Nationalist League

The Nationalist League, founded in Montréal 1 March 1903, during renewed British IMPERIALISM, increased anglophone aggressiveness towards Francophones and growing Canadian INDUSTRIALIZATION. Comprising a few largely unknown journalists and lawyers, including Olivar Asselin (president), Omer Héroux (secretary) and Armand Lavergne, the league sought to spread the nationalist views of its indisputable mentor, Henri BOURASSA.

Its program focused on achieving a purely Canadian NATIONALISM and was based on 3 points: autonomy of Canada in the British Empire and the provinces in Confederation; respect for Canadian duality; and establishment of uniquely Canadian economic and cultural policies. The league had no clearly defined structure and had few members. After a promising beginning, when it launched the weekly Le Nationaliste and organized public meetings featuring Bourassa, it almost disappeared in 1906.

The league then inspired the "nationalist movement." The nationalists were stubbornly doctrinal, tireless opponents of the governments in power and fervent participants in Québec electoral politics. But because it was poorly organized, elitist and too closely associated with Bourassa, the "nationalist movement" gradually declined after the 1912 provincial election without having attained its major objectives.