Quiet Revolution  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Quiet Revolution (Template:Lang-fr) was a period of intense socio-political and socio-cultural change in the Canadian province of Québec, characterized by the effective secularization of government, the creation of a state-run welfare state (état-providence), and realignment of politics into federalist and sovereigntist (or separatist) factions and the eventual election of a pro-sovereignty provincial government in the 1976 election. The Quiet Revolution typically refers to the efforts made by the Liberal government of Jean Lesage (elected in 1960), and sometimes Robert Bourassa (elected in 1970 after the Union Nationale's Daniel Johnson in 1966), though given the profound effect of the changes, most provincial governments since the early 1960s have maintained an orientation based on core concepts developed and implemented in that era.

A primary change was an effort by the provincial government to take more direct control over the fields of health care and education, which had previously been in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church. It created ministries of Health and Education, expanded the public service, and made massive investments in the public education system and provincial infrastructure. The government further allowed unionization of the civil service. It took measures to increase Québécois control over the province's economy and nationalized electricity production and distribution and worked to establish the Canada/Québec Pension Plan. Hydro-Québec was also created in an attempt to nationalize Québec's electric companies. French-Canadians in Québec also adopted the new name 'Québécois', trying to create a separate identity from France and establish themselves as a reformed province.

The Quiet Revolution was a period of unbridled economic and social development in Québec and Canada and paralleled similar developments in the West in general. It was a byproduct of Canada's 20-year post-war expansion and Québéc's position as the leading province for more than a century before and after Confederation. It witnessed particular changes to the built environment and social structures of Montreal, Québéc's leading city. The Quiet Revolution also extended beyond Québec's borders by virtue of its influence on contemporary Canadian politics. During the same era of renewed Quebecois nationalism, French Canadians made great inroads into both the structure and direction of the federal government and national policy. Moreover, certain facets of the welfare state, as they developed in Québec in the 1960s, became nationalized by virtue of Québec's acceptance and promotion. This would include rural electrification and healthcare initiatives undertaken by Tommy Douglas in Saskatchewan twenty years earlier.

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