Quebec Studies

The Economic and Political Ideas of Honoré Beaugrand in Jeanne la Fileuse

Quebec Studies (1983), 1, (1), 200–207.

Abstract

The Economic and Political Ideas of Honor6 Beaugrand in Jeanne la Fileuse Andre Seneca1 As French-Canadians fully accept and internalize the values associated with entrepreneurial capitalism, ideologists of the new era have begun to search the collective past for prophets and forerunners of Qukbec’s assertiveness and dedication to the capitalist ethic. I t is no doubt to this quest that we owe the recent rehabilitation of Honor6 Beaugrand, one of the most flamboyant Horatio Algers to rise from the physiocratic somnolence of 19th Century French Canada. Born in modest circumstances in the upper Richelieu Valley, Beaugrand escaped the stagnant environment of his rural world by submitting to the inevitable initiation of a colll.ge classique. Disillusioned by the stultifying fervor of ultramontanism and the venality of local politics, he quickly sought wider horizons. In 1865, at the age of 19, Beaugrand left his home to seek glory and adventure in the Franco-Mexican armies of Maximilian. After the demise of Napoleon 111’s puppet, the young soldier went to France on a pilgrimage to the fountainhead of liberalism. In 1869, he returned to America, an ardent francophile and an anticleric. He settled in the United States, became a free mason and began to defend the rights and maligned reputation of Franco-Americans by publishing several newspapers whose lives were brief and meteoric. He championed the annexation of Canada to the United States and, at the same time, he worked toward the repatriation of his people to the Laurentian homeland. In 1878, Beaugrand himself returned to Canada. After a brief stage in Ottawa as a federal bureaucrat, he went to Montr6al where he founded La Patrie, the most strident

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Author details

Sénécal, André