L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia
David RAJOTTE, Les Jeunes Laurentiens. Jeunesse, militantisme et nationalisme dans le Canada français des années 1940, Mémoire de M. A. (Histoire), Université de Montréal, 2006, xxvi-215p.
The Jeunes Laurentiens are a group of young nationalists founded in 1940 and dissolved ten years later. They occupied an important place in the nationalist and traditionalist French-Canadian society of the time. They spread to the principle centers of French Canada and amongst them were female adherents. The aim of this masters’ thesis is to discern their thoughts and ideas as well as their principle activities. We pay particular attention to the context and to the network of their ideological family. Our plan is thematic. We first examine the ideology of the Jeunesses laurentiennes: nationalists, traditionalists and Catholic, they are essentially influenced by French-Canadian thinkers. We then study their search for an identity. We show that youth and women occupied a fundamental role in their ideas. They considered themselves worthy representatives of the youth and women were for them essential to the survival of the nation. Then, the functioning of the Jeunes Laurentiens holds our attention. The analysis allows to see that they opted for a pyramid-like structure which served efficiently their needs. They took a large role amongst the individuals and organizations which were nationalist during the 1940s. They entertained close ties with many of them. We finally take a closer look at the actions of the movement. The Jeunes Laurentiens attempted not only to put into practice the most realisable elements of their ideology, but also participated as interest group to the main campaigns of the 1940s, whether against conscription or for the adoption of the fleurdelisé.
© 2006 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College