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New Biographies

Minor Corrections

Biography of the Day


Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

Discontent in Quebec

The centralizing impulses of Sir John A. MACDONALD’s federal Conservatives encountered strong opposition from provincial politicians in Quebec. Honoré MERCIER, who became the leader of Quebec’s Liberal Party in 1883, took a stand against what he called “the federal conspiracy against provincial autonomy.” His views were stark:

“Macdonald was a centralizer; his ministers Chapleau and Langevin were running Quebec through intermediaries; the central government was taking revenue from Quebec and blithely redistributing it among the other provinces. The constitutional theory formulated by judge Thomas-Jean-Jacques Loranger* gave Mercier the legal foundation on which to base a claim of provincial autonomy: the Canadian confederation is a pact between the provinces, which retain real sovereignty.”

For more on the issue of federal–provincial matters as they pertain to Quebec in the period after confederation, consult the biographies in the following list.

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