Week 7 – Lecture 1
History 202: Canada to 1867
French lose power in a serious way in Louisbourg andAcadia – with Allies also
Until the 7YW – there is few people of British heritage in the areas that are now known as Canada – have Newfoundland and
Acadia but settlers tend to go to the 13 Colonies
- some people after the 7 YW but many more after theAm Rev and picks up again after the Nap Wars
Public – political, cultural and economic – life in Canada will, for at least a century, be organised around the question ‘how British
- is it British like the US colonies; foundation that they transform into something else, consciously willing their own
- Or it s a more backwards looking British heritage; dating back to the Magna Carta, a dense, meaningful cultural heritage?
o How much of this is based on modern identities e.g. Protestantism
- Or is it a thin veneer of legal and commercial relationships that can easily be extended and applied to other peoples, such
as French Canadians? = civil British identity that expands towards those whom are Catholic and French-speaking – yes
with QuebecAct BUT this is also despised by many in the more British areas
The problems of Canadian nationalism that seems to have shaped so much of the 20thC = Canadian history perpetuates these
- many of the same questions based on geography, climate, constitution, politics, balance of heritage and progress
o how British is it to have rights = based on Trudeau but it is an old debate
Britain sees themselves as good at this balance = political system founded on consent and a commercial
empire that emerges from this; commercial agency is the great new power in the world and insistence
on consent assures that every individual can make their own living which benefits the British
• Tradition of consent that goes back to the magna carta
What can we learn from earlier debate? Is it relevant to contemporary debate?
What is ‘identity’such that we need it or use it or teach it? What does it helps us to do better? Can there really be much history in
identity these days, given how much and how quickly the world changes?
Heamen: more important to consider how do we govern these people? what works and what doesn’t? what has worked, what
hasn’t and why?
- when one is drawing on the identity to create relationships – political, social and economic – we should look at history
Education as an example
- we can take education as an example: what relationship does Britishness have to education?
- Do British political forms require an educated population?
- Should education be Protestant or can it also be Catholic?
- How can we tell whether a population is educated or not?
OR – what relationship is there between Britishness and violence?
How British Canada is depends on the British presence?
- if Britons don’t live there in numbers nad British control is nominal, rule of law need not apply – a ‘frontier’like the wild
west cannot expect full British identity
- once British subjects live there, they claim rule of law i.e. the historical rights of the British subject including security of
person and property and a right to representative political institutions and British justice more people = more
= how can these British standards apply to new land?
Immigration changes expectations
Settlers don’t want the uncertainty of the frontier – they want security of life and property not such an obvious military presence
Diminished tolerance for violence including state violence
= interesting tensions in l18th and e19thC
So back to immigration: who comes to Canada, why, and how do they do? What is to blame if they do not do well?
- Canadian immigration history as two distinct stories:
o 1 – a ‘reluctant land’– and a population uncertainly trying to eke out a difficult living, hampered by land,
climate and distance from the market story of most early Canadian settlement o 2 – fertile land, good climate, proximity to market, demographic and commercial expansion = the story of
growth in much or even most of Canada until the end of the Nap Wars is primarily reproductive – versus Upper Canada where by
the 1840s over 50% of the population are immigrants
- Scottish – in substantial numbers in 18thC often connected with military service esp, after Culloden and highland