Canada represents a modern industrialized society in which the issue of linguistic diversity has enormous social and educational consequences. Official policy, since the earliest days of the British Crown, has endorsed bilingualism. The British North American Act of 1867 granted official status to the French language. This policy has not always been taken seriously, however, and the preeminent position of English in Canadian society was a major factor leading to the emergence of the Quebec separatist movement in the 1960s.