Louis-Joseph Papineau was a man who left his mark on the political history of Lower Canada. Born in Montréal in 1786 to a wealthy family, he was the son of a politician. After law school, he became a lawyer. He soon tired of this profession and decided to enter politics like his father.
In 1809, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly. This would be the beginning of a long career in politics. During his career as a member of the Assembly, he represented several constituencies, especially in the Montréal region. He was elected speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 1815. From that moment on, his power would only continue to grow.
Papineau entered politics at a time when political parties were just being created. He joined the Canadian Party, later called the Patriot Party.
Papineau was a skilled orator who was very popular among French Canadians. He made it his duty to represent and defend them. For him, Lower Canada was a distinct geographic, economic and cultural space that was destined to always be the home of the Catholic, francophone habitant.
Until 1830, he believed that the British political institutions were most conducive to ensuring the happiness of the people. Any problems were due to the excessive power held by English aristocrats and merchants.
In the years 1837-1838, he would be strongly involved in the Patriots’ struggle to defend the role of French Canadians in political affairs.
Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social
French (If available)