Thursday, March 08, 2007

"The Men Who Saved Quebec"

HERE IS A FASCINATING ARTICLE about a carefully-avoided problem of the American Revolution: The Men Who Saved Quebec, courtesy of Andrew Cusack.

Both the traditional Whig History and the more recent Marxist History of the United States (as now taught in our public schools), are silent about the reason why the Canadian colonies did not join in the revolution.
The British Crown's toleration of Catholicism in Quebec was cited by the rebel colonists of the 1770's as, ironically, an 'intolerable act'. That the Church of Rome, that bastion of backwards conservatism and slavish hierarchy, could be tolerated in the lands under the power of the British parliament riled the Whigs—the enlightened liberal progressives of the day. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin was even so foolish as to go to Quebec as an emissary of the 'Continental Congress' to persuade the natives to rebel against the Crown; Congress's proposals to ban Catholicism and prohibit the use of the French language ensured he was not successful.
Britain's reason for tolerating Catholicism was due to her realization of the utter failure and devastation she had wrought in Ireland; indeed, shortly after Quebec, Parliament granted religious freedom to the Irish, and then to Britain herself; this led to the Anglo-Catholic movement, where Anglicans rediscovered their Catholic past, which in turn led to the great English Catholic literary revival of the 20th century.

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