Lionel Groulx

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Lionel-Adolphe Groulx (French pronunciation: [ɡʁu]; January 13, 1878–May 23, 1967) was a Roman Catholic priest, historian and Quebec nationalist.



Early life and ordination

Groulx was born at Chenaux, Quebec, Canada, the son of a farmer and lumberjack, and died in Vaudreuil, Quebec. After his seminary training and studies in Europe, he taught at Valleyfield College in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, and then the Université de Montréal. In 1917 he co-founded a monthly journal called Action Française, becoming its editor in 1920.

Study of Confederation

Groulx was one of the first Quebec historians to study Confederation: he insisted on its recognition of Quebec rights and minority rights, although he believed a combination of corrupt political parties and French Canadian minority status in the Dominion had failed to deliver on those promises, as the Manitoba conflict exposed. Groulx believed that only through national education and the Quebec government could the economic and social inferiority of French Canadians be repaired. Groulx was quite successful promoting his brand of ultramontanism.

His main focus was to restore Quebeckers' pride in their identity by knowledge of history, both the heroic acts of New France and the French Canadian and self-government rights obtained through a succession of important political victories: 1774, the Quebec Act recognized the rights of the Quebec province and its people with respect to French law, Catholic religion and the French language; in 1848, responsible government was finally obtained after decades of struggle, along with the rights of the French language; in 1867, the autonomy of the province of Quebec was restored as Lower Canada was an essential partner in the creation of a new Dominion through Confederation [La Confederation canadienne, Montreal, Quebec 10/10, 1978 (1918)].

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