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Politicians, Organizers, and the Making of Quebec’s National Holiday’s Public Policy, 1976-1984

Marc-André Gagnon

Spreading across North America in the mid-19th century, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day was established by French Canadian nationalist elites to signify the existence of a distinct French and Catholic society through the use of public demonstrations. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society, a patriotic association founded in Montreal in 1842, mobilized resources and used the celebration as a moment of reflection on the unique challenges posed by an anglo-dominant society in an effort to remind French Canadians of their duty to maintain their language, traditions, and faith.