Social and Historic Context
A period of social and political upheaval
Children of the post-war baby boom were now young adults. They were educated and committed pacifists, sovereignists, ecologists, etc. Causes and social movements were numerous. University campuses were hotbeds in several countries such as North America, Latin America and Europe. Student demonstrations reached their peak in May 1968.
In October 1970, Quebec was in the throes of a serious political crisis: the FLQ movement set off bombs, diplomat James Cross was kidnapped, Minister Pierre Laporte was kidnapped and killed, etc. The federal government of Pierre Elliot Trudeau implemented the War Measures Act in Quebec.
In April 1971, Premier Robert Bourassa announced the James Bay hydroelectric development project. Work began in May, 1972. In 1976, a sovereignist party was elected to power for the first time in Quebec. The same year, Montréal hosted the summer Olympic Games.
In May 1980, the first referendum on sovereignty-association was held in Quebec. The electorate voted 59.5% against the project. In 1982, the Canadian Constitution was repatriated from London (royal proclamation in April 1982).