Victoria Day in Québec

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Canada. For most of the country, it's Victoria Day. For the Québécois, it's la Journée nationale des patriotes. It was instated in 2003 by the Péquiste government to underline the importance of the struggle of the patriots of 1837-1838.

The Rebellions of 1837 were a pair of Canadian armed uprisings that occurred in 1837 and 1838 in response to frustrations in political reform. For many Canadians today, the Patriots' doing was an act of heresy, a somber episode associated with today's sovereignty debate in support for the French language. The fact that Québec's response to Victoria Day was instated by the Parti Québécois even furthers this line of thought. There's more than meets the eye.

Most are aware of the fact that the rebellion in Lower Canada was led by Louis-Joseph Papineau. But it also should be noted that it involved other leaders such as Thomas Storrow Brown, Wolfred Nelson and Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan. In Upper Canada, the rebellion was led by William Lyon Mackenzie. A key shared goal was the allowance of responsible government; it was a movement against the British colonial government.

The rebellion of the Patriotes Canadiens of Lower Canada is often seen as the example of what might have happened to the USA if the American Revolutionary War had failed. Tomorrow, the Québécois will be remembering people who felt Canada would benefit from more autonomy. Other Canadians will be remembering the monarchy of Canada.


Skinny Dipper said...

It's the 2-4 weekend in Ontario. For those who don't know, a 2-4 is a case of 24 beer.

Happy Vixen Day, Michel!

James said...
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Saraline said...

William Lyon Mackenzie was my great-great-great-great-great grandfather on my mother's side. I always like seeing him mentioned.

James, your comment doesn't make sense to me. The Canadian confederation happened 30 years after the Rebellions of 1837, so I don't see how Queen Victoria's assent to the British North America act was a direct response to these rebellions. It sure took a long time for a direct response! Also, Victoria Day was declared a holiday in the Province of Canada in 1845, which was before the 1867 confederation, so I don't see how it's associated with Queen Victoria giving us parliament.

Interesting post, Michel!

James said...
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