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The Politics of Nationalism in Canada

The Politics of Nationalism in Canada: Cultural Conflict since 1760

Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 384
  • Book Info
    The Politics of Nationalism in Canada
    Book Description:

    David Chennells offers a provocative assessment of two hundred and forty years of nationalism in Canada, focusing on the evolution of the political process and the balance of power between state elites and ordinary citizens.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7861-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. INTRODUCTION: Exclusive Nationalism and Conflict Regulation
    (pp. 3-36)

    Canadian history has often been conceived in terms of some form of nationalism.¹ But seldom has any attempt been made to advance the theory of nationalism by considering Canadian history.² This reluctance to abstract from particularity rests uneasily with a core article of faith in Canada: that the great Canadian experiment – of cultural coexistence within an evolving constitutional order – defines the country’s main contribution to the global store of experience. Strengthening the dialogue between theory and Canadian history, in both directions, is the purpose of this work. It attempts to organize salient experience within Canadian political history on...

  5. ONE Conquest and the Height of Imposed Statecraft, 1760–1791
    (pp. 37-67)

    Conflict was regulated in the early post-Conquest era by fiat of the governors and the British government. Ordinary subjects, apart from the raising of petitions and passive non-compliance with civic duties, wielded little influence in state affairs. The imperial regime sought to ensure its own stability in the face of external threats and uncertain local allegiances by cultivating excellent relations with local notables and the Roman Catholic hierarchy. This entailed an even-handed policy that tolerated, sometimes bolstered, a way of life foreign to Britain. British immigrants did not appreciate this policy and pleaded with the imperial government for more popular...

  6. TWO The Decline of Imposed Statecraft, 1792–1839
    (pp. 68-115)

    The imposed statecraft of the British regime achieved major accommodations of the French population in the first three decades of colonial rule in Quebec. Paradoxically, the culmination of this period, the Constitutional Act, also marked the beginning of a long decline of this form of conflict regulation. The impetus for this decline was much broader than the act itself. In an age of revolution, government by cosmopolitan aristocrats alone could not endure, and its constitutional successor was bound to be controversial. Even in Britain, the parliamentary debate over the Constitutional Act impinged upon many severely loaded questions. In the Commons...

  7. THREE Triumphs and Failures of Affiliative Trusteeship, 1840–1896
    (pp. 116-161)

    The pre-emptive campaign of official exclusive nationalism embodied in the Act of Union proved ineffectual and short-lived. French-Canadian leaders, having been collectively labelled as demagogues, instead assumed considerable political risks after Union to join in bi-ethnic political alliances with their counterparts in Upper Canada, now sometimes designated Canada West. Together they would secure responsible government. This marked the final demise of imposed statecraft. Its successor, what I’ve termed ‘affiliative trusteeship’ for the discretionary and cross-ethnic coalition-building busily engaged in by Canadian politicians during this period, restrained exclusive nationalism, enabling the system to accommodate minorities, to reduce the impact of popular...

  8. FOUR Ethnic Delegate Representation and the Rise of Official Exclusive Nationalism in Quebec
    (pp. 162-215)

    Several twentieth-century cases of exclusive nationalism in Canada well deserve the close analysis they have received in recent years. Anglo-Canadian nativism has been examined in the broad-based hostility in Western Canada towards immigrants and pointed expectations of ‘Anglo-conformity’ prevalent through the end of the Second World War.¹ Pervasive anti-semitism throughout Canada has been shown as responsible for the failure to accommodate more Jewish refugees before and during that war.² In keeping with the narrative of the preceding chapters, however, the emphasis of this chapter rests with the twentieth-century development and rise of official exclusive nationalism in Quebec. It is within...

  9. FIVE Other Legacies of 1968
    (pp. 216-244)

    As official exclusive nationalism took root in Quebec, the need to confront it was felt by many federal Liberals. Two policies gathered support: establishing demonstratively plural federal institutions, and constitutionally entrenching basic liberties. The limited reach and effectiveness of the measures ultimately taken reflected the popular underpinnings and coordinate sovereignty of modern Canadian federalism. Provinces have emerged as formidable champions and instruments of majority popular will, and pluralism has proven difficult to dictate from the centre. Another constraint to federal efforts has been the risk of driving Quebec from the Canadian federation. Thus, as dissatisfaction in Quebec mounted with even...

  10. CONCLUSION: The Lessons of History
    (pp. 245-254)

    The influence of exclusive nationalism on Canadian politics and policy has varied historically. Its varying force can be understood in part as a function of the changing relationship of political elites to popular constituencies, that is, of the pattern of political representation and conflict regulation. The historical essay presented a narrative of the changing nature of conflict regulation and the related penetration of official politics and policy by exclusive nationalism. In this summary, I draw together the interpretive themes of the work by linking them with my theoretical model. I conclude by reviewing the major implications of this work for...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 255-332)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 333-362)
  13. Index
    (pp. 363-381)