why do they speak french in canada

French colonization lasted from the early 1600s to the late 1700s, which means that, at the time of the Seven Year s War (Americans call it the French and Indian War), French settlement in the St. Lawrence river valley had pre-dated English settlement of America by a size-able amount of time. The French were simply the majority in what is now Quebec and Ontario. The British gave the French Canadians quite a good deal with the Quebec Act (which the colonials would later cite as an intolerable act. which didn t do much to convince the Canadians to join the American revolution). This Act ensured that the Catholic Signeurial System would remain intact, that Civil Law would be respected in Quebec, and that land distribution would also remain the same. It also barred most English settlers to move there (although this was later revised, as Upper and Lower Canada were created after the American Revolution). So, yes the British did conquer Quebec, but comparatively they were quite good to them. They protected the French Canadians for a few reasons. 1) The French has established close kinship ties and relationships with aboriginal groups from the Ohio Valley, to the Great Lakes basin. The British did not want to antagonize these groups (see
Royal Proclamation for more details).


These kinship ties were quite strong, and in fact, a new mixed race type of people started to develop as the offspring between French fur traders and native women. They are called Metis people and are a constitutionally recognized people in Canada. They even have their own Creole language called Michif. 2) the French Canadians were well trained militiamen who had been drafted into the army at a young age. They were formidable. The British colonials had a hard time defeating them even when the French were out-gunned and out-manned. They didn t want to incite the people of Quebec. 3) The Brits learned from their mistakes in Acadia (now the Maritimes of Canada), when they deported most Acadians to Louisiana. These people later became Cajuns. which basically means Cajuns are French Canadians who fished for a living. but I digress to the point. It often confuses me why Americans usually get this wrong. Finally, 4) the French had established quite a thriving fur trade business based out of Montreal. This would later become the backbone of the Hudson s Bay Company. This company would make outposts all the way to the Pacific Ocean (Before Louis and Clark were even born, yet dispelling another American history myth), and was a cash cow for British factors.


Most of their crew were French Canadian voyageurs or Metis. So there you have it. French in Canada was just too ingrained and viable to really be displaced. French is to Canada as English is to the US. You ll find it taught in schools and written on signs. If you walk down the street, there s a fair bet that any random person will be able to at least make out what you re saying. But France is nowhere near Canada. So, how did the French language find itself on Canadian tongues? Canada started out as a French territory but, like many countries on today s political playing field, it was quickly scooped up as part of the England s world powers playlist. France lost Canada to the Brits during the Seven Years War. In, what some would argue is classic French fashion, the colonists were stubborn in resisting British cultural influences. They refused to assimilate with new British colonists and never bothered to pick up the English language. Canada was famous for its trading operations. As time went on, the French language was deemed inferior by members of the trading industry.


This forced a split amongst Canada s French-speaking population. Many French-speakers were forced to learn English to keep their businesses alive. However, a sizeable portion of Canadians dug in and clung to their native language and culture. This paved the way to the three distinct groups non-french speakers, those who speak either French when they have to, and those who have difficulties speaking/understanding English. If you go through a drive-thru in certain parts of Canada, they may ask you for your order in French. More often than not, you can respond and carry out the conversation in perfect English. That s the weird dynamic of the French language in Canada. Unlike Spanish in the US, French is used on more than just signs and instruction manuals. It has become a perfectly equal alternative to English. About a fifth of the Canadian population list French as their native language. Fortunately, the language isn t the only influence France exported to North America. Canada is home to many fine French restaurants. Many of them include dishes with a unique Canadian influence. AtВ CafГ TouchГ, we re all about French food. today to enjoy the best authentic cuisine in Chicago.

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