Papineau, Louis Joseph [key], 1786–1871, French Canadian political leader and insurgent, b. Montreal. After serving as an officer in the War of 1812, he entered (1814) the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada (Quebec), of which he was (1815–37) speaker. Eloquent and able, he soon became leader of the French Canadian Reform party. His hostility to the British government in Canada, whose measures he considered unfair to the French Canadians, inflamed some of his followers, the Patriotes, to open rebellion in 1837; shortly afterward a rebellion incited by William Lyon Mackenzie broke out in Upper Canada (Ontario). Papineau took no active part in the uprisings but fled to the United States, where he sought assistance for the Canadian colonial cause. Failing in his effort, he went to France. He received full amnesty in 1844 and returned to Canada in 1845. He reentered politics and again sat (1848–54) in the Canadian legislative assembly, but he never regained his former influence.
See biographies by A. D. De Celles (in “Makers of Canada” series, Vol. V, 1926) and F. Guellet (1961).
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