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Union nationale


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A political party in Quebec formed in 1935 by Conservative leaders to break the hold of the Liberal Party on the province. Like the Cooperative Commonwealth Foundation and the Social Credit Party, it emerged as a response to the Great Depression, to achieve social justice by state intervention if necessary, inspired in this instance by the support of the Roman Catholic Church. Led by Maurice Duplessis (b. 1890, d. 1959), it won the 1936 provincial elections, and with one brief intermission (1939–44) held power until 1960. The province experienced considerable economic progress during that time, but the party refrained from divisive social and educational reforms, continuing instead to rely on the Roman Catholic Church for the maintenance of its education and health systems. This system broke down shortly after Duplessis's death, when it was superseded by the Quiet Revolution introduced by the Liberals in 1960. The party regained power with an unconvincing majority (1966–70), and thereafter disintegrated, giving way to the separatist Parti Québécois as the political voice of French‐speaking Quebec.


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