1900-1989 (cf.

Information Canada 1974: 32 ff. ; Jones 1998: 18) 1900-18 25 922 1919-44 9 181 1946-50 4 781 1951-57 33 938 1958-62 12 828 1963-67 31 330 1968-73 27 437 1974-79 17 785 1980-89 20 187 1900-89 175 945 Interesting and worth mentioning in this context is the fact that after World War II a few people of French ethnic origin came to Canada as refugees, expellee's or stateless persons, although they didn't necessarily were from France or French citizens. Not the country of origin or the nationality was noted in that case but the "ethnic origin" (cf. Information Canada 1974: 44). Furthermore, some immigrants, who came to Canada as refugees, stated France as their country of birth (cf.

Information Canada 1974: 46). 6. Francophones in the Canadian society Generally it can be assumed that during the 19th and 20th century French immigrants worked in lots of different jobs and presently still are doing so, which makes it difficult to distinguish those immigrants from the "host society" (Jones 1998: 24). But a typical French phenomenon was that integration, especially in the employment field, was a lot more unproblematic in the francophone Quebec than in the anglophone rest of Canada (cf. Jones 1998: 24). At the beginning of the 20th century, from 1906 to 1910, 42% of all immigrants of French origin were farmers, 16% were skilled workers and 11% were unskilled workers.

About the phase after World War II Jones writes: After World War II, French immigrants to Canada had, on the whole, higher levels of education than persons born in Canada and than many other immigrant groups. This situation can be explained by the fact that the French group was composed especially of independent immigrants, a group usually more highly educated than sponsored immigrants. (Jones 1998: 25) In general, those Francophones who also spoke English well had a better chance for a promotion and success in their jobs than those, whose knowledge of English was insufficient. Jones explains that "studies in Quebec in the 1970's have showed that French immigrants who knew English at the time of their arrival generally obtained higher salaries than those who were unilingual" (Jones 1998: 26). 7. Outlook: The future of Quebec At the end of this paper the reader may expect some kind of summary or a synthesis - in short, a concluding chapter in which the most important events and the ideas gained so far are once again compiled in a pithy form.

But instead of repeating already given statements, which the complexity of the topic hardly allows anyway, it may be rather interesting to direct the reader's attention towards the future. This analysis should have made it easier for the reader to understand the situation of the French or rather Francophones over the past centuries. This understanding is necessary if one wants to wisely assess the current conflict about the future of Quebec - and with that also the future of Canada. The defeat on the Plains of Abraham in 1759 put an end to the age of French colonialism in North America, but gave way to a lenght y conflict between two ethnic groups, Anglo- and Francophones, for the following years. Up until now this conflict seems to also be responsible for the fact that Canada very often is falsely perceived as a bi cultural and not a pluralist society, simply because this discussion overshadows all other ethnic groups. In 1980 and 1995, two approaches that were to find a constitutional compromise for all involved failed.

That caused quite a reaction in Quebec. From then on the Quebecois started voting for parties whose political goal it was to separate Quebec from Canada, mainly the Parti Qu " eb'ecois (PQ) and the Bloc Qu " eb'ecois. As the main reason for the striving for independence Kempf mentions "the refusal of the 'Anglos' to constitutionally acknowledge Quebec's special status" (cf. Kempf 1997: 7). The Francophones in Quebec felt threatened and enacted several language laws in order to strenght en the French language and repress the English one. It must be taken into consideration that in this - now and then very heated - discussion language is equalized with culture, which must be preserved.

In addition, many Francophones fear to lose their influence even in Quebec. Since 1980 the birthrate in Quebec has declined and is now below the total Canadian average. And even this national average has a downward tendency, which is why Canada needs immigration to compensate its decline in population. Although is has to be mentioned that in relation to the population, proportionally only half as many immigrants come to Quebec than to Canada. The thesis of foreign infiltration is therefore somewhat invalidated.

Concerning the two referenda, which were supposed to introduce Quebec's independence, it can be said that a third referendum won't be long in coming (cf. Kempf 1997: 7). But the matter of a possible separation of Quebec from Canada raises lots of questions: Quebec is economically interwoven to such a degree with Canada that a separation involves considerable difficulties. It is questionable whether an independent Quebec would even be able to economically survive on its own, without the important transfer payments from Ottawa. Can an independent Quebec join NAFTA and pursue custom-reduced trade with the rest of North America?

Wouldn't the unity of the rest of Canada be at stake if the Atlantic provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island were cut off from the other Canadian provinces by a corridor qu " eb'ecois? And how are the non-francophone people in Quebec (especially Anglophones and Aboriginals) going to react in case of a separation? One can guess the political explosives that are hidden behind the pointed out questions, with which Canada will have to deal with rather sooner than later. Quebec, nevertheless, will most likely strive for an actual independence.

Given the Francophones' historical background and the everlasting repression by the English (-speaking) it seems as if they have finally pulled together to fight for their rightful acknowledgement of distinctiveness. Burnet, Jean R. ; Palmer, Howard. 1989. Coming Canadians: an introduction to a History of Canada's Peoples. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. Charbonneau, Hubert et al...

1996. 'La population francaise de la vall " ee du Saint-Laurent avant 1760'. In: Atlas historique du Qu " ebec: population et territoire, sous la direction de Serge Cour ville. Sainte-Foy (Qu " ebec): University Press. Information Canada ('ed. ).

1974. Immigration and population statistics. Manpower and Immigration. Ottawa. Jones, Richard. 1998.

"The French since 1760". In: Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples. Toronto: University Press. Kempf, Udo. 1997. "Zwischen Separatism us und F"oderalismus".

In: Das Parlament. N. 1-2, p. 7. T'etu de Labsade, Francoise. 1990. Le Qu " ebec: un pays, une culture.

Qu " ebec: Bor " eal. Trudel, Marcel. 1983. "La seigneur ie des Cent-Associ " es, 1627-1663'. In: Histoire de la Nouvelle-France. Vol..

Montr " eal: Fides.