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Touchy Quebeckers. Very touchy

The knowledge of how many events of 250 years ago still smarts? Not many I imagine. I have also got over our losing the Battle of Hastings, the Hundred Years war and the end of the Commonwealth of England. I expect readers will have got over sundry other national setbacks too. Well, maybe not some Caledonians and Hibernians, but that is a tale for another day.

However, Quebec, or some of its politicians, has got frightfully worked up about the forthcoming 250th anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, in which Wolfe defeated Montcalm, and thus was part of the process leading to the end of French rule in North America. Without wishing to inflcit a long and distracting history lesson, it as least arguable that the French opened hostilities against us in what we call the Seven Years war.

The battle is being re-enacted by folk who like dressing up for these things, and other SYW battles have been re-enacted elsewhere across the Pond without anyone getting particularly upset. Not Quebeckers, however:

""It is probably one of the saddest dates of our history," PQ MNA Martin Lemay said last week during a televised debate on the subject. "There is no country in the world with any pride that celebrates its own defeats." Bloc MP Michel Guimond told Le Devoir last week that he wants the commission to immediately cancel "this celebration of the Conquest. There are still limits to how much you can mock a people." Firebrand separatist filmmaker Pierre Falardeau has said he plans to crash the party and Gerald Larose, head of the Conseil de la souverainete du Quebec, is threatening to stage a "show" to rival the mock battle on the Plains".


Nothing like keeping a sense of proportion, as after all, the rule of Louis XV was the very model of a liberal, participatory democracy, was it not? And note the savagery of our colonial rule:

"Many British people (including the American colonies to the south) hoped the French Canadians would be assimilated, but distinct rules of governance for Quebec were set out in the Quebec Act of 1774.

The Quebec Act expanded the territory of Quebec, which was then limited to a narrow area around the St-Lawrence river. The most significant expansion was to the southwest, into land that American colonists wanted to settle. The Act also allowed French Canadians to retain their Catholic religion and their French system of civil law. The Quebec Act became one of the Intolerable Acts that infuriated the thirteen American colonies".

Anyway, here's the Death of Wolfe:

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