This page gathers various on line documents and resources that we have chosen to help visitors understand what Québec sovereignists and other independentists are fighting for. Whenever possible, we provide English language material and we have even translated some documents ourselves for the sake of our English-speaking visitors. However, bear in mind that most of the pro-independence literature has not necessarily been translated to English. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Now, be ready to discover the story of a very old national liberation movement that continues to this day.
- 1 Basic Notions
- 2 Historical Arguments
- 3 Linguistic & Cultural Arguments
- 4 Opinions by individual militants
- 5 Opinions by militant organizations
- 6 See also
- Take some French lessons on line or immerse yourself into our society by moving to Québec! ;-)
- Learn to spot a fallacy when you see one
- Learn of common myths and fallacies in the Quebec debate
- Have a look at a few important facts you should not miss
- Read our answers to some frequently asked questions
- Learn some of the key concepts in Quebec politics
- The reality of the situation of English speakers in Québec
- Consult our terminology page
Québécois and Canadian intellectuals agree on the basics...
- Read Common declaration of sovereignist and federalist intellectuals from Canada and Québec, by Les Intellectuels pour la souveraineté
- Read Open Letter in Support of the Democratic Right to Self-Determination for Québec, by Gary Kinsman et al.
- Read our translation of the Political Testament of Louis-Joseph Papineau
- Read the page dedicated to the history of our movements
- Discover famous people in the history of Québec
- Read a few selected texts on Québec democracy by the Ministère des relations internationales (PDF)
- Read the section dedicated to other independence movements
- 1970: The manifesto of the Front de libération du Québec
- 1960: The manifesto of the Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale
- 1958: The manifesto of the Alliance laurentienne
- 1934: The manifesto of the Action libérale nationale
- 1867: The Political Testament of Louis-Joseph Papineau
- 1853: An account of An Excursion to Canada by Henry David Thoreau
- 1839: The History of the Insurrection in Canada in refutation of the report of Lord Durham by Louis-Joseph Papineau
- 1839: The Report on the Affairs of British North America by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham
- 1838: The Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada by Robert Nelson
- 1837: The address of the Fils de la liberté of Montreal to the young people of the colonies of North America
- 1837: The resolutions adopted during county meetings in response to the Ten Resolutions.
- 1837: John Russell's Ten Resolutions ultimately adopted by the British Parliament
- 1834: The Ninety-Two Resolutions of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada
- 1831: The notes taken by Alexis de Tocqueville while visiting Lower Canada
- 1794: The Free French to their Canadien Brothers, by Edmond-Charles Genêt, Ambassador of the first French Republic in the United States
- 1784: A System of Government for Canada, a project of constitutional reform by Pierre du Calvet and Francis Maseres
- 1774: The Letter to the Inhabitants of the Province of Quebec of the First Continental Congress
In the old dialectic between Québec and Ottawa, the one which started as early as 1867, successive Québec parliaments wrestled the federal executive and legislative powers to keep them out the jurisdictions which are exclusive to provinces, as per the constitutional text of law. The contemporary movement for independence, which truly took form after WWII, initiated the breaking away from this useless dialogue that, even in the best scenario imaginable, would have left Quebec with less than equality.
From the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes of the Government of Québec:
- Québec's Positions on Constitutional and Intergovernmental Issues from 1936 to March 2001
- A Quebec-Canada Constitutional Law Lexicon (PDF)
- Québec's historical position on the federal spending power 1944-1998 (PDF)
- Québec and its Territory (PDF)
- Québec's Political & Constitutional Status (PDF)
Failure of constitutional reforms
Understood by Quebec to be a pact between two founding peoples, the "confederation" of 1867 was not always rejected by a majority of Quebec nationalists. The failure of constitutional talks in 1971, 1982, 1989 and 1992 has pushed yet more so called "soft" nationalists to adopt the sovereignist thesis that the time has come for Quebecers to stop asking for permissions to an authority that does not respect them, draft their own constitution and assume all their responsibilities toward themselves.
- Read Canadian federalism and the autonomy of Québec: a historical viewpoint by Marc Chevrier (PDF)
- Read Constitutional saga on this site
- Read on Institutional bilingualism on this site
Linguistic & Cultural Arguments
Since the 1950s, the Quebec literary and artistic community has been very engaged in the struggle for the independence of Quebec, the defence of the French language and development of Quebec's national culture. The support of talented artists and intellectuals is largely responsible for the wide support Quebec nationalism receives in the general public. You will find many writers, poets, playwrights and song writers under Opinions by individual militants just below.
The complex demolinguistic situation
To understand the desire for independence, we believe it necessary to fully comprehend the fate of Quebec French, language of the majority in Quebec, but language of a national minority inside Canada since the 1850s. Basic notions of language demographics and sociolinguistics are a must.
- Read The real force of French in Quebec, a translation of a December 2005 article by Charles Castonguay
- Read Conference: The French fact in Québec and Canada: The Hidden Storm by Jean-François Lisée, a conference held at the American University Summer Institute, Washington D.C., June 2004
- Read What is the real force of attraction of French in Quebec?, a translation of a December 2001 article by Charles Castonguay
- Read French is on the ropes. Why won’t Ottawa admit it ? by Charles Castonguay, in Policy Options / Options politiques, 20, 8 : 39-50, 1999
- An good introductory read: Getting the facts straight on French : Reflections following the 1996 Census by Charles Castonguay, in Inroads Journal, volume 8, 1999, pages 57 to 77
- Read a Transcript of a Standing Joint Commitee on Official Languages hearing with Charles Castonguay, recorded on April 28, 1998
Poems, songs, movies
- Read all our Translations of poems and lyrics
- Peek through the Independentist Music Directory (French)
- Read some Independentist & Sovereignist Poetry (French)
- The film 15 février 1839 by movie director Pierre Falardeau (French)
- Read the article A Sovereign Presence - The poet and the politician in Gérald Godin by Jack M. Ruttan
- The film A Song for Quebec by Dorothy Todd Hénaut
- The film Two Episodes from the Life of Hubert Aquin by Jacques Godbout
- 1972: A flash animation of the poem L'alouette en colère by Félix Leclerc ( >> English translation << )
- 1948: Read an English translation of the Refus global manifesto by Paul-Émile Borduas
- 1888: Read the novel A Family Without a Name: Into the Abyss, by French writer Jules Vernes, on the insurrections of 1837-1838
Opinions by individual militants
- Read opinions by individual militants
- See the list of books written by advocates of Quebec independence
Opinions by militant organizations
The oldest patriotic institution of Quebec, the St-Jean-Baptiste Society was founded in 1834 by Ludger Duvernay.
- Read the section dedicated to the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society
Les Intellectuels pour la souveraineté (IPSO)
- Web site of IPSO (in French)
- Quebec Sovereignty: A Legitimate Goal, 1995
- A Yes for Change, June 1995
Many political parties officially advocating a) colonial self-government vis-a-vis London, b) provincial self-government vis-a-vis Ottawa or c) the independence of Québec have been created in history. There are presently two major parties supporting independence: the Parti québécois (PQ) and Québec solidaire (QS).
Parti québécois (PQ)
Founded in 1968, the Parti québécois still is today the main political party of Quebec advocating secession from the federal state of Canada.
- Web site of the Parti québécois
- Budget of a sovereign Québec, by François Legault, October 2005 (PDF)
- See our page on the presidents of the Parti québécois
The SPQ Libre (Syndicalistes et progressistes pour un Québec libre) is a "political club" officially recognized by the PQ in 2006. The political stance of its member is similar to that of Québec solidaire parti members, however they have refused to completely break away from the PQ.
Bloc québécois (BQ)
Founded in 1990, the Bloc québécois provides an alternative to Quebecers when voting in federal elections.
- Web site of the Bloc québécois
Québec solidaire (QS)
Founded in 2006, Québec solidaire is the result of the merger of the Union des forces progressistes party and Option citoyenne movement.
- Parti canadien or Parti patriote (1790s to 1837)
- Parti démocratique or Parti rouge (1848 to 1850s)
- Parti républicain du Québec (1962 to 1964)
- Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale (1964 to 1968)
- Ralliement national (1965 to 1968)
- Parti indépendantiste (1985 to 1990)
- Union des forces progressistes (2002 to 2006)
- List of organizations advocating the independence of Quebec
- Read on the range of attitudes towards Québec
- See a list of all our translations
- Read some famous quotes by various contemporary and historical figures
- Quebec's Struggle for Nationhood on Maxists.org