Parti canadien, founded during the early 19th century, was a political party of middle-class French Canadian professionals and merchants, although it attracted some anglophones. Its newspaper, Le Canadien
, was first published in Québec City 22 November 1806. Under the leadership of Pierre Bédard, the party was involved in agitation for ministerial responsibility and for greater power and control of political patronage by French Canadians.
In March 1810, at the insistence of Governor CRAIG, Bédard and some Le Canadien staff were arrested, and thereafter Bédard's control of the party declined. After about 1815 Louis-Joseph PAPINEAU emerged as leader, and the party went on to fight against the 1822 proposal for union of the Canadas. In 1826, to reflect a growing sense of FRENCH CANADIAN NATIONALISM, the Parti canadien became the Parti PATRIOTE.
Louis-Joseph Papineau (Daguerrotype), politician
Complex and contradictory, Papineau was the first effective political leader of his people and a fitting symbol of their discontent (daguerrotype, courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-66899).