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HIS314H1 Lecture Notes - Henri Bourassa, Frederick George Scott, Louis-Joseph Papineau

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Kenneth Mills

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HIS314 French Canada and the First World War October 1st 2012
Changes in French Canada and Quebec at the beginning of the 20th century
Canadian Imperialism
- The ideas of Canadian Imperialism, shaped around the turn of the 20th century, became the
dominant form of nationalism in English Canada
- The idea was that Canada could play an important, even crucially dominant role, in the British
- The idea that Canada could develop itself as a nation through greater participation in the Empire
- These ideas of Canadian Imperialism couldn`t be divorced from religion and the Protestant faith
(many Protestant churches throughout English Canada propagated these ideas of Canadian
South African War
- 7000 volunteers from Canada went
- There was an incredible push of pro-Empire causes
- Saw it as a fight for British freedom
- First time that Canada sent troops overseas
- After the war, monuments were build, parades were held, street celebrations for returning
- Montreal saw through the course of the war not only mass celebrations for the British cause,
but also street rioting, opposition, clashes between young English protestant students studying
at McGill with students studying at what would become UofM (French)
- The rise of Canadian imperialism greatly affected French Canada
Frederick George Scott
- Anglican minister
- Wrote poems and documents about the atmosphere around the return of troops from South
Transformations in Catholicism
- Effort among many Catholic groups to found Catholic Action groups
- The effort to build religious-based organizations that would intervene in non-religious sphere
- For example, in 1900, Desjardin was founded as a credit union, an effort to give workers access
to savings and credit, to create a collective movement to get French Canadians the ability to
control credit outside the Anglo-owned Canadian banks
- Trade unions are another example as an alternative to the American/English Canadian run trade
- Confédération des travailleurs catholiques du Canada (CTCC)
- These trade unions coming together
Henri Bourassa, pt. 1
- One of the most important French Canadian nationalists of the 20th century
- Liberal MP who refused to support the British war effort in the South African War

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HIS314 French Canada and the First World War October 1st 2012
- To Bourassa, Canada should be independent, should not be tied to Britain or British war efforts
but should try to develop some sort of independent national identity
- He vehemently denounced Canada’s participation in the South African War
- In the English Canadian press he was constantly denounced as a traitor
- His final break with Laurier came with the Naval Services Act in 1909
o Canada created a navy very much designed for imperial defence
- Bourassa denounced this navy, while many in English Canada denounced that it was so small
Transformations in nationalism
- The rise of Anglo-Canadian imperialism had a great effect on their French Canadian counterparts
Nationalism and Feminism
- Because Women were mothers, it was argued that women had a particularly important role to
play in society because they controlled the home
- In the late 19th and early 20th century ,questions of infant mortality, alcoholism, etc. became
particular issues for women and whether or not they should intervene
- We see the emergence of new feminist organizations
Concerns of 1st wave feminism
- Very much shaped by an ideology of maternalism, that women as mothers had a particular way
in which they could contribute to political debate
- The early 1st wave feminist insituttions that emerged were very much from the elite (high
ranked women, not middle class
Montreal Local Council of Women
o First Montreal feminist organization, 1903
o Mostly composed of English-speaking members
Fédération nationale Saint-Jean-Baptiste
o First French-Language feminist organization to emerge, 1907
- Despite the fact that the 1st wave of feminist activism in Quebec was shaped by maternalist
ideology and the ideology of separate spheres, it was still considered by some to be radical, that
it stood for the destruction of the family, and that because the family stood at the heart of the
nation feminism led to the undoing of society itself
- For FNSJB, they made sure they had the sanction of the Bishop before founding their
organization, yet they still faced this incredible backlash against them
Henri Bourassa and Quebec nationalism, pt. 2
- It’s in the context of English Canadian imperialism that Bourassa emerged as a powerful voice of
French Canadian nationalism
- He had a vision of Canada that differed radically from the dominant opinion in English Canada
- Bourassa was the grandson of Louis Joseph Papineau
- He was incredibly devoted to the idea of duality, the idea that English and French Canadians
should have positions of equality within Canada,
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