Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The conquest or the giving away of Quebec

I listened to Pierre Falardeau one of Quebec artist complaining about the recreation of the Battle on the Plain of Abraham in Quebec. Now in a previous post I said that I not a big fan of celebrating the defeat because for the french speaking majority of Quebec associate this historical event to a defeat and it could be seen as rubbing the defeat in their face. So I’m not hot on the idea, but I would welcome an historical recreation particularly if it was set in within the Fête de la Nouvelle France.

Now many of mister Falardeau’s follower parrot that the battle was the conquest of Quebec. Now while Quebec city was conquered in this battle, most of Quebec was still free, one proof of that is that Chevalier de Levis (a french general) fought for Quebec in 1760 and defeated the British at the battle of Ste-Foy. However the British managed to retreat the to fortification of Quebec and hold out the siege until English reinforcement arrived and forces Levis to retreat to Montreal where he was forced to capitulate by September of 1760. So while the battle of the Plain d’Abraham was a major defeat for the french it was by no mean the end of the war in fact if France had send reinforcement for Levis he would probably have retaken the city.

Next we have to remember that in the Treaty of Paris the French where given the choice between taking back Canada or the island of the Guadeloupe. They chose to take the Guadeloupe leaving the snowy fields of Quebec to the English. The nicely provided closes in the treaty protecting the french living in Quebec and giving them a 18 month period to move out (basically). So remember, France GAVE Quebec to the English, they could have kept the territory if they had let go of the Guadeloupe.

So yes, the British conquered Quebec, but the French did far worse they abandoned Quebec. For a few gram of sugar they gave Quebec away without a second though and without ever trying to retake the province from the British. Yes we where conquered but we should own no loyalty to the people that abandoned us, Quebecers are their own culture, we are one part french and one part english and completely unique. This is what we should celebrate, that our destiny was changed by a battle and a name on a treaty but that we nonetheless forged for ourselves a new destiny and a new identity.

1 comment:

yofed said...

I love you!!!! :D