Political Career of Sir Adolphe Chapleau, Premier of Québec 1879-1882

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Adolphe Chapleau, former Premier of Quebec, Secretary of State in Ottawa, and Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, was the hinge that allowed Quebec to switch from Conservative dominance under Macdonald to Liberal dominance under Laurier. The prevailing interpretation of his failure blames the English-speaking Conservative anti-French attitudes. This work contends that while there was tension between English and French-speaking Conservatives, the real reason for Chapleau's failure rested on his own shoulders, his personal inability to dominate Quebec.


". . . does an admirable job of guiding the reader through late nineteenth century political developments to map out Chapleau's public life. . . . by using newspaper accounts; letters in religious, public, and private archives; and his own in-depth knowledge of late nineteenth-century Quebec; Munro has sketched out an intimate portrait of this prominent French Canadian politician. . . . a revealing entrée into the world of Quebec and Canadian politics in the late nineteenth century. It underscores the frustrations and concerns of one leading Quebec provincial politician who transferred his political ambitions to the larger Canadian stage, in an age when Ottawa, not Quebec City, was the centre of many French Canadians' political ambitions."- Donald B. Smith

". . . Munro leads us through the many negociations and discussions underlying Chapleau's ascension within the conservative party, in an attempt to fulfill his ambitions. The issues Chapleau had to confront are seen through this very partisan looking glass: constitutional questions like the Letellier de St-Just -- Joly de Lotbiniere incident; national questions like the North West Rebellion, the hanging of Louis Riel and the resulting French-English crisis; politico-religious questions like the influence of the programmistes, the Roman Catholic ultramontane faction of the Conservative party; social questions like capital and labor relations or Chinese immigration. Chapleau's vision of Quebec and Canada emerges from Munro's biography. . . " - Gratien Allaire

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