Difference between revisions of "User:Liberlogos/French Canadian Ingratitude and Disloyalty"

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{{title|French Canadian Ingratitude and Disloyalty|''[[Wikipedia:The Times|The Times]]''|September 15, 1860<br /><br />Excerpt transcripted by [[User:Liberlogos|Benoît Rheault]] from:<br /><br />''[[Wikipedia:The New York Times|The New York Times]]''}}
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#REDIRECT [[French Canadian Ingratitude and Disloyalty]]
 
 
There is a peculiar aspect of English colonization in which it is not frequently regarded. India is not a colony at all, but, properly speaking, a subject Empire. Australia has nothing in it of a subject Empire, but is a colony settled purely by persons of the same race and living under the same laws as ourselves. But there is yet another type of colony, of which the Mauritius, the Cape of Good Hope, and Canada are specimens. Here the English are the conquering race, and another people of the same European family sit down close behind them. In no case has it been found that those who colonized the land before us were able to compete successfully with the English settler. We have asserted the superiority as much in the arts of industry as in arms; and, with the single exception of the vast territories which now form the United States, have never lost by violence a colony which we have once obtained. We may say more. We believe that we have, upon the whole, treated the European races that fell under our power with a mildness and a justice quite unexampled in the history of conquering States.
 
 
 
We cannot select a better instance than is affored at this moment by the colony of Lower Canada. We have held that province now exactly a hundred years. It was acquired by conquest, and consequently the Crown had the power, by virtue of its prerogative, of making whatever changes it thought fit in the laws and the constitution of the territory. We found it, like all the other possessions of France, under an absolute Government, with laws and customs in many respects very dissimilar from our own, strongly attached to the Roman Catholic religion, and with little disposition to adopt any improvement, either in legislation or administration. If we have erred in our treatment of this foreign population, it has been on the side of mildness and indulgence. They have long possessed representative institutions equal to our own, complete freedom of the Press and personal security from arrests and domiciliary visits, and therefore <!-- Thus written in original text. --> enormously superior to anything that they enjoyed since their separation. The desolating whirlwind of the Revolution has swept over France, and levelled <!-- Thus written in original text. --> with the dust not only the castle of the nobleman, but those splendid religious establishments, the monuments of the piety and benevolence of former ages. So effectually have the laws and customs of the ancient ''régime'' been swept away, that it is a matter of considerable antiquarian research to reproduce the state of society and law which existed under Louis XIV. <!-- Dot in original text. --> and his two successors; indeed, if any one wants to form an idea of old France, he must not look to the France of to-day, <!-- Thus written in original text. --> which dates everything from the Assrmbly of the States-General, bu he must cross the Atlantic, and contemplate the manner in which these things are preserved in Lower Canada, like a fly in amber. We have been so anxious not to wound the prejudices of our fellow-subjects of the French race that we have forborne from forcing upon them the improvements in their laws which seem necessary, but which they regard with aversion. We have allowed their feudal tenures to die out quietly; we have respected their language so much that in a colony, a majority of the inhabitants of which are of the English race, we suffer both languages to be spoken and the statutes to be promulgated both in English and French. Let any one <!-- Thus written in original text. --> visit Quebec, and he will find it filled with convents and religious establishments, which have been protected under the rule of Protestant England from the fate which has overtaken the religious foundations of Roman Catholic France. In our hands the Roman Catholic Church has lost nothing; her rights, her privileges, her dignities, her property, are entire. We have carried our anxietty to please so far that each province possesses not only its separate laws and language, but distinct law officers and courts of justice. In fact, we are unable to point out any single grievance under which Lower Canada can even pretend that she suffers, unless it be that she now remains, as she was a hundred years ago, a dependency of the British crown. Some three-and-twenty <!-- Thus written in original text. --> years ago Lower Canada rose in rebellion. The outbreak wa easily quelled, and the offenders, upon the whole, were treated with clemency. If Lower Canada still remains French in feelings and institutions, it is because she has had the support of Great Britain. Had she been left to herself, she could scarcelt have failed to be absorbed either by the Ebglish colonies on her west of the United States on her south.
 
 
 
If we were, then, to select any country on the face of the earth which has more reason than another to feel grateful to Great Britain for uniform care, kindness and consideration, the country we should select would be Lower Canada. Confiding in the good feeling which we are conscious we deserve, the Queen has sent her heir-apparent of the Crown of the British Empire to honor with his presence the inauguration of a magnificent bridge, constructed almost entirely with British capital — not the least of the many advantages which Lower Canada has reaped from her connection with Great Britain — by which the capital of the French province will be brought into communication with the trade of the United States. It was not unreasonable to suppose that such a compliment, shown to a people whose good we will have done so much to conciliate, would call forth corresponding expressions of loyalty and affection. We do not say that this will not be the case, but we confess that it is with great regret we have read certain proceedings in the Town Council of Montreal, which we publish elsewhere, and which
 
clearly show that amid the populace and a portion of the municipality of that city very different sentiments prevail. The occasion for the demonstration to which we allude was a proposition which was brought before the City Council of Montreal for altering the name of a square from Commissioner-square <!-- Thus written in original text. --> to Victoria-square. <!-- Thus written in original text. --> This opportunity was taken by certain members of the Council, vigorously seconded by the cheers of the audience, to level the vilest abuse against the English, to denounce their tyranny and oppression, and to declare that enough honor had been done to the name of Victoria without giving it to one of their squares. Another grievance was that a monument had been erected to Lord Nelson in the square that bears the name of Jacques Cartier, the original founder of Canada, and loud declarations were made that the descendants of the greatest nation on the globe would never be put down by the English, the accursed race, or by the Irish vagabonds who were vomited on their shores.
 
 
 
It certainle will be very much to be regretted if the same mob which thirteen years ago burned down the Parliament House of Montreal should, under such leaders as the men who got up this scene, do anything to mar the unanimity of loyalty and good feeling with which we not unreasonably hoped that the visit of the Prince of Wales to the city of Montreal would have been received.
 
 
 
== Note ==
 
This is a letter from ''The Times'' newspaper of London as reprinted by ''[[Wikipedia:The New York Times|The New York Times]]'' (September 15, 1860, p.1), from ''Historical New York Times'' archives available at the ''Proquest historical newspapers'' website, in turn available with a membership of the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec.
 

Latest revision as of 02:41, 2 July 2008