English and French Relations in the 20th Century In the 20th Century, the relationship between English and French in Canada has deteriorated. French-English relations were already suffering and continued to do so before World War I. The two world wars and the depression years strained relations greatly. In the post-war years, the Quebecois began to organize, and in some cases, rebelled. The product of these events is a country, threatened with division.
Relations before the turn of the century were already strained, and suffered more before World War I. On the heels of the Louis Riel execution, and Ottawa's harsh treatment of the Metis, many francophones were suspicious and even fearful of the looming English majority. As the turn of the century took place, Quebec's premier, Honore Mercier, was already fighting for greater provincial powers. The Boer War was a reminder that Canada was very much a client of Britain, a war that francophones had no interest in contributing to.
The Laurier Boom largely excluded Quebec because America and English Canada shared so much language and culture that Quebec was left behind by comparison. In 1905, while Laurier tried to implement dual educational systems in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Clifford Sifton essentially forced Laurier to abandon it because Sifton desired to make Canada an English nation. Sifton's "white mans Canada" offended French, Blacks Asians, and others alike. French Canadians began to feel that Quebec was the only place their language and culture would be tolerated. The stage was set for unrest and discontentment in the future.
With the onset of World War I, French and English Canadians learned about their different priorities, and loyalties. The francophones were highly opposed to a war that supported Britain, still their nemesis in their opinion. Francophone soldiers were rare, and francophones remained unhappy with the...