Albert Faucher

Albert Faucher, economist and historian (b at Quebec 20 Jul 1915 - d at Québec, Qc, 19 Mar 1992). He first studied at U Laval where he came first in his class at the new School of Social Sciences founded in 1938.

Faucher, Albert

Albert Faucher, economist and historian (b at Quebec 20 Jul 1915 - d at Québec, Qc, 19 Mar 1992). He first studied at U Laval where he came first in his class at the new School of Social Sciences founded in 1938. Graduating in 1941, he pursued his studies with Harold Innis and Vincent Bladen at the U of Toronto until December 1944, when he was engaged as a professor at U Laval, a position he would hold for 40 years. In 1945, he received a M.A. in economic history from the U of Toronto. After a period teaching at Laval, during which he produced a large number of works on the cooperative movement (1953-1954), he left to study in England at the London School of Economics on a grant from the Nuffield Foundation.

An economist historian and historian economist Albert Faucher, with Maurice Lamontagne, began to develop a more global perspective even before spending time in England. The Faucher-Lamontagne hypothesis, published in 1953 which puts the Québécois experience back into its continental framework, and explains Québec's lag by factors of economic localisation, innovation and technical change, completely transforms our view of the province. Faucher uses the same schema that uses the North American continent as a unity of analysis, in his works on the imbalances between the four regions, roughly speaking around the Great Lakes (Québec, New-England, Ontario and the American Midwest). This zone equally serves as a framework for his analyses of the financial difficulties in the Province of Canada in the mid 19th century and for the examination of the massive emigration of French Canadians to the United States in the late 19th century (see Franco-Americans).

These works were consolidated into an important collection (1970) and an authoritative summary work (1973) for which Faucher won the Governor General's Award. He received numerous other distinctions: the Léon-Gérin prize (1985); the prix Esdras-Minville (1988), and the Innis-Gérin Medal(1989).

Faucher was shy and affable, but his works always had a slightly subversive side and contributed to non-suit conventional assumptions that attributed Québec's economic lag to political and cultural causes. He also opened many very fertile sites for economic-historical analysis. Faucher modestly said that he had wanted to "blaze trails" and that his objective was to construct a "carnal history of the institutions" of the social economies of Quebec and Canada. To do this, he knew (as all good troublemakers) how to raise questions that had the good fortune of reframing our perceptions - which is what he did on all the sites he surveyed.