The Manitoba Act in transition, 1870-1896 : the transformation of Manitoba's French-Canadian politico-cultural institutions

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Roscoe, Alexander Allan
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This thesis analyzes the transformation of Manitoba's French-Canadian politico-cultural institutions which occurred during the years 1870-1896 as a result of the tremendous influx of British and Ontario settlers in that period. It reveals that the earlier stages of institutional revision - the transition from parishes to municipalities and from communal to party politics - were accomplished in a spirit of compromise, while the last stage, the educational and linguistic changes of 1890 took place when the climate of racial and religious bitterness of federal politics in the 1880s had been carried over into Manitoba. The hostility of many Ontario immigrants towards the French Canadians in Manitoba was exacerbated by that climate. In conclusion, it was seen that those hostile attitudes and the tremendous numerical superiority of the English-Canadian majority made compromise on the language and school questions an impossibility and consequently instead of merely revising the institutions as they had earlier done, the English-Canadian majority abolished the official use of the French language and the dual system of denominational schools.