Quebec is a province full of French-speaking Quebecois, descendents of the explorer Jacques Cartier, Champlain and those who settled this part of Canada before it was Canada. Yes, the British defeated them on the Plains of Abraham and those “red coats” would have forced Quebecers to speak English if not for a pesky group called Americans who got the idea to invade Canada. The Brits needed the Quebecois to help them fight off these attacks and so struck a deal that allowed them to retain their language. Thanks America. Quebec is the better for it.
But this didn’t end the tensions between the French and English and by the 1940s, the English, using the Church to keep the very religious French in their place, pretty much ran the province of Quebec. But then came groups like the FLQ who thought this wasn’t such a good idea.
A lot of their actions were political but during the 60s there were over 200 terrorist bombings, including a famous one in Quebec City. One night, in 1963, dynamite was stuffed into a large bronze statue of Queen Victoria and the resultant explosion blew her head off and sent it flying over 100 yards across Victoria Park. I won’t bore you with the rest of Quebec history but the Quiet Revolution that took place in the 70s is a remarkable history of a people regaining control of their province. Instead, I’ll share with you a sketch I did of Vicky’s head, which resides in our Musee de la Civilisation.