AMERICAN PERCEPTIONS OF QUEBEC
Alfred ÎŸ. Hero, Jr.
Americans' reactions to QuÃ©bec developments are intimateÂ
ly associated with their perceptions of Canada as a whole and
their priorities concerning U.S.-Canadian relations. American
governmental, foreign-policy, business, and other elites interested
in relations with Canada since World War II have viewed them
primarily either from the point of view of collective security
and defense or from an economic perspective. Canada has
seldom been regarded as posing major problems or threats in
either of these general domains.
Most issues Canadians have raised with Americans have
typically been perceived on the American side as technical,
specialized, or otherwise of concern mainly to small American
minorities, often special-interest groups in the private sector.
Expertise about Canada has been concentrated in relevant parts
of most larger American corporations and of the U.S. governÂ
ment, at middle levels in executive and bureaucratic hierarchies.
Similarly, with the partial exception of international trade
economists and their counterparts in internationally-oriented
business schools, few with broad foreign-policy interests in the
research and intellectual communities have devoted more than
sporadic attention to Canadian affairs.
Minimal Interest in QuÃ©bec
Until the election of the independentist, "progressiste"
P.Q. government in November 1976, QuÃ©bec was regarded as
largely irrelevant to the few interest Americans, including
foreign-affairs and business elites, perceived in Canada. The
QuÃ©bÃ©cois who had significant roles in those interests with
whom influential Americans dealt were often Anglophones in