Groulx saw politics through the eyes of Henri Bourassa, embittered and unhappy over the ONTARIO SCHOOLS QUESTION and Canada's participation in WWI. With friends in the Ligue des droits du français, he worried over the diminishing stature of the French language in the burgeoning world of commerce and industry. His history lectures, published annually from 1916-21, continued their assault on the unknown and the commonplace. During 1917, the year of CONSCRIPTION, Groulx's history lessons threw a dash of cold water on Confederation itself. From 1920 to 1928 he edited a monthly journal, ACTION FRANÇAISE, and animated a nationalist organization of the same name. In the journal Groulx kept posing the worrisome question of French and Catholic survival in an urban, industrial Anglo-Saxon environment, and he toyed with the idea of an autonomous state for French Canada. He carefully avoided the word SEPARATISM and denied all his life any advocacy of it. But still the thought was there, if only as an ideal. Perhaps French Canadians could organize their social, economic and political existence in their own way, drawing their inspiration and their genius from their religion, their past and their French culture.
Groulx maintained that ideal through some of the darkest episodes in modern Québec history. The Depression of the 1930s found him involved with yet another nationalist organization, ACTION NATIONALE, which interpreted the Depression as the result of excess industrialization fostered by American capitalists and abetted by an overly generous provincial government. During WWII Groulx bluntly blamed English-speaking Canadians for the division over conscription. Usually Groulx was more severe with his fellow French Canadians: they must insist on their equal place in Canada. In the 1950s Groulx chastised a new generation for sloughing off their religious heritage.