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  • The invitation to come to the South Saskatchewan offered Riel an opportunity to lead his people, a mission he had cherished for a decade. He agreed to assist in presenting the grievances of the district to the Canadian government and added that he would use this opportunity to pursue his personal claim for land in Manitoba.
  • Of the events of 1869–70 Riel could truly say during the trial of 1885 that “through the grace of God I am the founder of Manitoba.”
  • The boundaries given to Manitoba were deliberately restricted to limit the political power of the Métis. Similarly the administrative arrangements for acquiring public lands and responses to resolutions of the Council of the North-West Territories in 1884 provided for no democratic input. Riel’s hopes for the “New Nation” with full and effective biculturalism were doomed from the start. His ambition blinded him to these facts.
  • The execution of Riel caused not only an outcry in Quebec but a notable change in local and national politics.
  • need him [Riel] here as our political leader. In other matters I am the chief here.” Riel explained to Grandin what he wanted: “the inauguration of a responsible Government”; “the same privileges to the old settlers of the North-West Territories as those accorded to the old settlers of Manitoba”; the granting of “the lands, at present, in possession of the Halfbreeds” to them “in fee simple,” and the issuing of patents to them “on application”; 240 acres for all mixed-bloods; the income from the sale of two million acres for the support of schools, hospitals, and orphanages and for the purchase of ploughs and of grain; and for all “works and contracts of the Government in the North-West Territories be given, as far as practicable to residents therein, in order to encourage them as they deserve and to increase circulation of cash in the Territories.”
  • Riel and Jackson busied themselves at Prince Albert with the petition, and on 16 December it was sent to Ottawa, signed by Andrew Spence as chairman and Jackson as secretary of the joint English-Métis organization. The petition was a long one with 25 sections,
  • Métis and Indians were recited and it was noted that while the territories had a population of 60,000, Manitoba had been granted provincial status with only 12,000.
  • Frustrated by the lack of federal action, Riel was, in fact, having a renewed period of mental disturbance
  • Riel was nevertheless the undisputed leader of the movement, Dumont being the military head. Their intention was first to take Fort Carlton, and they tried without success to enlist the active support of the English-speaking mixed-bloods.
  • On 18 March, hearing a rumour that 500 North-West Mounted Police were advancing towards them, Riel and approximately 60 supporters ransacked stores and seized a number of people, including Indian Agent John Bean Lash, near Batoche.
  • But, during a mass in the church at Saint-Laurent on 15 March, Riel remonstrated with the priest, Father Vital Fourmond, on his attitude to a Métis armed movement, in effect making a final break from the church. He was becoming more and more mystical and pietistic, and he spent much time in prayer. He deepened his rupture with the clergy by preaching his own theology to his followers; he renamed the days of the week, put the Lord’s Day on Saturday as in Mosaic law, proposed that there be a new pope (Bourget, and later Taché), rejected the rule of Rome, and suggested that everyone would be priests in a new reformed Catholicism.
  • Of the government’s 100 men, 12 were killed and 11 wounded. The Métis lost only five of about 300 men. If Riel, who had given the order to return the fire from the police, had not stopped the fighting, the government forces would have been annihilated.
  • The Indian movement itself was never able to put up a united front, despite Big Bear’s efforts in this direction, and lack of concerted action was a major cause of its collapse
  • On Big Bear’s reserve the war chief, Wandering Spirit [Kapapamahchakwew], had displaced Big Bear and led the band in the violent attack on Frog Lake (Alta) on 2 April, where nine people were killed
  • The events at Frog Lake, although the responsibility of the Indians and not the Métis, aroused horror and hatred of Riel throughout English Canad
  • Dumont, too realistic to believe that his forces could defeat the Canadians, had hoped that a well-conducted guerrilla campaign would force the government to negotiate
  • i
  • FrançaisHomeFeaturesBrowseAbout usContact usDonateLog InRegister Volume XI (1881-1890) Biography – RIEL, LOUIS (1844-85) – Volume XI (1881-1890) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography PrintAdvanced SearchSend + Hide SidebarFirst ParagraphBibliographyImagesFind Out MoreHow to citeBack to top !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); ▲DCB/DBC NewsNew BiographiesMinor CorrectionsBiography of the Day MERCER, MALCOLM SMITH – Volume XIV (1911-1920) b. 17 Sept. 1859 in Etobicoke Township, Upper Canada ConfederationResponsible GovernmentSir John A. MacdonaldFrom the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)Sir Wilfrid LaurierSir George-Étienne CartierSportsThe FeniansWomen in the DCB/DBCWinning the Right to VoteThe Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBCThe AcadiansFor EducatorsExploring the ExplorersThe War of 1812 Canada’s Wartime Prime MinistersThe First World WarBack to top   OK Cancel OK Source: Library and Archives Canada/MIKAN 3623464 RIEL, LOUIS, Métis spokesman, regarded as the founder of Manitoba, teacher, and leader of the North-West rebellion; b. 22 Oct. 1844 in the Red River Settlement (Man.), eldest child of Louis Riel* and Julie Lagimonière, daughter of Jean-Baptiste Lagimonière* and Marie-Anne Gaboury*; m. in 1881 Marguerite Monet, dit Bellehumeur, and they had three children, the youngest of whom died while Riel was awaiting execution; d. 16 Nov. 1885 by hanging at Regina (Sask.). Louis Riel is one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history. To the Métis he is a hero, an eloquent spokesman for their aspirations. In the Canadian west in 1885 the majority of the settlers regarded him as a villain; today he is seen there as the founder of those movements which have protested central Canadian political and economic power. French Canadians have always thought him a victim of Ontario religious and racial bigotry, and by no means deserving of the death penalty. Biographers and historians over the years since Riel’s death have been influenced by one or other of these attitudes. He remains a mysterious figure in death as in life. Riel was the eldest of 11 children in a close-knit, devoutly religious, and affectionate family. Both his parents were westerners, and he is said to have had one-eighth Indian blood, his paternal grandmother being a Franco-Chipewyan Métisse. Louis Sr, an educated man, had obtained land on the Red River, where he gained a position of influence in the Métis community. In 1849 he organized the community to aid Pierre-Guillaume Sayer*, a Métis charged with violating the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trade monopoly. Sayer was released, an action which resulted in the end of that monopoly. As a child, young Louis would have heard much of his father’s exploits. While he was being educated in the Catholic schools in St Boniface, Riel attracted the attention of Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché*. Anxious to have bright Métis boys trained for the priesthood, Taché arranged in 1858 for Riel and three others, including Louis Schmidt, to attend school in Canada. At the Petit Séminaire de Montréal Riel showed himself to be intelligent and studious, with a capacity for charming others, but he could also be moody, proud, and irritable. The news of his father’s death, which reached him in February 1864, was a traumatic shock for Riel. Always an introvert, subject to moods of depression, he seems to have lost confidence in his qualifications for the priesthood and withdrew from the college in March of the following year without graduating. Hoping to support his family in Red River, whom Riel Sr had left impoverished and in debt, Louis became a clerk in the Montreal law firm of Toussaint-Antoine-Rodolphe Laflamme*. But the subtleties of the law bored and annoyed Riel and he decided, in all likelihood in 1866, to return to Red River. He probably worked at odd jobs in Chicago and St Paul (Minn.) before arriving at St Boniface in July 1868. The Red River that Riel had left ten years earlier was an isolated society of English-speaking mixed-bloods (the country-born), Scottish settlers, and the French-speaking, Roman Catholic Métis. During the early 19th century the Métis, the largest group, had developed a vigorous sense of nationality based on a distinctive culture which combined Indian and French Canadian elements. For the most part, the Métis were indifferent to farming, preferring the excitement of the buffalo hunt far out on the western plains. These annual hunts were superbly organized and disciplined affairs under the control of democratically elected leaders, and Métis adherence to the hunt was dramatically reflected in their quasi-military social organization. In contrast to the Métis, the country-born were predominantly Anglican, proud of their English culture, and settled on the land. The Scots settlers had adhered strictly to the Presbyterian church. Riel found many changes on his return. Religious antipathies had become a notable feature of the settlement. At the same time the political climate was both uncertain and volatile. The settlement, part of the Rupert’s Land held by the HBC, was still administered by a governor and the Council of Assiniboia, established by the HBC. The need for a new constitutional arrangement was acknowledged, but the issue was far from settled. Moreover, the old inhabitants now recognized that although their settlement was still isolated, it was the object of expansionist aspirations on the part of both the United States and Canada. Indeed, during Riel’s absence the settlement had grown to almost 12,000 and the village of Winnipeg had emerged, largely populated by Canadians and a handful of Americans. In fact, what Riel found at Red River in July 1868 was an Anglo-Protestant Ontario community, hostile to Roman Catholicism and the social and economic values of the Métis. The most influential and vociferous personality among the Canadians was Dr John Christian Schultz*, an Ontario-born physician, trader, and land speculator. For Schultz and his followers the future of the settlement was obvious – annexation to Canada. In the early 1850s the annexation of the northwest had become a popular political issue in Canada West as a consequence of the activities of George Brown* and William McDougall*, the leaders of the Clear Grits. In French Canada, land seekers had been encouraged to look north in their own province, but their political leaders, by entering the confederation coalition of 1864, had tacitly accepted the idea of acquiring the northwest. This bipartisan understanding was embodied in section 146 of the British North America Act of 1867, which provided for transcontinental expansion. Shortly after Riel’s return to the west, it became known that Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald*, fearing the Minnesota annexationists, was again negotiating with the HBC for the transfer of Rupert’s Land, ignoring the population at Red River and the Council of Assiniboia. Meanwhile, a grasshopper plague in 1867–68 had caused much distress in the settlement. The Canadian government had proposed providing relief by financing the building of a road from Upper Fort Garry (Winnipeg) to Lake of the Woods; because the government anticipated that the country would soon be annexed it felt the road, named “the Dawson Road” after engineer Simon James Dawson*, would be essential. But the project was poorly administered, and the survey party assembled in the settlement by John Allan Snow, head of the project, and Charles Mair*, its paymaster, who arrived together from Ontario in October 1868, included no French-speaking members. Mair, a poet and friend of McDougall, now the minister of public works, made himself thoroughly unpopular in the settlement by a series of articles in Ontario newspapers in January 1869 criticizing the Métis. He was opposed to the expedient biculturalism of the Red River Settlement, and, being an advocate of large-scale Ontario immigration to the northwest, was a natural ally of Dr Schultz, the road party’s agent. Thomas Scott*, an Irishman and fervent Orangeman who was reckless, stubborn, and contemptuous of the Métis, joined the work crew in the summer of 1869. At St Vital, an idle Riel had initially decided “to wait on events, quite determined just the same to take part in public affairs when the time should come.” When the substance of Mair’s articles became known to the settlement, Riel defended the Métis against this unjust criticism in a strong reply published in Le Nouveau Monde (Montreal) in February 1869. He attended and spoke at a meeting called on 19 July by well-established leaders of the Métis community, such as Pascal Breland* and William Dease, to discuss growing Métis fears about the course of events. Though the meeting underlined the need for concerted action, none was planned. In July 1869 Métis suspicions had increased when McDougall ordered a survey of the settlement. The head of the survey party, Colonel John Stoughton Dennis, was given specific instructions to respect the river lots of the settlers. Neverthel
  • When Riel reached Batoche (Sask.) in the District of Lorne at the beginning of July 1884 he found an unhappy and angry population – white, Indian, and Métis. The relocation of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s main line in the southern prairie region had produced a collapse of land values in nearby Prince Albert. Settlers did not hold clear title to their land despite the fact that many had lived for over three years in the district. For the more than 1,400 Métis in the area, the questions of unextinguished Indian rights to the land and the land surveys were the major issues.
  • The early favourable response to Riel among the white settlers yielded to growing opposition.
  • es of articles in Ont
  • FrançaisHomeFeaturesBrowseAbout usContact usDonateLog InRegister Volume XI (1881-1890) Biography – RIEL, LOUIS (1844-85) – Volume XI (1881-1890) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography PrintAdvanced SearchSend + Hide SidebarFirst ParagraphBibliographyImagesFind Out MoreHow to citeBack to top !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); ▲DCB/DBC NewsNew BiographiesMinor CorrectionsBiography of the Day MERCER, MALCOLM SMITH – Volume XIV (1911-1920) b. 17 Sept. 1859 in Etobicoke Township, Upper Canada ConfederationResponsible GovernmentSir John A. MacdonaldFrom the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)Sir Wilfrid LaurierSir George-Étienne CartierSportsThe FeniansWomen in the DCB/DBCWinning the Right to VoteThe Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBCThe AcadiansFor EducatorsExploring the ExplorersThe War of 1812 Canada’s Wartime Prime MinistersThe First World WarBack to top   OK Cancel OK Source: Library and Archives Canada/MIKAN 3623464 RIEL, LOUIS, Métis spokesman, regarded as the founder of Manitoba, teacher, and leader of the North-West rebellion; b. 22 Oct. 1844 in the Red River Settlement (Man.), eldest child of Louis Riel* and Julie Lagimonière, daughter of Jean-Baptiste Lagimonière* and Marie-Anne Gaboury*; m. in 1881 Marguerite Monet, dit Bellehumeur, and they had three children, the youngest of whom died while Riel was awaiting execution; d. 16 Nov. 1885 by hanging at Regina (Sask.). Louis Riel is one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history. To the Métis he is a hero, an eloquent spokesman for their aspirations. In the Canadian west in 1885 the majority of the settlers regarded him as a villain; today he is seen there as the founder of those movements which have protested central Canadian political and economic power. French Canadians have always thought him a victim of Ontario religious and racial bigotry, and by no means deserving of the death penalty. Biographers and historians over the years since Riel’s death have been influenced by one or other of these attitudes. He remains a mysterious figure in death as in life. Riel was the eldest of 11 children in a close-knit, devoutly religious, and affectionate family. Both his parents were westerners, and he is said to have had one-eighth Indian blood, his paternal grandmother being a Franco-Chipewyan Métisse. Louis Sr, an educated man, had obtained land on the Red River, where he gained a position of influence in the Métis community. In 1849 he organized the community to aid Pierre-Guillaume Sayer*, a Métis charged with violating the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trade monopoly. Sayer was released, an action which resulted in the end of that monopoly. As a child, young Louis would have heard much of his father’s exploits. While he was being educated in the Catholic schools in St Boniface, Riel attracted the attention of Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché*. Anxious to have bright Métis boys trained for the priesthood, Taché arranged in 1858 for Riel and three others, including Louis Schmidt, to attend school in Canada. At the Petit Séminaire de Montréal Riel showed himself to be intelligent and studious, with a capacity for charming others, but he could also be moody, proud, and irritable. The news of his father’s death, which reached him in February 1864, was a traumatic shock for Riel. Always an introvert, subject to moods of depression, he seems to have lost confidence in his qualifications for the priesthood and withdrew from the college in March of the following year without graduating. Hoping to support his family in Red River, whom Riel Sr had left impoverished and in debt, L
  • Mair
  • By the end of February 1885 Riel had agreed to stay, claiming that “a vast multitude of nations” was waiting to support him. However, although the missionaries were sympathetic to the Métis cause they opposed any use of force or any encouragement of the Indians
  • It was clear from the start that the trial would be a political one,
  • In retrospect, the defence lawyers’ handling of Riel’s case left much to be desired. They did not ask for dismissal on grounds of insanity, despite the fact that Jackson had been so acquitted a few days before.
  • was
  • it became known that Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald*, fearing the Minnesota annexationists, was again negotiating with the HBC for the transfer of Rupert’s Land, ignoring the population at Red River and the Council of Assiniboia.
  • In the Canadian west in 1885 the majority of the settlers regarded him as a villain; today he is seen there as the founder of those movements which have protested central Canadian political and economic power.
  • Hoping to support his family in Red River, whom Riel Sr had left impoverished and in debt
  • mixed-bloods (the country-born), Scottish settlers, and the French-speaking, Roman Catholic Méti
  • Riel’s experiences during the past ten years had produced a life-style very different from that of the buffalo-hunting Métis, but it was these people he now aspired to lead
  • Riel – ambitious, well-educated, bilingual, young and energetic, eloquent, deeply religious, and the bearer of a famous name – was more than willing to provide what the times required.
  • Fluent in French, he formed a first provincial cabinet which was strictly bi-racial in character and had no members from the Canadian party.
  • But his people in the northwest did not forget him
  • 5 October Riel was summoned to appear before the Council of Assiniboia to explain his actions. He declared that the National Committee would prevent the entry of McDougall or any other governor unless the union with Canada was based on negotiations with the Métis and with the population in general. However, by 30 October
  • made himself thoroughly unpopular in the settlement by a series of articles in Ontario newspapers in January 1869 criticizing the Métis
  • Dubuc and others now urged Riel to be a candidate for the riding of Provencher in the September 1872 federal general election. He agreed, despite warnings that he would be murdered if he set foot in Ottawa.
  • the English-speaking delegates, led by James Ross*, criticized the exclusion of McDougall from the settlement as smacking of rebellion. Riel angrily denied this allegatio
  • the formation of a provisional government to
  • the formation of a provisional government to replace the Council of Assiniboia and to negotiate terms of union with Canada
  • t was part of Canada as of that day and that he was its lieutenant governor. The “List,” probably composed by Riel, consisted of 14 items. It proposed representation in the Canadian parliament, guarantees of bilingualism in the legislature, a bilingual chief justice, and arrangements for free homesteads and Indian treaties.
  • The atmosphere of this session had changed and the listeners were now firmly behind Riel. Growing more confident and reaching the height of his influence, he realized that the meeting wanted something more than assurances of goodwill, and, taking the initiative, he proposed that a convention of 40 representatives, equally divided between the two language groups, meet the following week to consider Smith’s instructions in detail
  • Macdonald later admitted that under the circumstances the people of the community had had to form a government for the protection of life and property.
  • On 18 December McDougall and Dennis left Pembina for Ontario, having been informed that the Canadian government had in fact postponed union until the British government or the HBC could guarantee a peaceable transfer.
  • both language groups should participate in the provisional government.
  • The committee’s proposals, which were accepted on 10 February, established an assembly of 24 elected representatives drawn equally from the French-speaking and English-speaking parishes of the settlement.
  • However, as outsiders they misjudged the willingness of the country-born and Scottish settlers to oppose the Métis. Unfortunately for all concerned the three men had escaped from Upper Fort Garry in January 1870. Schultz had made his way downstream to drum up support for an armed force in the English-speaking parishes and among the Indians.
  • Riel had reached the pinnacle of his hopes and ambitions, and he could afford a gesture of generosity – he promised to release all the prisoners held at Upper Fort Garry.
  • Somewhat isolated from the events in Ottawa, Riel had given his attention to the affairs of the settlemen
  • Throughout the negotiations, and in the early summer, Riel had grown uneasy about a deterioration of his support. Some Métis, mostly established farmers and traders, had never actually accepted his leadership and regarded him as an upstart.
  • s of the Manitoba legislature had enthusiastically endorsed Archibald’s action, Riel became a political issue in Ontario. Premier Edward Blake*, in 1872, went as far as to offer a $5,000 reward to anyone who would bring about the arrest of Scott’s “murderers.”
  • But perhaps most important, he was worried by reports o
  • However, the many rumours in Winnipeg concerning the seriousness of the Fenian threat had caused Archibald to issue a proclamation on the 4th calling on all loyal men “to rally round the flag.
  • On 14 September Cartier was elected by acclamation, but a mob of Canadians wrecked the offices of the two pro-Riel newspapers
  • The new lieutenant governor, named on 15 July 1870, was Adams George Archibald*, a father of confederation from Nova Scotia and a member of parliament. He arrived in the settlement on 2 September and was at once confronted with the problem of maintaining order. Winnipeg was a place of riotous turbulence.
  • In the first week of November Lépine was found guilty of Scott’s murder and sentenced to death by Chief Justice Edmund Burke Wood, despite the jury’s recommendation for mercy.
  • Quebec was outraged at the outcome of the trial and the newspapers demanded amnesty for Lépine and Rie
  • Dumont calmed events somewhat by explaining: “We need him [Riel] here as our political leader. In other matters I am the chief here.” Riel explained to Grandin what he wanted: “the inauguration of a responsible Government”; “the same privileges to the old settlers of the North-West Territories as those accorded to the old settlers of Manitoba”; the granting of “the lands, at present, in possession of the Halfbreeds” to them “in fee simple,” and the issuing of patents to them “on application”; 240 acres for all mixed-bloods; the income from the sale of two million acres for the support of schools, hospitals, and orphanages and for the purchase of ploughs and of grain; and for all “works and contracts of the Government in the North-West Territories be given, as far as practicable to residents therein, in order to encourage them as they deserve and to increase circulation of cash in the Territories.”
  • ominent Quebec Conservative, Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau*, as defence counsel. In the first week of November Lépine was found guilty of Scott’s murder and sentenced to de
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 unrest and war 585
  • yet the details of her life have been clouded by her own autobiographical sketches and journals, which describe events as Carr herself liked to remember them
  • who for most of her life felt like an outcast, known more for her eccentricities than her artistic achievements.
  • In her early life she enjoyed little companionship with her mother, who had tuberculosis and was frequently bedridden
  • through the fields and playing with the animals on her family's land. In her early life sh
  • Emily Carr seated on the verandah of her St. Andrew’s Street studio and holding one of her dogs, 1944 Photograph by Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher British Columbia Archives D-03843 Emily Carr: A Biographical Sketch Emily Carr's life story has all the qualities of an excellent biography — tragedy, inspiration, triumph, resolve, eccentricity — yet the details of her life have been clouded by her own autobiographical sketches and journals, which describe events as Carr herself liked to remember them. Since the publication of Maria Tippett's Emily Carr: A Biography in 1979, numerous scholars, biographers, novelists and playwrights have attempted to make sense of her recollections and capture her life in print. As a result, the image of Carr the artist, with her magical forests and magnificent totems; Carr the author, with her stories of nineteenth-century Victoria and her beloved pets; and Carr the eccentric, animal-loving recluse figure prominently in the Canadian imagination. The celebrity status she enjoys today would come as a great shock to Carr, who for most of her life felt like an outcast, known more for her eccentricities than her artistic achievements. Emily Carr was born on December 13, 1871, in Victoria, British Columbia, to Richard and Emily Saunders Carr, the fifth child in a family of five girls. A brother, Dick, was born in 1875. Her father was a British immigrant who, after years of aimless travel, had found success in Alviso, California, selling supplies to miners during the Gold Rush. He met Emily Saunders, married her in England and in 1863 moved his young family to Victoria, where he established a wholesale grocery and liquor store. Emily Carr was a rambunctious child who enjoyed running through the fields and playing with the animals on her family's land. In her early life she enjoyed little companionship with her mother, who had tuberculosis and was frequently bedridden. Carr was extremely close to her father before an incident in her adolescence — which remains unclear but which Carr later referred to as the "brutal telling" — irrevocably destroyed their relationship. Her sensitivity and her devotion to art isolated her from her sisters, who failed to understand either her work or her desire to pursue it in spite of financial strain. Throughout her life, Carr remained steadfast in her commitment to art despite her family's lack of support. Although her greatest artistic production occurred during the years she spent in British Columbia, Carr sought education elsewhere. In her late teens, after the death of both parents, rather than be subjected to the demands of her overbearing sister Edith, Carr approached her legal guardian to secure funds to attend the California School of Design. She spent more than three years in San Francisco, where she received a traditional education in the depiction of still life and landscapes. After returning to Victoria for a brief time, Carr travelled to England and studied at the Westminster School of Art and in the private studios of a number of British watercolourists. Here too her instruction was in the nineteenth-century British watercolour tradition. Her year of study in France between 1910 and 1911 proved to be more inspiring: Carr learned from a number of instructors how to paint in a Post-Impressionist style with a Fauvist palette. She retur
  • In her late teens, after the death of both parents
  • She spent more than three years in San Francisco, where she received a traditional education in the depiction of still life and landscapes
  • During an ambitious six-week sketching trip in the summer of 1912, she produced a great number of watercolours and corresponding studio canvases in her new French style
  • so Carr returned to Victoria to build and manage an apartment house with her share of the family estate
  • She w
  • nearly fifteen years until 192
  • Emily Carr: A Biographical Sketch Emily Carr's life story has all the qualities of an excellent biography — tragedy, inspiration, triumph, resolve, eccentricity — yet the details of her life have been clouded by her own autobiographical sketches and journals, which describe events as Carr herself liked to remember them. Since the publication of Maria Tippett's Emily Carr: A Biography in 1979, numerous scholars, biographers, novelists and playwrights have attempted to make sense of her recollections and capture her life in print. As a result, the image of Carr the artist, with her magical forests and magnificent totems; Carr the author, with her stories of nineteenth-century Victoria and her beloved pets; and Carr the eccentric, animal-loving recluse figure prominently in the Canadian imagination. The celebrity status she enjoys today would come as a great shock to Carr, who for most of her life felt like an outcast, known more for her eccentricities than her artistic achievements. Emily Carr was born on December 13, 1871, in Victoria, British Columbia, to Richard and Emily Saunders Carr, the fifth child in a family of five girls. A brother, Dick, was born in 1875. Her father was a British immigrant who, after years of aimless travel, had found success in Alviso, California, selling supplies to miners during the Gold Rush. He met Emily Saunders, married her in England and in 1863 moved his young family to Victoria, where he established a wholesale grocery and liquor store. Emily Carr was a rambunctious child who enjoyed running through the fields and playing with the animals on her family's land. In her early life she enjoyed little companionship with her mother, who had tuberculosis and was frequently bedridden. Carr was extremely close to her father before an incident in her adolescence — which remains unclear but which Carr later referred to as the "brutal telling" — irrevocably destroyed their relationship. Her sensitivity and her devotion to art isolated her from her sisters, who failed to understand either her work or her desire to pursue it in spite of financial strain. Throughout her life, Carr remained steadfast in her commitment to art despite her family's lack of support. Although her greatest artistic production occurred during the years she spent in British Columbia, Carr sought education elsewhere. In her late teens, after the death of both parents, rather than be subjected to the demands of her overbearing sister Edith, Carr approached her legal guardian to secure funds to attend the California School of Design. She spent more than three years in San Francisco, where she received a traditional education in the depiction of still life and landscapes. After returning to Victoria for a brief time, Carr travelled to England and studied at the Westminster School of Art and in the private studios of a number of British watercolourists. Here too her instruction was in the nineteenth-century British watercolour tradition. Her year of study in France between 1910 and 1911 proved to be more inspiring: Carr learned from a number of instructors how to paint in a Post-Impressionist style with a Fauvist palette. She returned to Vancouver in 1911, committed to documenting the First Nations cultures of British Columbia, an exercise that she had initiated in 1907. During an ambitious six-week sketching trip in the summer of 1912, she produced a great number of watercolours and corresponding studio canvases in her new French style. These works met a mixed reception and had limited sales, so Carr returned to Victoria to build and manage an apartment house with her share of the family estate. She was consigned to a life of domestic drudgery for nearly fifteen years until 1927, when her work was included in a National Gallery of Canada exhibition and she first met the Group of Seven. She found the work of Lawren Harris to be particularly inspiring, as were his words of encouragement and his pronouncement that she was "one of them." She returned from this eastern trip to begin the most productive period of her career, creating the inspired, powerful canvases for which she is best known. She also began a lifelong friendship and correspondence with Harris, who acted as her mentor and spiritual guide, especially in the few years after their initial meeting. Carr's health began to de
  • She was consigned to a life of domestic drudgery for nearly fifteen years until 1927, when her work was included in a National Gallery of Canada exhibition and she first met the Group of Seven
  • who for most of her life felt like an outcast, known
  • Click on images below to enlarge in a new window Emily Carr at age 21, 1893 British Columbia Archives H-02813 "Prince Pumkin, Lady Loo, Young Jimmy, Adolphus the cat, Kitten, Chipmonk, and parrot & self in garden at 646 Simcoe St., 1918", (Emily Carr and pets), 1918 British Columbia Archives C-05229 Emily Carr's studio, Simcoe Street, 1930s City of Victoria Archives C00698 Emily Carr with friends and caravan “Elephant” on sketching trip, 1934 Photograph by Mrs. S.F. Morley British Columbia Archives B-09610 Emily Carr seated on the verandah of her St. Andrew’s Street studio and holding one of her dogs, 1944 Photograph by Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher British Columbia Archives D-03843 Emily Carr: A Biographical Sketch Emily Carr's life story has all the qualities of an excellent biography — tragedy, inspiration, triumph, resolve, eccentricity — yet the details of her life have been clouded by her own autobiographical sketches and journals, which describe events as Carr herself liked to remember them. Since the publication of Maria Tippett's Emily Carr: A Biography in 1979, numerous scholars, biographers, novelists and playwrights have attempted to make sense of her recollections and capture her life in print. As a result, the image of Carr the artist, with her magical forests and magnificent totems; Carr the author, with her stories of nineteenth-century Victoria and her beloved pets; and Carr the eccentric, animal-loving recluse figure prominently in the Canadian imagination. The celebrity status she enjoys today would come as a great shock to Carr, who for most of her life felt like an outcast, known more for her eccentricities than her artistic achievements. Emily Carr was born on December 13, 1871, in Victoria, British Columbia, to Richard and Emily Saunders Carr, the fifth child in a family of five girls. A brother, Dick, was born in 1875. Her father was a British immigrant who, after years of aimless travel, had found success in Alviso, California, selling supplies to miners during the Gold Rush. He met Emily Saunders, married her in England and in 1863 moved his young family to Victoria, where he established a wholesale grocery and liquor store. Emily Carr was a rambunctious child who enjoyed running through the fields and playing with the animals on her family's land.
  • Click on images below to enlarge in a new window Emily Carr at age 21, 1893 British Columbia Archives H-02813 "Prince Pumkin, Lady Loo, Young Jimmy, Adolphus the cat, Kitten, Chipmonk, and parrot & self in garden at 646 Simcoe St., 1918", (Emily Carr and pets), 1918 British Columbia Archives C-05229 Emily Carr's studio, Simcoe Street, 1930s City of Victoria Archives C00698 Emily Carr with friends and caravan “Elephant” on sketching trip, 1934 Photograph by Mrs. S.F. Morley British Columbia Archives B-09610 Emily Carr seated on the verandah of her St. Andrew’s Street studio and holding one of her dogs, 1944 Photograph by Edythe Hembroff-Schleicher British Columbia Archives D-03843 Emily Carr: A Biographical Sketch Emily Carr's life story has all the qualities of an excellent biography — tragedy, inspiration, triumph, resolve, eccentricity — yet the details of her life have been clouded by her own autobiographical sketches and journals, which describe events as Carr herself liked to remember them. Since the publication of Maria Tippett's Emily Carr: A Biography in 1979, numerous scholars, biographers, novelists and playwrights have attempted to make sense of her recollections and capture her life in print. As a result, the image of Carr the artist, with her magical forests and magnificent totems; Carr the author, with her stories of nineteenth-century Victoria and her beloved pets; and Carr the eccentric, animal-loving recluse figure prominently in the Canadian imagination. The celebrity status she enjoys today would come as a great shock to Carr, who for most of her life felt like an outcast, known more for her eccentricities than her artistic achievements. Emily Carr was born on December 13, 1871, in Victoria, British Columbia, to Richard and Emily Saunders Carr, the fifth child in a family of five girls. A brother, Dick, was born in 1875. Her father was a British immigrant who, after years of aimless travel, had found success in Alviso, California, selling supplies to miners during the Gold Rush. He met Emily Saunders, married her in England and in 1863 moved his young family to Victoria, where he established a wholesale grocery and liquor store. Emily Carr was a rambunctious child who enjoyed running through the fi
16 annotations
  • In 1890, he was elected mayor of Montebello, Quebec
  • By proposing conscription now, Sir Robert Borden is violating his most solemn promises;
  • According to Mr. Balfour, to achieve this ideal, in fact, demands the supreme sacrifice of all British peoples.
  • Under the British constitution, the powers of parliament and the cabinet are approximately analogous to those of a board of directors and an executive committee of a shareholders compan
  • The immediate dissolution of Parliament is the only safety valve which would allow people’s feelings to be demonstrated without risk to public order.
  • urier nor any of his supporters have the right to countenance this triple manoeuvre. All Canadians concerned about public order have a compelling duty to block the move by all legitimate means.
  • history. Many of the concerns raised by Bourassa are still with us as we are
  • My readers know that I am not crazy about democracy. Everything happening in the world right now, here as elsewhere, demonstrates the failure of democracy,
  • Nevertheless,
  • and that he had any solid chance of implanting “Prussian militarism” in Canada, I would be the first to call to arms
  • even founded his own daily—chiefly to disseminate his ideas about Canadian society
  • He took a position against Canadian participation in the Boer War
  • His basic argument was that Canada had to serve its national interests first and not follow blindly the lead of the British Empire
  • , he will be violating the fundamental principles of this “democracy” he wants to “save
  • First, abuse of power in London does not justify abuse of power in Ottawa
  • esponse. First, abuse of power in London does not justify abuse of power in Ottawa. Canada did not fight for seventy-five years to win its autonomy only to imitate subservientl
  • powerlessness. The immediate dissolution of Pa
  • Canada did not fight for seventy-five years to win its autonomy only to imitate subserviently everything that England does
  • politicians. Even unanimously and without conscription, Parliament does not have the right to repeat the error of last year
  • ong editorialists in that he
  • cabinet been formed to stifle the voice of the people. In England,
  • The decision of August 1914, taken without the consent of the nation, to have Canada participate in the war in Europe was already an abuse of power.
  • In England, the right to adopt conscription is merely a consequence of the right to declare war.
  • net and conscription one after another. There is a simple and easy response. First, abuse of power in London does not justify abuse of power in O
  • For the moment, I shall limit myself to state this simple and elementary truth; if we accept that Parliament must not impose conscription without the consent of the people, we also have to accept that only a plebiscite will allow the people to indicate its views clearly and unequivocally.
  • As for myself and everyone who has confidence in me, I am going to insist that we can no longer be held responsible. We succeeded in calming the turmoil of recent days
  • Let us summarize the political situation and what it requires with a few specific points. Any coalition of parties at the present time would be useless, dangerous and immoral. It is imperative that Parliament be dissolved. Parliament is not just dying, it is dead, morally: jam foetet. (It already smells of death) The present or the future Parliament must not adopt conscription. It cannot, out of justice and prudence, impose it on the country without the consent of the people and the opinion of the people can be expressed freely only by a plebiscite.
  • the principles were laid down whose consequences are felt today. For the moment, I shall limit myself to state this simple and elementary truth; if we accept that Parliament must not impose conscription without the consent of the people, we also have to accept that only a plebiscite will allow the people to indicate its views clearly and unequivocally.
  • the principles were laid down whose consequences are felt today. For the moment, I shall limit myself to state this simple and elementary truth; if we accept that Parliament must not impose conscription without the consent of the people, we also have to acc
29 annotations
 law, govt and politics 660
  • that some local officials were aware of the problem five days before it became public and did not speak up.
  • 1995 the Conservatives have slashed the environment ministry's budget by 40 per cent
  • By week's end, the outbreak in the picturesque farming community 150 km northwest of Toronto had killed five
  • He said he notified municipal authorities and an Ontario environment ministry office in Owen Sound, assuming the ministry would follow up with the town to ensure it was fixed
  • The town of Freelton, Ont., near Hamilton, issued a boil-water warning on Saturday after trace amounts of E. coli were detected in its water supply, but there were no indications anyone was affected
  • There is little doctors can do for most patients, other than making sure they get plenty of fluids, either orally or intravenously, and letting the illness run its course
  • investigators suspect run-off from cattle manure as a possible source of the E. coli in the water.
  • They were among the 11 patients who were transferred to other facilities, while the 49-bed Walkerton hospital admitted eight, treated almost 400 in its emergency department and fielded countless telephone calls.
  • He noted that Walkerton always had operated its own water system.
  • saw two young patients on the same day with the same uncommon symptom: bloody diarrhea. Both were from Walkerto
  • That resulted, she says, in the ministry cutting a third of its staff and closing regional offices, including four water-testing laboratories.
  • On May 18, he said, the PUC received a fax from the private lab that had tested the water - indicating it was contaminated.
  • After an incubation period of two to eight days, an infected person will develop symptoms, including diarrhea, that last up to 10 days.
13 annotations
 law, govt and politics 623
  • . However, he never marked any passages, leaving his four literary executors with a dilemma.
  • public figures in general, and King in particular, was slowly evaporating. Outwardly so cautious and prissy, King already looked like a relic from a different age by 1950. The most pointed criticism came from F.R. Scott, the future dean of the McGill Law School who in 1957 published a poem about King’s legacy. King, wrote Scott, “blunted us,” leaving Canada as an unfinished country: We had no shape Because he never took sides, And no sides Because he never allowed them to take shape… Let us raise up a temple To the cult of mediocrity, Do nothing by halves Which can be done by quarters. A cultural revolution was bubbling up, and the Victorian, Christian self-discipline that had hitherto moulded middle class culture began to crumble. Sales of alcohol rose; families purchased televisions and shiny new cars on installment plans; moviegoers flocked into cinemas to see Some Like It Hot. Talk of frugality and duty waned, to be replaced by open discussion of desires and truths that an earlier morality had hidden or repressed. The discipline of history was also changing. It was no longer the preserve of deferential academics who explored the past through the lenses of politics, economics and great men. From the 1960s onward, some scholars turned toward different kinds of history that had hitherto been ignored; they explored the role of class, region, gender, race and religion in the Canadian identity. They also employed a broader range of tools, including some of the psychoanalytic terms (Oedipus complex! Guilt! Superego!) that were now being flung around. As revelations about King’s private life appeared, the former prime minister became a sitting duck for both earnest scrutiny and mocking scorn. People were fascinated by the secrets that came spilling out of the diaries, and by King’s lack of self-knowledge as he rationalized his own sometimes devious behaviour. And there were those inevitable questions … did the prime minister take direction from the dead when making crucial decisions? Was he guided by his officials or by irrational omens? How weird was Willie? “By the early 1980s, Mackenzie King lived the afterlife of a palimpsest, those ancient documents whose original words had been erased so that something new could be rewritten over the top,” writes Dummitt. But then, “a funny thing happened on the way to the 1990s. Mackenzie King’s reputation was resuscitated.” Senior historians including Norman Hillmer, Jack Granatstein and Michael Bliss began the game of rating prime ministers, and King kept emerging at or close to the top of league tables. Despite Weird Willie’s stodgy public persona and bizarre private quirks, he was now recognized as an exceptionally skillful politician, war leader and champion of unity. This new appraisal of King, however, came in a different context. In the 1990s, argues Dummitt, the King legacy looked better and better because Canada was suffering another bout of national disunity. After decades of muscular decisiveness from prime ministers Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney, the cautious conservatism of King acquired a new glow. What Scott had derided as King’s mediocrity and refusal to take sides now looked like a successful formula for the government of such a fragile, fractious country. There was a further dimension to the evolving King image. The small clubby world of the Ottawa press corps that King knew had been replaced by “gotcha” journalism. Investigative reporters had revealed the often flawed private lives of several politicians—John F. Kennedy’s affairs, Richard Nixon’s law breaking, Pierre Trudeau’s marital meltdown, Brian Mulroney’s high-spending habits. Canadian historians had written about Sir John A. Macdonald’s taste for alcohol and Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s mistress. So what if King’s diaries had revealed him as petty, small-minded and odd? By the end of the 20th century, Weird Willie had lost his novelty value. And, besides, King at least had done a good job. Virginia Woolf once observed that the actual length of a person’s life is open to dispute because lives do not necessarily end on deathbeds. As Dummitt puts it in Unbuttoned, “history is never finished with its main characters—it is only the questions and passions that change from one generation to the next.” The biographer is always part of the picture, shaping the story told, whether or not she or he directly addresses the reader. King continues to live on, with a succession of biographers in hot pursuit, reimagining him from their own perspectives. Given that Dummitt acknowledges this, I am surprised that he himself does not emerge from behind the curtain to voice his insights. Instead, he sticks to the magisterial “we” in Unbuttoned—except in the preface. Here he gets more personal as he reflects on the role of history. Contemplating an academic discipline now dominated by postmodern analysis, he writes, “it seems to me that the role of history is to make an earlier era come alive again in the minds of our contemporaries.” Only narrative history, he argues, can make it poignant, or allow readers to catch glimpses of an earlier time. No account of the past can be the whole truth, but at least narrative history evokes responses that might range from shock or sympathy. “I’m just not convinced that a more analytical style of writing … gets any closer to the truth or its construction … It is possible, I hope, to write a story and to still make a contribution to scholarly knowledge.” It is refreshing to see an academic historian make this argument, and I echo his hope that both general readers and his colleagues will enjoy this book. Unbuttoned deserves a broad audience. If it does not find it, it will not be Dummitt’s fault. It will be because today’s educational institutions have starved Canadians of narrative history for so long that most of us do not realize that the past has shaped our present. Want to share your thoughts?We welcome letters, which we reserve the right to publish after editing for length, clarity and accuracy.
2 annotations
 unrest and war 593
  • her emphasis on her links to oral tradition through her native blood combined to ensure her immediate success as a recitalist
  • In 1909, weary and already ill with the breast cancer that would take her life, she ended her partnership with McRaye and retired to Vancouver.
  • This idyllic existence ended abruptly when George Johnson died in 1884. Unable to afford living at Chiefswood, Pauline, her mother, and her sister, Eliza Helen Charlotte (Eva)
  • (
  • Her formal education was modest. Tutored largely at home, she attended the reserve school for two years and then Brantford Collegiate Institute from the age of 14 to 16.
  • she began to look to writing as a means of supporting herself.
  • and serious bouts of streptococcal illness between 1900 and 1902 (which caused the loss of her hair and left her skin ravaged) all took their toll.
  • Johnson was raised in privileged, middle-class circumstances on the outskirts of Brantford
  • None the less, an income from writing eluded Johnson until January 1892, when school friend Frank Yeigh*,
  • while income from touring tended to evaporate quickly,
  • Together these themes suggest a broader and more engaged sensibility than that usually attributed to her.
  • she resumed her touring schedule with McRaye and in 1907
  • e facing the road and the other the Grand River, seems emblematic of her status as a mixed-blood writer and performer who straddled two cultures.
  • E. Pauline Johnson and Tekahionwake, accentuating her native identity and developing the “Indian princess” persona that would serve her well
  • mother was English, Johnson was native by birth, her father being a Mohawk of the wolf clan
  • On the one hand, she continually emphasized the nobility of certain values that she associated with native communities, particularly respect for nature and generosity of spirit. On the other, she frequently lamented the stereotyping of native figures
  • It would be difficult to overstate the personal difficulties that Pauline Johnson endured in bringing her work before the public
17 annotations
 books and literature 530
  • , about far more than the awesome magnificence of Canadian space
  • es, the art world moved on. It took a completely different group of artists — the Quebec intellectuals and artists, including Paul-Émile Borduas and Jean-Paul Riopelle, who in 1948 published Refus global — to launch surrealism and abstraction in Canada.Yet Emily Carr’s reputation has quietly grown. In 2012, a small selection of her work was included in Documenta XIII in Kassel, Germany, in an international exhibition of pioneering female modernists. In 2014, the first European solo exhibition of her work, mounted by London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, was ecstatically reviewed: “The best artist nobody knows,” according to one British headline writer; “Canada’s very own Van Gogh,” according to another. An exhibition entitled Mystical Landscapes, including works by Emily Carr, will open at the Art Gallery of Ontario in October, 2016 before moving to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris in 2017.As a child, Carr developed her artistic vision of this “wonderful new land;” today, her vision is recognized as richer and more complex than that of her contemporaries. By finding her place, she gave Canadians then and now a larger sense of ours.YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...Mapping the footsteps of the Group of SevenBrad Pitt’s new girl is made of sterner stuff: StargazingCopyright 2016 by Charlotte Gray. From The Promise of Canada: 150 Years – People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country by Charlotte Gray, published by Simon & Schuster Canada. More info: PromiseOfCanada.caSee Charlotte Gray at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on Tuesday. www.ifoa.org/events Get more stories like this one in your inboxTake your time with the Star's biggest and best features with our Weekend Long Reads newsletter.Sign Up NowSHARE:Report an errorJournalistic StandardsAbout The StarARTICLE CONTINUES BELOWARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
  • he scorned tree could almost be a self-portrait for this defiant artist — her solitary, single-minded reach to self-fulfillment, while the landscape is desecrated around her.
  • nce she was discovered by the eastern establishment, her art and her national reputation exploded
  • By looking inward, she gave us an outward identity
  • n her later works, she infused her works with an erotic sensibility that few Canadian artists have equalled
  • Carr championed First Nations in the face of Anglo-Canadian derision and asserted “their honour, dignity and the coherence of their traditional way of life and beliefs.
  • century ever established international reputations or foreign sale
  • Carr never romanticized the wilderness, and she recorded how the resource industries — the basis of Canada’s prosperity— were already gobbling up the scenery
  • As a child, Carr developed her artistic vision of this “wonderful new land;” today, her vision is recognized as richer and more complex than that of her contemporaries. By finding her place, she gave Canadians then and now a larger sense of ours.
  • no Canadian artists from the early 20th century ever established international reputations or foreign sales: while they were still painting landscapes, the art world moved on
  • Yet Emily Carr’s reputation has quietly grown. In 2012, a small selection of her work was included in Documenta XIII in Kassel, Germany, in an international exhibition of pioneering female modernists
  • In 2012, a small selection of her work was included in Documenta XIII in Kassel, Germany, in an international exhibition of pioneering female modernists.
  • And she captured not only the lush colours of the Pacific rainforest but also its despoliation by the logging industry
  • YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...Mapping the footsteps of the Group of SevenBrad Pitt’s new girl is made of sterner stuff: StargazingCopyright 2016 by Charlotte Gray. From The Promise of Canada: 150 Years – People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country by Charlotte Gray, published by Simon & Schuster Canada. More info: PromiseOfCanada.caSee Charlotte Gray at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on Tuesday. www.ifoa.org/events Get more stories like this one in your inboxTake your time with the Star's biggest and best features with our Weekend Long Reads newsletter.Sign Up NowSHARE:Report an errorJournalistic StandardsAbout The StarARTICLE CONTINUES BELOWARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
  • rr developed her artistic vision of this “wonderful new land;” today, her vision is recognized as richer and more complex than that of her contemporaries. By finding her place, she gave Canadians then and now a larger sense of ours.YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...Mapping the footsteps of the Group of SevenBrad Pitt’s new girl is made of sterner stuff: StargazingCopyright 2016 by Charlotte Gray. From The Promise of Canada: 150 Years – People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country by Charlotte Gray, published by Simon & Schuster Canada. More info: PromiseOfCanada.caSee Charlotte Gray at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on Tuesday. www.ifoa.org/events Get more stories like this one in your inboxTake your time with the Star's biggest and best features with our Weekend Long Reads newsletter.Sign Up NowSHARE:Report an errorJournalistic StandardsAbout The StarARTICLE CONTINUES BELOWARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
16 annotations
 visual art and design 578
  • Therefore, although they had been unable to prevent the adoption of the conscription bill, French Canadians appeared well on the way to creating an effective underground network of resistance against the draft. This attitude is strikingly similar to a “culture of refusal to serve”
  • betrays the nationalist leader’s feeling of helplessness. His call for appeasement is worlds away from the grandiose tirades against the “imperialist plot” of spring 1917. How could Bourassa not feel subdued? The worst case scenario had become reality, and troops from Toronto had fired upon the people of Quebec City. The confrontation between the two “founding peoples” that he had feared for so long had finally happened, and four French Canadians had been killed. The failure of Bourassa’s national ideal could hardly have been brought home more cruelly. By 1918, Henri Bourassa was exhausted and depressed.54 He suffered a series of professional and personal losses, with his Devoir progressively silenced by censorship, and more deeply, the death of his wife, Joséphine Papineau, following a long illness in 1919, and a few months later, the death of Laurier, to whom he had remained close, despite their disagreements. In the aftermath of the war, the nationalist leader found himself widowed, with a family of eight young children, isolated and exhausted by years of struggle against war and conscription. Most profoundly, history had proven him wrong on a fundamental point: far from relegating the Dominion back to colonial subservience as he had feared, the sacrifice of Canadians was now paving the way towards national independence.55 Canada was gaining self-government, as Henri Bourassa had yearned for so long, under his very eyes, and through war, rather than through the struggle against war. From then on, Bourassa drifted away from nationalism and into a pervasive Catholicism that cost him many of his remaining supporters. He was re-elected as a federal MP in 1925, after an absence of 18 years, and later made a speech glorifying the Pope before a stunned House of Commons. He even attempted to convert his friend, the socialist MP James Woodsworth, to Catholicism.56 One of his most famous followers, Lionel Groulx, attributed this eccentric behaviour to a hereditary “moral illness” made up of religious scruples and neurasthenia, which he asserted had been handed down in the Papineau line.57 However, Bourassa’s real or supposed mental frailty is not the only explanation for his conduct. In fact, he felt he was continuing the struggle on his only remaining battlefield: religion. Although he had lost the battle against the warlords, he was now launching a crusade to save their souls. He wrote in 1920: “We struggle against English imperialism in order to save the English nation, the English mind, the English civilization, the English soul from the rule of Satan and restore them to God.”58 PA PA-022751 French Canadian officers of the first French Canadian battalion to be formed under conscription, nearly all of whom went to the 22nd Battalion. Although he continued to preach “resistance” in order to break the “chain” of imperialism, Henri Bourassa never called for taking up any weapons other than those of the mind and the word. It could be argued that despite his nationalist credentials, Bourassa was, in fact, stuck in a “colonized” mentality, by definition powerless, taking refuge in religion and giving voice to what Albert Memmi describes as “the self-loathing passive-aggressiveness of the conquered who admire their conqueror in spite of themselves and cling to the hope that the omnipotent colonizer will turn out to be benevolent.”59 Such criticisms were probably voiced in his day, but Bourassa remained independent and unrepentant as always, as suggested by this extract from one of his last anti-imperialist tirades: “It is true that in writing these lines, I run the risk of confirming my reputation (widespread among practical people) of a tilter at windmills. But no matter, I am used to it and in any event, I write for people who take the trouble to think60.” Conclusions Was Henri Bourassa a “traitor to the motherland”? Hardly. His Catholic, traditionalist, anti-revolutionary values led him to exert a moderating influence in the conscription crisis by denouncing the excesses of a popular sentiment that he, ironically, had helped to create. While inveighing against the “blood tax,” he reassured the conservative elites of French Canada by denouncing any resort to disorder and violence. His rhetoric justified French Canadians’ attachment to their identity as expressed through a cultural “refusal to serve,” but at the same time, warned them against the temptation of political, i.e. forceful, affirmation of that identity. Through this ambivalent attitude, far from being the “dangerous agitator” demonized in many quarters, Henri Bourassa instead played the role of a form of “spiritual advisor,” even of peacemaker within his own community, by channelling collective resentment into a Christian social renewal project. Bourassa’s detractors were mistaken in seeing him only as a madman or a plotter of rebellion. Quite the contrary, given the breadth and depth of resistance to conscription in Quebec, Henri Bourassa was probably the most moderating influence against the threat of uncontrolled popular dissent, and in particular, he significantly helped forestall civil war. Ironically, the man his English Canadian contemporaries considered Public Enemy Number One was probably their best ally on the home front. Béatrice Richard holds a doctorate in history from Université du Québec à Montréal and is an assistant professor of military history in the History Department and the Continuing Studies Department of the Royal Military College of Canada. Notes The writing of this article was funded through a research grant from the Hector- Fabre Chair of the Université du Québec à Montréal. François-Albert Angers, “La pensée de Henri Bourassa : Le problème de la paix”, L’Action nationale, Montreal, 1954, p. 92. Henri Bourassa quarrelled with then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier about the Boer War and resigned from Parliament to protest against sending a Canadian contingent in South Africa without Parliament’s assent. In his resignation letter, he asked “whether Canada is ready to give up its prerogatives as a self-governing colony, its parliamentary freedom, its pact with the mother country achieved after 75 years of struggle, and revert to its former status as a Crown colony.” This extract foreshadows Bourassa’s doctrine about Canada’s participation in outside wars during the 20th Century. (Hommage à Henri Bourassa : Lettre de M. Henri Bourassa à Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1952, p. 50) Mackenzie King wrote in December 1916: “Sir W. regards B. as a fanatic and ill-mentally balanced, and of course swayed by the R. C. Church.” Journal of William Lyon Mackenzie King, ArchiviaNet, 12 December 1916 [on line] at <http://king.collectionscanada.ca> Minister of Militia Sam Hughes had created an all-voluntary recruitment system, to such an extent that enrolment for the expeditionary force, at least at the outset of the war, was not directly administered by the government, but rather by independent patriotic associations run by influential economic, social and intellectual circles using the medium of the press. In other words, recruitment was initially left to private initiative. That bizarre system naturally led to chaos, patronage, and improvisation. In this context, conscription can be seen as an attempt – albeit unsuccessful – by the government to reassert its authority over a system that had completely escaped its control. Robert Rumilly, Histoire de la province de Québec, tome XXII, (Montreal: Montréal Éditions, 1951), p. 74. Mason Wade, Les Canadiens français de 1760 à nos jours, tome II (1911-1963) (Ottawa : Le Cercle du Livre de France, 1963), p. 160. Henri Bourassa, Le Pape, arbitre de la paix, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1918, p. 119. Article published in Le Devoir on 31 August 1917. Le Devoir, April 20, quoted in Wade, p. 64. Armand Lavergne, quoted in Wade, pp. 92-93. Sources include Elizabeth H. Armstrong, The Crisis of Quebec, 1914-1918 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1937), p. 270, and J. L. Granatstein et al., Broken Promises: A History of Conscription in Canada (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1985), p. 281. The “blood tax” was an expression used in France under the monarchy to designate an honourable contribution to society. Its current negative connotation dates back to the First World War. At the time, it was seen by many as the last tax payable to the State “that citizens can still be physically compelled to pay.” In France, the main form of resistance to this civic obligation was the refusal to report for military duty, a phenomenon that was more or less widespread from one region to the next. (Philippe Boulanger, “Le refus de l’impôt du sang. Géographie de l’insoumission en France de 1914 à 1922”, Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains, No. 188, 1997, pp. 3-25.) Many tend to forget that the Dominion of Canada was technically a colony of the British Empire at the time. In this context, conscription took on a very specific meaning, as shown by the literature on mobilization in French and British colonies in both world wars. In France, conscription appears (among other connotations) as a path to assimilation and integration into citizenship and therefore a fairly explicit bargain is made with natives of the colonies: “my blood in exchange for French citizenship.” In the British Empire, where conscription was less rooted in political and military culture and more of an ad hoc measure, the bargain between the mother country and the colonies was not always as explicit, all the more so in the case of Canada, being a “white” settlement colony where potential conscripts lived in the same type of political culture as Britain and enjoyed rights equivalent to those of the British. Sources consulted include Marc Michel, Les Africains et la Grande Guerre. L’Appel à l’Afrique 1914-1918 (Paris : Karthala, 2003), p. 193, and Gilbert Meynier, L’Algérie révélée (Geneva-Paris : Librairie Droz, 1981), p. 793. Henri Bourassa, Hier, aujourd’hui, demain, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1916, p. 67. Ian Hugh Maclean Miller, Our Glory and Our Grief: Torontonians and the Great War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), p. 38. It should be noted that the mystique of sacrifice by blood is prevalent throughout prewar European literature. Authors such as Georges Sorel, Charles Péguy, Rupert Brooke and Thomas Hardy wrote, at least until 1914, about the inevitability of a war that would redeem and purify a world grown old and decadent. Bourassa (1918), Le Pape, arbitre de la paix, p. 146. Ibid. Henri Bourassa, La conscription, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1917, p. 20. This pamphlet includes nine articles on the topic published in Le Devoir between May 28 and June 6, 1917 and went to press on June 9. Bourassa’s struggle against conscription is highlighted in Robert Rumilly’s biography, Henri Bourassa : La vie publique d’un grand Canadien (Montreal: Chantecler, 1953), pp. 570-593, and in a chapter of Warren Alexander Chubb, Henri Bourassa and the First World War (master’s thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 1974, pp. 47-67). See also Wade, pp. 116-194. Bourassa (1917), p. 47. Ibid., p. 38. Ibid., p. 40. Article published in Le Devoir on 6 June 1917. Ibid., p. 26. Bourassa (1918), Le Pape, arbitre de la paix, section “Lubie démocratique : Invite à la revolution”, pp. 117-119. Article published in Le Devoir on 31 August 1917. Ibid., p. 96. Article published in Le Devoir on 24 April 1917. Ibid., see section entitled “Après la guerre, la revolution”, p. 97 and p. 102. Articles published in Le Devoir on 24-25 April 1917. Ibid. See section entitled “Est-ce la paix?”, p. 125. Article published in Le Devoir on 1 December 1917. Ibid., p. 146. Article published in Le Devoir on 12 January 1918. Bourassa (1917), p. 10. Ibid. Sources consulted include Gérard Pinsonneault, La propagande de recrutement militaire au Canada, 1914-1917. Essai en histoire des mentalités, master’s dissertation, Université de Sherbrooke, 1981, p. 183. These lines were written in the summer of 1916 in reply to his cousin, Captain Talbot Mercer Papineau, who was fighting with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment in France and urging him to support the war effort. (Quoted by Jean Pariseau and Serge Bernier, Les Canadiens français et le bilinguisme dans les Forces armées canadiennes, tome 1 (Ottawa: Department of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence, 1987), p. 91. Bourassa (1917), pp. 10-12. By way of comparison, France’s colonial recruits at the time made up only 1.5% of the population of territories outside France proper. (Michel, p. 193) Bourassa (1917), p. 27, and pp. 39-41. It should be noted that Bourassa saw plebiscites as a key part of his national defence policy doctrine. He proposed them at least three times: once about sending an expeditionary corps to South Africa in 1900, and twice on the issue of Canada’s contribution to the naval defence of the Empire in 1911. Ibid., p. 27. Ibid. Le Devoir, 11 August 1917. It should be noted that Bourassa himself endorsed a kind of ethnic barrier by describing French Canadians as the “only exclusively Canadian group” Pariseau et Bernier, p. 91. After refusing to support the war of independence, he fled and was later restored to the papal throne by the French. Bourassa cites this example in a pamphlet about the imminent signing of the Lateran Agreements between the Pope and Mussolini. La paix romaine, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1929, p. 6). Bourassa (1917), p. 27. Le Devoir, 11 August 1917. It should be noted that the labour movement’s position about the was remained ambiguous throughout, largely in response to the pacifist position of the American Federation of Labor, in line with the United States’ chosen policy of “armed” neutrality. Canadian union leaders were torn between their American allegiances and their close links with their British counterparts who were being swept up in spite of themselves by the “anti-Prussian” patriotic wave. Nonetheless, a pacifist current did appear within the Canadian labour movement. Charles Lipton, Histoire du syndicalisme au Canada et au Québec, 1827-1959 (Montreal : Éditions Parti pris, 1976), p. 252. See also Gregory Kealey, “State Repression of Labour and the Left in Canada, 1914-1920: The Impact of the First World War”, in Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 73, No. 3, 1994, pp. 281-314. Sources includes René Durocher, “Henri Bourassa, les évêques et la guerre de 1914-1918”, in Jean-Yves Gravel, Le Québec et la guerre (Montreal : Boréal Express, 1974), pp. 47-75. Like Bourassa, Roy denounced the waste and corruption that had surrounded the mobilization of Canadian troops. But he believed that the past could not be undone and complaining would be futile, and that French Canadians had no other choice but to make common cause with their English Canadian compatriots. Ferdinand Roy, L’appel aux armes et la réponse canadienne-française : étude sur le conflit de races (Quebec City : J.-P. Garneau, 1917), p. 31 and p. 35. Wade, p. 162. Ibid. A patriot (under the pseudonym of l’abbé Joseph Prio Arthur D’Amours), Où allons-nous?, Montreal, Société d’éditions patriotiques, articles published between June and September 1916, p. 73 . Henry Bourassa was nicknamed Castor rouge because of his apparently paradoxical twin allegiance to conservative ideology and the Liberal Party. The common definition of refusal to serve is the refusal to report to a summons from military authorities. Sources consulted include Patrick Bouvier, Déserteurs et insoumis : les Canadiens français et la justice militaire, 1914-1918 (Montreal : Éditions Athéna, 2003), p. 79. Ibid., pp. 72-73. Boulanger, pp. 24-25. A number of French researchers have shown that the issue of conscription is rooted in the very nature of French society and can still be felt in the country’s collective memory. Sources consulted include: Michel Auvray, L’âge des casernes. Histoires et mythes du service militaire (Paris : éditions de l’Aube, 1998), p. 326; Annie Crépin, La conscription en débat ou le triple apprentissage de la nation, de la citoyenneté, de la République (1798-1889) (Arras : Artois Presses Université, 1998), p. 258 ; Philippe Boulanger, Géographie historique de la conscription et des conscrits en France de 1914 à 1922 d’après les comptes rendus sur le recrutement de l’armée, doctoral thesis, Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2 volumes, 1998, p.615. Wade,, p. 157. Henri Bourassa, “L’ordre public doit être maintenu”, Le Devoir, 5 April 1918, p. 1. The spring of 1918 had been particularly explosive in Quebec, with the conscription crisis reaching its bloody climax during the Quebec City riot on 1 April, when four demonstrators were shot to death by troops despatched from Ontario. Jean Provencher, Québec sous la loi des mesures de guerre, 1918 (Montreal : Boréal Express, 1971), p. 47. Bourassa (1918), “L’ordre public doit être maintenu”. André Bergevin, Anne Bourassa et Cameron Nish, “Henri Bourassa”, L’Action nationale, 1966, p. LI. Desmond Morton and Jack L. Granatstein, Marching to Armageddon: Canadians and the Great War, 1914-1919 (Toronto: Lester and Orphen Dennys, 1989), p. 288. It should be recalled that Canada earned the right to sign the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 in its capacity as a country that had contributed to the victory over Germany, and Canada also obtained an independent seat at the League of Nations. The Statute of Westminster eventually enshrined its autonomy in matters of defence and foreign policy, as was the case for the other Dominions. Rumilly (1953), p. 723. Lionel Groulx, Mes Mémoires, tome 2 (Montreal : Fides, 1971), pp. 225-257. Henri Bourassa, La prochaine guerre impériale. En serons-nous?, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1920, p. 31. Albert Memmi, Portrait du colonis, ( Montreal : L’Étincelle, 1972), p. 114. Henri Bourassa, La Mission Jellicoe. Nouvelle poussée d’impérialisme (Montreal : Éditions du Devoir, 1919), p. 31.   Canadian Military Journal Menu Canadian Military Journal (CMJ) About Us Submission Guidelines Book Review Guidance Current Issue Back Issues Contact Us Site Map Proactive Disclosure Style Switcher <p>Your browser does not support JavaScript, you will not be able to use the style switcher.</p> -- Select one -- Default Liquid What is this? Strength through Personnel Strength through knowledge
  • his personality, the natural leader of all French Canadians opposed to compulsory military service
  • r” that had extended it.23 He prophesied that once the people realized they had been deceived, there would be “an uprising that could surpass in some respects even the excesses of the French Revolution.”24 At a deeper level, conscription was reminiscent of the levée en masse or total mobilization of the revolutionary wars that had ultimately led to the fall of the Papal State in 1870. This prospect was so terrifying to Henri Bourassa that his writings contain some rather wild conjectures on the subject. He went so far as to speculate that “Imperialists” had not only been the originators of the Russian revolution, but were also plotting to ensure the triumph of their “revolution” by overthrowing all of Europe’s monarchies, including the British Crown.25 He warned that unless “war profiteers” were cast out and a “peace without victory” brought about, “universal civil war will succeed international war throughout the world.”26 All during the global conflict, Bourassa again and again called upon the leaders of belligerent countries to submit to arbitration by the Pope, offering them a stark choice: “A Christian peace or social revolution.”27 Nonetheless, Henri Bourassa had not always been so categorically opposed to compulsory military service, at least, ostensibly. In July 1915, he had opined that the government ought to follow the lead of the US Congress and adopt a selective conscription system.28 Two years later, he still asserted: “This was the only rational method to extract the greatest effort possible from the country, both militarily and economically, and to recruit a large army without creating chaos in agricultural and essential industries.”29 This was a barely veiled reference to the fiasco to which the extreme volunteering system instituted by former Minister of Militia Sam Hughes had led.30 But in reality, Henri Bourassa well knew that the French Canadian population, being largely rural, included “a larger proportion of farmers and fathers with many children,”31 and selective conscription would be advantageous for Quebec because farm labour and family breadwinners would likely be exempted. However, by the time the conscription bill was being debated in Parliament, Bourassa had given up on attempts to fine-tune the enlistment process, and had come to believe instead that the country could do no more, having already fielded a larger proportion of its population (almost 500,000 volunteers, or six percent of the population) than England, France and the United States.32 As a way out of the impasse, Bourassa proposed a plebiscite on conscription, in which voters would be freed from siding with the traditional parties that he held to be deeply corrupt.33 Setting aside his enmity with Laurier, he actively supported the Liberal platform in this respect. He believed that a direct popular vote was the best strategy to ensure social peace and order, and, more importantly, to rebuild national unity on a fresh basis. He wagered that “if conscription is accepted unreservedly by an absolute majority of all voters, French Canadians will accept it.”34 On the other hand, a solid Quebec vote against conscription would allow more dovish English Canadians an easy way out of the “nightmare of conscription.” In addition, he saw a plebiscite as a way to make all votes against conscription count, since anti-military opinion was beginning to be felt outside Quebec, especially among farmers, workers, and pacifist groups. This would help avoid “deepening the divide between the two races.”35 But his hopes proved short-lived when the situation started spinning out of control. PA C-020240 General Sir Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence, whose recruiting initiatives tended to alienate French Canadians. Resistance without Violence In August 1917, Montreal and several cities in Quebec were roiled by popular demonstrations. From that point on, Henri Bourassa was again forced on the defensive. He repeatedly warned his own camp against the disastrous consequences of resorting to violence, and the dangers of unbridled ethnic nationalism: By calling for violent resistance in the name only of the French race or the province of Quebec, you would be boosting incalculably those hateful opponents who seek conscription first and foremost as a way to put the “d....d Frenchmen” in their place. Even those many English and English- speaking opponents of conscription will join our enemies in crushing any attempted insurrection, or at least, will give them free rein in restoring public peace and order at they see fit. With the first violent act, martial law will be proclaimed and a military regime will be imposed in place of civil authority. It is not difficult to imagine that the government will not entrust the restoration of order to officers inclined to leniency.36 Henri Bourassa was coming face to face with the limits of his activist beliefs. He had to reconcile resistance to conscription with a prohibition against any violence. As an apologist for Roman Catholic Church supremacy, he felt that his personal opposition could not be allowed to morph into political radicalism. One possible model for this attitude was the refusal of Pope Pius IX in 1848 to “collude” in the “satanic” principles of the Italian Revolution, even while he condemned the Austrian occupation.37 Perhaps Bourassa’s dilemma in 1917 was similarly born of a collision between his reactionary values and his sympathy with a potentially “revolutionary” cause. The position he eventually worked out was exceedingly subtle. The conscription juggernaut was moving along inexorably, ignoring Bourassa’s proposed alternatives, and crushing any dissent. The referendum he had suggested in order “to avoid a dangerous explosion”38 had not taken place. His proposals to “create a powerful backlash” against conscription and to “give full support to the opposition in Parliament” had gone unheeded, and the bill was adopted in a matter of weeks. Bourassa felt that he could not counsel disobedience to a law, however severe. Faced with a fait accompli, he could only express a faint hope that “as many anti-conscription candidates as possible” would be elected in order that the Act might be repealed. Here again, his calls would fall on deaf ears. Bourassa then worked out a highly ambiguous position on “passive resistance” to conscription. Although he acknowledged that this could be “a duty on certain occasions,” he hastened to restrict the application of this faculty to those with a sufficiently enlightened conscience: Does the conscription bill fall into the category of those tyrannical measures that justify passive resistance? For those who believe that war is a crime and an evil in itself, the answer is yes; for all others, it would be rash to answer in the affirmative. It is not enough that a law appears harsh or oppressive for passive resistance to be justified. Any law appears harsh, oppressive or unjust to someone. What would become of public order if everyone were entitled to resist every law that he does not like?39 The nationalist leader was attempting to draw a line between “good” and “bad” resistance in the hope of keeping the cause of French Canadians clearly apart from the “revolution.” In particular, he feared the influence of the labour movement that was whipping up popular sentiment against the “blood tax,”40 and even more so, the calls to riot by agents provocateurs who could lead French Canadians down the path of disaster at any time. PA C-006859 A demonstration against Conscription in Montreal’s Victoria Square, 24 May 1917. Bourassa’s margin for manoeuvre was all the narrower, since he needed to avoid offending those moderate Liberals who had remained loyal to Laurier and still defended volunteerism, as well as Quebec’s bishops and a number of nationalists who were in favour of the war effort,41 including Ferdinand Roy, a leading Quebec city lawyer who published a broadside in favour of conscription in 1917.42 If this were not enough, Le Devoir was constantly skirmishing with a popular press that had become a mouthpiece for the war effort. An editorial in the Toronto Mail and Empire of 10 December 1917 asserted that “a vote for Laurier and his friends would be a vote for Bourassa, against those fighting at the front, against links with Britain and the Empire, a vote for Germany... .”43 Extreme Unionist groups were fond of saying that “a vote for Laurier is a vote for Bourassa, is a vote for the Kaiser.”44 This spiralling hostility was seen as a threat by certain francophone circles, who felt it important to preserve harmony between the two communities. Abbé D’Amours, the editor of L’Action catholique, strongly condemned the nationalist doctrine of Bourassa, whom he dubbed the “Castor rouge,”45 in a series of letters published in La Presse, in which he argued that Bourassa’s position was dangerous because it was based on a theory of “races” that was destructive to national unity. D’Amours believed that French Canadians would see their rights respected if only they accepted British patriotism. Political or Cultural Resistance? Despite all the fears, the passions unleashed by the “blood tax” appeared to abate as time passed and the conscription system became a reality. This can be attributed to the “safety valve” offered by the exemption provisions built into the law – the result of a compromise or a case of Parliament’s wisdom? – that were widely used for months, with the connivance of local notables (especially in Quebec where tribunals granted proportionally more exemptions than in other provinces),46 thereby creating a form of legally sanctioned refusal to serve.47 Therefore, although they had been unable to prevent the adoption of the conscription bill, French Canadians appeared well on the way to creating an effective underground network of resistance against the draft. This attitude is strikingly similar to a “culture of refusal to serve” – unspoken but deeply rooted – observed in some remote areas of France at the same time, where local populations “traditionally hostile to any outside interference” resisted the “intrusion of national sovereignty” and jealously defended their sense of identity through “a form of global cultural resistance that went beyond the mere refusal to serve in the army.”48 If this speculation is accurate, it would mean that Quebec’s elites made their peace with a historic and deeply rooted sense of cultural resistance49. In this context, Henri Bourassa’s key achievement was, not so much in whipping up crowds that needed no convincing, than in keeping a lid on the anti-conscription cauldron by protecting French Canadians from revolutionary “contagion” and from provocations coming from all quarters. Of course, the extent to which the grandson of Louis-Joseph Papineau had a direct influence on the general population is debatable. Bourassa was an intellectual with the manners of an aristocrat, remote from his illiterate “people,” whose potential for violence he feared. However, the editorial line of Le Devoir was widely influential within the local clergy.50 Parish priests were highly attuned to the population, and they made up an influential network of resistance against both conscription and revolution, which was especially strong in rural areas. Indeed, Henri Bourassa openly addressed these very local elites in the aftermath of the bloody Quebec City riots that occurred in the spring of 1918: “Le Devoir is not widely read in those circles where riot leaders operate, but it strives to reach those opinion leaders who can contain and isolate wildfires.”51 Bourassa was particularly concerned that the urban riots could lead to the demise of the fragile balance that had been achieved by the exemption system. Indeed, the troubles had started because federal agents had refused to honour a young man’s exemption certificate.52 Bourassa reached back to the economic argument by warning the government against “the danger of building up the army to the expense of agricultural production and ship building,”53 another clear reference to industries where French Canadians were widely employed. CMJ collection Sir Robert Borden and Sir Arthur Currie take the salute as infantry of the 4th Canadian Division march past along a dusty French road. Saving the English Soul But, most strikingly, this post-riot editorial betrays the nationalist leader’s feeling of helplessness. His call for appeasement is worlds away from the grandiose tirades against the “imperialist plot” of spring 1917. How could Bourassa not feel subdued? The worst case scenario had become reality, and troops from Toronto had fired upon the people of Quebec City. The confrontation between the two “founding peoples” that he had feared for so long had finally happened, and four French Canadians had been killed. The failure of Bourassa’s national ideal could hardly have been brought home more cruelly. By 1918, Henri Bourassa was exhausted and depressed.54 He suffered a series of professional and personal losses, with his Devoir progressively silenced by censorship, and more deeply, the death of his wife, Joséphine Papineau, following a long illness in 1919, and a few months later, the death of Laurier, to whom he had remained close, despite their disagreements. In the aftermath of the war, the nationalist leader found himself widowed, with a family of eight young children, isolated and exhausted by years of struggle against war and conscription. Most profoundly, history had proven him wrong on a fundamental point: far from relegating the Dominion back to colonial subservience as he had feared, the sacrifice of Canadians was now paving the way towards national independence.55 Canada was gaining self-government, as Henri Bourassa had yearned for so long, under his very eyes, and through war, rather than through the struggle against war. From then on, Bourassa drifted away from nationalism and into a pervasive Catholicism that cost him many of his remaining supporters. He was re-elected as a federal MP in 1925, after an absence of 18 years, and later made a speech glorifying the Pope before a stunned House of Commons. He even attempted to convert his friend, the socialist MP James Woodsworth, to Catholicism.56 One of his most famous followers, Lionel Groulx, attributed this eccentric behaviour to a hereditary “moral illness” made up of religious scruples and neurasthenia, which he asserted had been handed down in the Papineau line.57 However, Bourassa’s real or supposed mental frailty is not the only explanation for his conduct. In fact, he felt he was continuing the struggle on his only remaining battlefield: religion. Although he had lost the battle against the warlords, he was now launching a crusade to save their souls. He wrote in 1920: “We struggle against English imperialism in order to save the English nation, the English mind, the English civilization, the English soul from the rule of Satan and restore them to God.”58 PA PA-022751 French Canadian officers of the first French Canadian battalion to be formed under conscription, nearly all of whom went to the 22nd Battalion. Although he continued to preach “resistance” in order to break the “chain” of imperialism, Henri Bourassa never called for taking up any weapons other than those of the mind and the word. It could be argued that despite his nationalist credentials, Bourassa was, in fact, stuck in a “colonized” mentality, by definition powerless, taking refuge in religion and giving voice to what Albert Memmi describes as “the self-loathing passive-aggressiveness of the conquered who admire their conqueror in spite of themselves and cling to the hope that the omnipotent colonizer will turn out to be benevolent.”59 Such criticisms were probably voiced in his day, but Bourassa remained independent and unrepentant as always, as suggested by this extract from one of his last anti-imperialist tirades: “It is true that in writing these lines, I run the risk of confirming my reputation (widespread among practical people) of a tilter at windmills. But no matter, I am used to it and in any event, I write for people who take the trouble to think60.” Conclusions Was Henri Bourassa a “traitor to the motherland”? Hardly. His Catholic, traditionalist, anti-revolutionary values led him to exert a moderating influence in the conscription crisis by denouncing the excesses of a popular sentiment that he, ironically, had helped to create. While inveighing against the “blood tax,” he reassured the conservative elites of French Canada by denouncing any resort to disorder and violence. His rhetoric justified French Canadians’ attachment to their identity as expressed through a cultural “refusal to serve,” but at the same time, warned them against the temptation of political, i.e. forceful, affirmation of that identity. Through this ambivalent attitude, far from being the “dangerous agitator” demonized in many quarters, Henri Bourassa instead played the role of a form of “spiritual advisor,” even of peacemaker within his own community, by channelling collective resentment into a Christian social renewal project. Bourassa’s detractors were mistaken in seeing him only as a madman or a plotter of rebellion. Quite the contrary, given the breadth and depth of resistance to conscription in Quebec, Henri Bourassa was probably the most moderating influence against the threat of uncontrolled popular dissent, and in particular, he significantly helped forestall civil war. Ironically, the man his English Canadian contemporaries considered Public Enemy Number One was probably their best ally on the home front. Béatrice Richard holds a doctorate in history from Université du Québec à Montréal and is an assistant professor of military history in the History Department and the Continuing Studies Department of the Royal Military College of Canada. Notes The writing of this article was funded through a research grant from the Hector- Fabre Chair of the Université du Québec à Montréal. François-Albert Angers, “La pensée de Henri Bourassa : Le problème de la paix”, L’Action nationale, Montreal, 1954, p. 92. Henri Bourassa quarrelled with then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier about the Boer War and resigned from Parliament to protest against sending a Canadian contingent in South Africa without Parliament’s assent. In his resignation letter, he asked “whether Canada is ready to give up its prerogatives as a self-governing colony, its parliamentary freedom, its pact with the mother country achieved after 75 years of struggle, and revert to its former status as a Crown colony.” This extract foreshadows Bourassa’s doctrine about Canada’s participation in outside wars during the 20th Century. (Hommage à Henri Bourassa : Lettre de M. Henri Bourassa à Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1952, p. 50) Mackenzie King wrote in December 1916: “Sir W. regards B. as a fanatic and ill-mentally balanced, and of course swayed by the R. C. Church.” Journal of William Lyon Mackenzie King, ArchiviaNet, 12 December 1916 [on line] at <http://king.collectionscanada.ca> Minister of Militia Sam Hughes had created an all-voluntary recruitment system, to such an extent that enrolment for the expeditionary force, at least at the outset of the war, was not directly administered by the government, but rather by independent patriotic associations run by influential economic, social and intellectual circles using the medium of the press. In other words, recruitment was initially left to private initiative. That bizarre system naturally led to chaos, patronage, and improvisation. In this context, conscription can be seen as an attempt – albeit unsuccessful – by the government to reassert its authority over a system that had completely escaped its control. Robert Rumilly, Histoire de la province de Québec, tome XXII, (Montreal: Montréal Éditions, 1951), p. 74. Mason Wade, Les Canadiens français de 1760 à nos jours, tome II (1911-1963) (Ottawa : Le Cercle du Livre de France, 1963), p. 160. Henri Bourassa, Le Pape, arbitre de la paix, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1918, p. 119. Article published in Le Devoir on 31 August 1917. Le Devoir, April 20, quoted in Wade, p. 64. Armand Lavergne, quoted in Wade, pp. 92-93. Sources include Elizabeth H. Armstrong, The Crisis of Quebec, 1914-1918 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1937), p. 270, and J. L. Granatstein et al., Broken Promises: A History of Conscription in Canada (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1985), p. 281. The “blood tax” was an expression used in France under the monarchy to designate an honourable contribution to society. Its current negative connotation dates back to the First World War. At the time, it was seen by many as the last tax payable to the State “that citizens can still be physically compelled to pay.” In France, the main form of resistance to this civic obligation was the refusal to report for military duty, a phenomenon that was more or less widespread from one region to the next. (Philippe Boulanger, “Le refus de l’impôt du sang. Géographie de l’insoumission en France de 1914 à 1922”, Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains, No. 188, 1997, pp. 3-25.) Many tend to forget that the Dominion of Canada was technically a colony of the British Empire at the time. In this context, conscription took on a very specific meaning, as shown by the literature on mobilization in French and British colonies in both world wars. In France, conscription appears (among other connotations) as a path to assimilation and integration into citizenship and therefore a fairly explicit bargain is made with natives of the colonies: “my blood in exchange for French citizenship.” In the British Empire, where conscription was less rooted in political and military culture and more of an ad hoc measure, the bargain between the mother country and the colonies was not always as explicit, all the more so in the case of Canada, being a “white” settlement colony where potential conscripts lived in the same type of political culture as Britain and enjoyed rights equivalent to those of the British. Sources consulted include Marc Michel, Les Africains et la Grande Guerre. L’Appel à l’Afrique 1914-1918 (Paris : Karthala, 2003), p. 193, and Gilbert Meynier, L’Algérie révélée (Geneva-Paris : Librairie Droz, 1981), p. 793. Henri Bourassa, Hier, aujourd’hui, demain, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1916, p. 67. Ian Hugh Maclean Miller, Our Glory and Our Grief: Torontonians and the Great War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), p. 38. It should be noted that the mystique of sacrifice by blood is prevalent throughout prewar European literature. Authors such as Georges Sorel, Charles Péguy, Rupert Brooke and Thomas Hardy wrote, at least until 1914, about the inevitability of a war that would redeem and purify a world grown old and decadent. Bourassa (1918), Le Pape, arbitre de la paix, p. 146. Ibid. Henri Bourassa, La conscription, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1917, p. 20. This pamphlet includes nine articles on the topic published in Le Devoir between May 28 and June 6, 1917 and went to press on June 9. Bourassa’s struggle against conscription is highlighted in Robert Rumilly’s biography, Henri Bourassa : La vie publique d’un grand Canadien (Montreal: Chantecler, 1953), pp. 570-593, and in a chapter of Warren Alexander Chubb, Henri Bourassa and the First World War (master’s thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 1974, pp. 47-67). See also Wade, pp. 116-194. Bourassa (1917), p. 47. Ibid., p. 38. Ibid., p. 40. Article published in Le Devoir on 6 June 1917. Ibid., p. 26. Bourassa (1918), Le Pape, arbitre de la paix, section “Lubie démocratique : Invite à la revolution”, pp. 117-119. Article published in Le Devoir on 31 August 1917. Ibid., p. 96. Article published in Le Devoir on 24 April 1917. Ibid., see section entitled “Après la guerre, la revolution”, p. 97 and p. 102. Articles published in Le Devoir on 24-25 April 1917. Ibid. See section entitled “Est-ce la paix?”, p. 125. Article published in Le Devoir on 1 December 1917. Ibid., p. 146. Article published in Le Devoir on 12 January 1918. Bourassa (1917), p. 10. Ibid. Sources consulted include Gérard Pinsonneault, La propagande de recrutement militaire au Canada, 1914-1917. Essai en histoire des mentalités, master’s dissertation, Université de Sherbrooke, 1981, p. 183. These lines were written in the summer of 1916 in reply to his cousin, Captain Talbot Mercer Papineau, who was fighting with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment in France and urging him to support the war effort. (Quoted by Jean Pariseau and Serge Bernier, Les Canadiens français et le bilinguisme dans les Forces armées canadiennes, tome 1 (Ottawa: Department of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence, 1987), p. 91. Bourassa (1917), pp. 10-12. By way of comparison, France’s colonial recruits at the time made up only 1.5% of the population of territories outside France proper. (Michel, p. 193) Bourassa (1917), p. 27, and pp. 39-41. It should be noted that Bourassa saw plebiscites as a key part of his national defence policy doctrine. He proposed them at least three times: once about sending an expeditionary corps to South Africa in 1900, and twice on the issue of Canada’s contribution to the naval defence of the Empire in 1911. Ibid., p. 27. Ibid. Le Devoir, 11 August 1917. It should be noted that Bourassa himself endorsed a kind of ethnic barrier by describing French Canadians as the “only exclusively Canadian group” Pariseau et Bernier, p. 91. After refusing to support the war of independence, he fled and was later restored to the papal throne by the French. Bourassa cites this example in a pamphlet about the imminent signing of the Lateran Agreements between the Pope and Mussolini. La paix romaine, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1929, p. 6). Bourassa (1917), p. 27. Le Devoir, 11 August 1917. It should be noted that the labour movement’s position about the was remained ambiguous throughout, largely in response to the pacifist position of the American Federation of Labor, in line with the United States’ chosen policy of “armed” neutrality. Canadian union leaders were torn between their American allegiances and their close links with their British counterparts who were being swept up in spite of themselves by the “anti-Prussian” patriotic wave. Nonetheless, a pacifist current did appear within the Canadian labour movement. Charles Lipton, Histoire du syndicalisme au Canada et au Québec, 1827-1959 (Montreal : Éditions Parti pris, 1976), p. 252. See also Gregory Kealey, “State Repression of Labour and the Left in Canada, 1914-1920: The Impact of the First World War”, in Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 73, No. 3, 1994, pp. 281-314. Sources includes René Durocher, “Henri Bourassa, les évêques et la guerre de 1914-1918”, in Jean-Yves Gravel, Le Québec et la guerre (Montreal : Boréal Express, 1974), pp. 47-75. Like Bourassa, Roy denounced the waste and corruption that had surrounded the mobilization of Canadian troops. But he believed that the past could not be undone and complaining would be futile, and that French Canadians had no other choice but to make common cause with their English Canadian compatriots. Ferdinand Roy, L’appel aux armes et la réponse canadienne-française : étude sur le conflit de races (Quebec City : J.-P. Garneau, 1917), p. 31 and p. 35. Wade, p. 162. Ibid. A patriot (under the pseudonym of l’abbé Joseph Prio Arthur D’Amours), Où allons-nous?, Montreal, Société d’éditions patriotiques, articles published between June and September 1916, p. 73 . Henry Bourassa was nicknamed Castor rouge because of his apparently paradoxical twin allegiance to conservative ideology and the Liberal Party. The common definition of refusal to serve is the refusal to report to a summons from military authorities. Sources consulted include Patrick Bouvier, Déserteurs et insoumis : les Canadiens français et la justice militaire, 1914-1918 (Montreal : Éditions Athéna, 2003), p. 79. Ibid., pp. 72-73. Boulanger, pp. 24-25. A number of French researchers have shown that the issue of conscription is rooted in the very nature of French society and can still be felt in the country’s collective memory. Sources consulted include: Michel Auvray, L’âge des casernes. Histoires et mythes du service militaire (Paris : éditions de l’Aube, 1998), p. 326; Annie Crépin, La conscription en débat ou le triple apprentissage de la nation, de la citoyenneté, de la République (1798-1889) (Arras : Artois Presses Université, 1998), p. 258 ; Philippe Boulanger, Géographie historique de la conscription et des conscrits en France de 1914 à 1922 d’après les comptes rendus sur le recrutement de l’armée, doctoral thesis, Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2 volumes, 1998, p.615. Wade,, p. 157. Henri Bourassa, “L’ordre public doit être maintenu”, Le Devoir, 5 April 1918, p. 1. The spring of 1918 had been particularly explosive in Quebec, with the conscription crisis reaching its bloody climax during the Quebec City riot on 1 April, when four demonstrators were shot to death by troops despatched from Ontario. Jean Provencher, Québec sous la loi des mesures de guerre, 1918 (Montreal : Boréal Express, 1971), p. 47. Bourassa (1918), “L’ordre public doit être maintenu”. André Bergevin, Anne Bourassa et Cameron Nish, “Henri Bourassa”, L’Action nationale, 1966, p. LI. Desmond Morton and Jack L. Granatstein, Marching to Armageddon: Canadians and the Great War, 1914-1919 (Toronto: Lester and Orphen Dennys, 1989), p. 288. It should be recalled that Canada earned the right to sign the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 in its capacity as a country that had contributed to the victory over Germany, and Canada also obtained an independent seat at the League of Nations. The Statute of Westminster eventually enshrined its autonomy in matters of defence and foreign policy, as was the case for the other Dominions. Rumilly (1953), p. 723. Lionel Groulx, Mes Mémoires, tome 2 (Montreal : Fides, 1971), pp. 225-257. Henri Bourassa, La prochaine guerre impériale. En serons-nous?, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1920, p. 31. Albert Memmi, Portrait du colonis, ( Montreal : L’Étincelle, 1972), p. 114. Henri Bourassa, La Mission Jellicoe. Nouvelle poussée d’impérialisme (Montreal : Éditions du Devoir, 1919), p. 31.   Canadian Military Journal Menu Canadian Military Journal (CMJ) About Us Submission Guidelines Book Review Guidance Current Issue Back Issues Contact Us Site Map Proactive Disclosure Style Switcher <p>Your browser does not support JavaScript, you will not be able to use the style switcher.</p> -- Select one -- Default Liquid What is this? Strength through Personnel Strength through knowledge
  • y weapons other than those of the mind and the word. It could be argued that despite his nationalist credentials, Bourassa was, in fact, stuck in a “colonized” mentality, by definition powerless, taking refuge in religion and giving voice to what Albert Memmi describes as “the self-loathing passive-aggressiveness of the conquered who admire their conqueror in spite of themselves and cling to the hope that the omnipotent colonizer will turn out to be benevolent.”59 Such criticisms were probably voiced in his day, but Bourassa remained independent and unrepentant as always, as suggested by this extract from one of his last anti-imperialist tirades: “It is true that in writing these lines, I run the risk of confirming my reputation (widespread among practical people) of a tilter at windmills. But no matter, I am used to it and in any event, I write for people who take the trouble to think60.” Conclusions Was Henri Bourassa a “traitor to the motherland”? Hardly. His Catholic, traditionalist, anti-revolutionary values led him to exert a moderating influence in the conscription crisis by denouncing the excesses of a popular sentiment that he, ironically, had helped to create. While inveighing against the “blood tax,” he reassured the conservative elites of French Canada by denouncing any resort to disorder and violence. His rhetoric justified French Canadians’ attachment to their identity as expressed through a cultural “refusal to serve,” but at the same time, warned them against the temptation of political, i.e. forceful, affirmation of that identity. Through this ambivalent attitude, far from being the “dangerous agitator” demonized in many quarters, Henri Bourassa instead played the role of a form of “spiritual advisor,” even of peacemaker within his own community, by channelling collective resentment into a Christian social renewal project. Bourassa’s detractors were mistaken in seeing him only as a madman or a plotter of rebellion. Quite the contrary, given the breadth and depth of resistance to conscription in Quebec, Henri Bourassa was probably the most moderating influence against the threat of uncontrolled popular dissent, and in particular, he significantly helped forestall civil war. Ironically, the man his English Canadian contemporaries considered Public Enemy Number One was probably their best ally on the home front. Béatrice Richard holds a doctorate in history from Université du Québec à Montréal and is an assistant professor of military history in the History Department and the Continuing Studies Department of the Royal Military College of Canada. Notes The writing of this article was funded through a research grant from the Hector- Fabre Chair of the Université du Québec à Montréal. François-Albert Angers, “La pensée de Henri Bourassa : Le problème de la paix”, L’Action nationale, Montreal, 1954, p. 92. Henri Bourassa quarrelled with then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier about the Boer War and resigned from Parliament to protest against sending a Canadian contingent in South Africa without Parliament’s assent. In his resignation letter, he asked “whether Canada is ready to give up its prerogatives as a self-governing colony, its parliamentary freedom, its pact with the mother country achieved after 75 years of struggle, and revert to its former status as a Crown colony.” This extract foreshadows Bourassa’s doctrine about Canada’s participation in outside wars during the 20th Century. (Hommage à Henri Bourassa : Lettre de M. Henri Bourassa à Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1952, p. 50) Mackenzie King wrote in December 1916: “Sir W. regards B. as a fanatic and ill-mentally balanced, and of course swayed by the R. C. Church.” Journal of William Lyon Mackenzie King, ArchiviaNet, 12 December 1916 [on line] at <http://king.collectionscanada.ca> Minister of Militia Sam Hughes had created an all-voluntary recruitment system, to such an extent that enrolment for the expeditionary force, at least at the outset of the war, was not directly administered by the government, but rather by independent patriotic associations run by influential economic, social and intellectual circles using the medium of the press. In other words, recruitment was initially left to private initiative. That bizarre system naturally led to chaos, patronage, and improvisation. In this context, conscription can be seen as an attempt – albeit unsuccessful – by the government to reassert its authority over a system that had completely escaped its control. Robert Rumilly, Histoire de la province de Québec, tome XXII, (Montreal: Montréal Éditions, 1951), p. 74. Mason Wade, Les Canadiens français de 1760 à nos jours, tome II (1911-1963) (Ottawa : Le Cercle du Livre de France, 1963), p. 160. Henri Bourassa, Le Pape, arbitre de la paix, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1918, p. 119. Article published in Le Devoir on 31 August 1917. Le Devoir, April 20, quoted in Wade, p. 64. Armand Lavergne, quoted in Wade, pp. 92-93. Sources include Elizabeth H. Armstrong, The Crisis of Quebec, 1914-1918 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1937), p. 270, and J. L. Granatstein et al., Broken Promises: A History of Conscription in Canada (Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1985), p. 281. The “blood tax” was an expression used in France under the monarchy to designate an honourable contribution to society. Its current negative connotation dates back to the First World War. At the time, it was seen by many as the last tax payable to the State “that citizens can still be physically compelled to pay.” In France, the main form of resistance to this civic obligation was the refusal to report for military duty, a phenomenon that was more or less widespread from one region to the next. (Philippe Boulanger, “Le refus de l’impôt du sang. Géographie de l’insoumission en France de 1914 à 1922”, Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains, No. 188, 1997, pp. 3-25.) Many tend to forget that the Dominion of Canada was technically a colony of the British Empire at the time. In this context, conscription took on a very specific meaning, as shown by the literature on mobilization in French and British colonies in both world wars. In France, conscription appears (among other connotations) as a path to assimilation and integration into citizenship and therefore a fairly explicit bargain is made with natives of the colonies: “my blood in exchange for French citizenship.” In the British Empire, where conscription was less rooted in political and military culture and more of an ad hoc measure, the bargain between the mother country and the colonies was not always as explicit, all the more so in the case of Canada, being a “white” settlement colony where potential conscripts lived in the same type of political culture as Britain and enjoyed rights equivalent to those of the British. Sources consulted include Marc Michel, Les Africains et la Grande Guerre. L’Appel à l’Afrique 1914-1918 (Paris : Karthala, 2003), p. 193, and Gilbert Meynier, L’Algérie révélée (Geneva-Paris : Librairie Droz, 1981), p. 793. Henri Bourassa, Hier, aujourd’hui, demain, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1916, p. 67. Ian Hugh Maclean Miller, Our Glory and Our Grief: Torontonians and the Great War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), p. 38. It should be noted that the mystique of sacrifice by blood is prevalent throughout prewar European literature. Authors such as Georges Sorel, Charles Péguy, Rupert Brooke and Thomas Hardy wrote, at least until 1914, about the inevitability of a war that would redeem and purify a world grown old and decadent. Bourassa (1918), Le Pape, arbitre de la paix, p. 146. Ibid. Henri Bourassa, La conscription, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1917, p. 20. This pamphlet includes nine articles on the topic published in Le Devoir between May 28 and June 6, 1917 and went to press on June 9. Bourassa’s struggle against conscription is highlighted in Robert Rumilly’s biography, Henri Bourassa : La vie publique d’un grand Canadien (Montreal: Chantecler, 1953), pp. 570-593, and in a chapter of Warren Alexander Chubb, Henri Bourassa and the First World War (master’s thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 1974, pp. 47-67). See also Wade, pp. 116-194. Bourassa (1917), p. 47. Ibid., p. 38. Ibid., p. 40. Article published in Le Devoir on 6 June 1917. Ibid., p. 26. Bourassa (1918), Le Pape, arbitre de la paix, section “Lubie démocratique : Invite à la revolution”, pp. 117-119. Article published in Le Devoir on 31 August 1917. Ibid., p. 96. Article published in Le Devoir on 24 April 1917. Ibid., see section entitled “Après la guerre, la revolution”, p. 97 and p. 102. Articles published in Le Devoir on 24-25 April 1917. Ibid. See section entitled “Est-ce la paix?”, p. 125. Article published in Le Devoir on 1 December 1917. Ibid., p. 146. Article published in Le Devoir on 12 January 1918. Bourassa (1917), p. 10. Ibid. Sources consulted include Gérard Pinsonneault, La propagande de recrutement militaire au Canada, 1914-1917. Essai en histoire des mentalités, master’s dissertation, Université de Sherbrooke, 1981, p. 183. These lines were written in the summer of 1916 in reply to his cousin, Captain Talbot Mercer Papineau, who was fighting with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment in France and urging him to support the war effort. (Quoted by Jean Pariseau and Serge Bernier, Les Canadiens français et le bilinguisme dans les Forces armées canadiennes, tome 1 (Ottawa: Department of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence, 1987), p. 91. Bourassa (1917), pp. 10-12. By way of comparison, France’s colonial recruits at the time made up only 1.5% of the population of territories outside France proper. (Michel, p. 193) Bourassa (1917), p. 27, and pp. 39-41. It should be noted that Bourassa saw plebiscites as a key part of his national defence policy doctrine. He proposed them at least three times: once about sending an expeditionary corps to South Africa in 1900, and twice on the issue of Canada’s contribution to the naval defence of the Empire in 1911. Ibid., p. 27. Ibid. Le Devoir, 11 August 1917. It should be noted that Bourassa himself endorsed a kind of ethnic barrier by describing French Canadians as the “only exclusively Canadian group” Pariseau et Bernier, p. 91. After refusing to support the war of independence, he fled and was later restored to the papal throne by the French. Bourassa cites this example in a pamphlet about the imminent signing of the Lateran Agreements between the Pope and Mussolini. La paix romaine, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1929, p. 6). Bourassa (1917), p. 27. Le Devoir, 11 August 1917. It should be noted that the labour movement’s position about the was remained ambiguous throughout, largely in response to the pacifist position of the American Federation of Labor, in line with the United States’ chosen policy of “armed” neutrality. Canadian union leaders were torn between their American allegiances and their close links with their British counterparts who were being swept up in spite of themselves by the “anti-Prussian” patriotic wave. Nonetheless, a pacifist current did appear within the Canadian labour movement. Charles Lipton, Histoire du syndicalisme au Canada et au Québec, 1827-1959 (Montreal : Éditions Parti pris, 1976), p. 252. See also Gregory Kealey, “State Repression of Labour and the Left in Canada, 1914-1920: The Impact of the First World War”, in Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 73, No. 3, 1994, pp. 281-314. Sources includes René Durocher, “Henri Bourassa, les évêques et la guerre de 1914-1918”, in Jean-Yves Gravel, Le Québec et la guerre (Montreal : Boréal Express, 1974), pp. 47-75. Like Bourassa, Roy denounced the waste and corruption that had surrounded the mobilization of Canadian troops. But he believed that the past could not be undone and complaining would be futile, and that French Canadians had no other choice but to make common cause with their English Canadian compatriots. Ferdinand Roy, L’appel aux armes et la réponse canadienne-française : étude sur le conflit de races (Quebec City : J.-P. Garneau, 1917), p. 31 and p. 35. Wade, p. 162. Ibid. A patriot (under the pseudonym of l’abbé Joseph Prio Arthur D’Amours), Où allons-nous?, Montreal, Société d’éditions patriotiques, articles published between June and September 1916, p. 73 . Henry Bourassa was nicknamed Castor rouge because of his apparently paradoxical twin allegiance to conservative ideology and the Liberal Party. The common definition of refusal to serve is the refusal to report to a summons from military authorities. Sources consulted include Patrick Bouvier, Déserteurs et insoumis : les Canadiens français et la justice militaire, 1914-1918 (Montreal : Éditions Athéna, 2003), p. 79. Ibid., pp. 72-73. Boulanger, pp. 24-25. A number of French researchers have shown that the issue of conscription is rooted in the very nature of French society and can still be felt in the country’s collective memory. Sources consulted include: Michel Auvray, L’âge des casernes. Histoires et mythes du service militaire (Paris : éditions de l’Aube, 1998), p. 326; Annie Crépin, La conscription en débat ou le triple apprentissage de la nation, de la citoyenneté, de la République (1798-1889) (Arras : Artois Presses Université, 1998), p. 258 ; Philippe Boulanger, Géographie historique de la conscription et des conscrits en France de 1914 à 1922 d’après les comptes rendus sur le recrutement de l’armée, doctoral thesis, Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2 volumes, 1998, p.615. Wade,, p. 157. Henri Bourassa, “L’ordre public doit être maintenu”, Le Devoir, 5 April 1918, p. 1. The spring of 1918 had been particularly explosive in Quebec, with the conscription crisis reaching its bloody climax during the Quebec City riot on 1 April, when four demonstrators were shot to death by troops despatched from Ontario. Jean Provencher, Québec sous la loi des mesures de guerre, 1918 (Montreal : Boréal Express, 1971), p. 47. Bourassa (1918), “L’ordre public doit être maintenu”. André Bergevin, Anne Bourassa et Cameron Nish, “Henri Bourassa”, L’Action nationale, 1966, p. LI. Desmond Morton and Jack L. Granatstein, Marching to Armageddon: Canadians and the Great War, 1914-1919 (Toronto: Lester and Orphen Dennys, 1989), p. 288. It should be recalled that Canada earned the right to sign the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 in its capacity as a country that had contributed to the victory over Germany, and Canada also obtained an independent seat at the League of Nations. The Statute of Westminster eventually enshrined its autonomy in matters of defence and foreign policy, as was the case for the other Dominions. Rumilly (1953), p. 723. Lionel Groulx, Mes Mémoires, tome 2 (Montreal : Fides, 1971), pp. 225-257. Henri Bourassa, La prochaine guerre impériale. En serons-nous?, Montreal, Éditions du Devoir, 1920, p. 31. Albert Memmi, Portrait du colonis, ( Montreal : L’Étincelle, 1972), p. 114. Henri Bourassa, La Mission Jellicoe. Nouvelle poussée d’impérialisme (Montreal : Éditions du Devoir, 1919), p. 31.   Canadian Military Journal Menu Canadian Military Journal (CMJ) About Us Submission Guidelines Book Review Guidance Current Issue Back Issues Contact Us Site Map Proactive Disclosure Style Switcher <p>Your browser does not support JavaScript, you will not be able to use the style switcher.</p> -- Select one -- Default Liquid What is this? Strength through Personnel Strength through knowledge
  • da was gaining self-government, as Henri Bourassa had yearned for so long, under his very eyes, and throug
  • Henri Bourassa became, through the force of his personality, the natural leader of all French Canadians opposed to compulsory military service.
  • Once the bill was adopted, Henri Bourassa continued denouncing this “invitation to revolution” and the “regime of military terro
  • ons at a time when thousands of Canadians were dying on the battlefields of the Western Front. The popular English language press never missed an opportunity to castigate the treachery of “Bourassa the Dirty, fomenter of strife, breeder of rebellion, hater of all things British, cowardly misrepresenter of facts, journalistic snake in the grass.”2 Even Sir Wilfrid Laurier,3 the Liberal leader who had been a friend of Bourassa, appears to have consistently seen him as a “fanatic and a mentally unstable individual in the pay of the Roman Catholic Churc
  • Most profoundly, history had proven him wrong on a fundamental point: far from relegating the Dominion back to colonial subservience as he had feared, the sacrifice of Canadians was now paving the way towards national independence
  • opular demonstrations. From that point on, Henri Bourassa was again forced on the defensive. He repeatedly warned his own camp against the disastrous consequences of resorting to violence, and t
  • By calling for violent resistance in the name only of the French race or the province of Quebec, you would be boosting incalculably those hateful opponents who seek conscription first
  • By calling for violent resistance in the name only of the French ra
13 annotations
  • 14, found himself promoted to “assistant master,” charged with taking Hamilton’s place in classical studies. The contrast with his chores at home was sharp and telling. He later recalled that he never had mastered “the mysteries of building a load of hay
  • and
  • For the next four years Borden was a backbencher, practising law in Halifax and politics in Ottawa
  • FrançaisHomeFeaturesBrowseAbout usContact usDonateLog InRegister Volume XVI (1931-1940) Biography – BORDEN, Sir ROBERT LAIRD – Volume XVI (1931-1940) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography PrintAdvanced SearchSend + Hide SidebarFirst ParagraphBibliographyImagesFind Out MoreHow to citeBack to top !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); ▲DCB/DBC NewsNew BiographiesMinor CorrectionsBiography of the Day MIKAK – Volume IV (1771-1800) d. 1 Oct. 1795 at Nain, Labrador ConfederationResponsible GovernmentSir John A. MacdonaldFrom the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)Sir Wilfrid LaurierSir George-Étienne CartierSportsThe FeniansWomen in the DCB/DBCWinning the Right to VoteThe Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBCThe AcadiansFor EducatorsExploring the ExplorersThe War of 1812 Canada’s Wartime Prime MinistersThe First World WarBack to top   OK Cancel OK Source: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons BORDEN, Sir ROBERT LAIRD, lawyer and politician; b. 26 June 1854 in Grand Pré, N.S., first child of Andrew Borden and Eunice Jane Laird; m. 25 Sept. 1889 Laura Bond (d. 8 Sept. 1940) in Halifax; they had no children; d. 10 June 1937 in Ottawa. Robert Laird Borden’s paternal ancestor Richard Borden left Headcorn, England, in 1638 to settle in Portsmouth, R.I. More than a century later, after the Acadians had been expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755 [see Charles Lawrence*], Richard’s great-grandson Samuel Borden, a landowner and surveyor in New Bedford, Mass., was commissioned by the Nova Scotia government to survey the vacated lands and lay out plots for New Englanders intending to settle there. In 1764 Samuel received a parcel of land in Cornwallis for his work, but he returned to New Bedford. His son Perry, Robert’s great-grandfather, took up the grant, beginning the establishment of Borden families in the Annapolis valley bordering on the Bay of Fundy. The Bordens were farmers, tilling the rich tidelands rescued from the sea generations earlier by the expelled Acadians. Robert’s father, Andrew, who was born in 1816, owned a substantial farm at Grand Pré. He first married Catherine Sophia Fuller, and they had a son, Thomas Andrew, and a daughter, Sophia Amelia, before her death in 1847. Three years later Andrew married Eunice Jane Laird, the daughter of John Laird, the village schoolmaster and a classical scholar and mathematician of local repute. Robert was born in 1854 and was followed by a brother, John William, a sister, Julia Rebecca, and another brother, Henry Clifford, born in 1870. John William would become a senior civil servant in the Department of Militia and Defence in Ottawa; Julia remained in Grand Pré, unmarried and living with her parents; Henry Clifford, known as Hal and Robert’s favourite among the siblings, graduated from Dalhousie law school in Halifax and practised as a lawyer. Of all the members of the family it was Eunice, Robert’s mother, who had the strongest influence on his upbringing and development. He later wrote that she was of “a highly-wrought nervous temperament,” “passionate but wholly just and considerate upon reflection,” and totally devoted to the welfare of her four children. Borden admired her “very strong character, remarkable energy, high ambition and unusual ability” – traits that marked his own emerging personality. Borden’s reflections on his father were much more restrained. Andrew did not take to agricultural pursuits and left management of the farm to Eunice and the children. He dabbled and failed in small business ventures and in time found a comfortable sinecure as stationmaster at Grand Pré for the Windsor and Annapolis Railway. Though “a man of good ability and excellent judgment,” Robert wrote, Andrew “lacked energy and had no great aptitude for affairs.” Robert’s education began in the village’s Presbyterian Sunday school, where he was initiated into the mysteries of the Shorter Catechism, and at home, where he learned reading with his mother from the pages of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s progress. In due course, lessons with the village schoolmistress were interspersed with visits from his uncles, who introduced him to the poets Horace and Virgil. When he was nine, in 1863, his parents sent him as a day student to the local private academy, Acacia Villa School, presided over by Arthur McNutt Patterson. Patterson’s mission was to “fit boys physically, morally, and intellectually, for the responsibilities of life.” Each morning began with Patterson reading a chapter of Proverbs to his charges, who then moved on to exercises in grammar, mathematics, literature, and natural philosophy. Borden excelled at Greek and Latin. Soon his instructor, James Henry Hamilton, also had him studying Hebrew. The classical poetry and literature stayed with Borden all his life. A volume in Latin or Greek, perhaps one of each, was on his bedside table until the day of his death. In 1869, when Hamilton suddenly left Acacia Villa to join a private school in New Jersey, Robert, at age 14, found himself promoted to “assistant master,” charged with taking Hamilton’s place in classical studies. The contrast with his chores at home was sharp and telling. He later recalled that he never had mastered “the mysteries of building a load of hay,” and found hoeing vegetables “extremely disagreeable” and sawing cordwood for winter fires “unpleasurable.” Even on the rich bottomlands and upland fields of “the Valley” the rewards of agriculture were hard won. He never forgot that “throughout the year labour was severe and hours long.” As attached as he was to his family, Borden resolved not to spend his life as a farmer in Grand Pré. Teaching at Acacia Villa had more than its share of routine, and his failure to complete his schooling precluded study at university. Still, teaching hinted at a better way of life. Self-education, he discovered, had its own satisfactions. One learned the value of time: “To waste it seems like wasting one’s future.” Discipline, hard work, persistence, patience, and a sense of humour were common enough virtues but essential to shape the ambitions of a young man determined to succeed. Borden taught at the academy for four years and then accepted Hamilton’s invitation to join him at the Glenwood Institute in Matawan, N.J. It was the first time he had ever been away from home and he was desperately lonely in the fall of 1873. But he was not alone. A ferry ride away in the great metropolis of New York his half-brother, Thomas, a sailor, and his wife lived. Other Nova Scotia friends resided in Brooklyn and he and a fellow boarder named Horner, a public-school teacher, often went to the city on weekends to visit its parks, museums, galleries, and libraries and to listen to temperance lectures. At the Glenwood Institute, he was a 19-year-old professor of classics and mathematics. Borden found the work demanding. He kept a short-lived diary and frequently recorded entries like “I worked too hard this afternoon at reports &c. I was somewhat ill this evening about 7 o’clock.” He had nine different classes, most with fewer than a dozen students, and none of them particularly challenging. In the spring of 1874, as the school year was drawing to a close, Borden surveyed his prospects. They were not encouraging; without completion of his formal education in school and college, a career in teaching would likely mean working in second-rate academies trying to inspire dull, uninterested students. Casting about, he wrote to an uncle who was a barrister in Ontario, asking for information on studying law in that province. The reply was enough to convince him that he should give the profession a try. But his mother would have nothing to do with his going to Ontario. She told him he could do just as well at home in Nova Scotia. He applied to and was accepted by the prominent Halifax firm of Robert Linton Weatherbe* and Wallace Nesbit Graham*. As the fall of 1874 began, Borden, always punctilious, recorded: “Commenced the study of the law by reading a small portion of [Robert Malcolm Napier] Kerr’s 1873 edition of the Student’s Blackstone on Saturday evening, Sept. 19 at 8.45 o’clock.” He was apprenticed to Weatherbe and Graham as an articled clerk for four years, “entitled to be instructed in the knowledge and practice of the Law.” In truth, he learned by doing. He was expected to prepare briefs for his masters and watch over the ordinary office affairs of their clients. Formal instruction depended upon his after-hours initiative. A diversion from the routine of the office was enlisting in the 63rd (Halifax Volunteer) Battalion of Rifles. There, in three yearly terms, he earned a meagre but welcome six dollars for twelve days of service and a fifty dollar bonus when he qualified for commission. Other companions were found at the St Andrew’s Lodge of British Templars and the debating society of the Young Men’s Christian Association. In September 1877 he joined Charles Hibbert Tupper*, who had a law degree from Harvard, and 23 others to sit the provincial bar examinations. Borden topped the class. He still had a year of apprenticeship before admittance to the bar and during the winter of 1877-78 also attended the School of Military Instruction in Halifax. Borden and a classmate briefly had a practice in Halifax before he went to Kentville as the junior partner of Conservative lawyer John Pryor Chipman. Then, in 1882, Wallace Graham called him back to Halifax. John Sparrow David Thompson*, a partner in the firm since Weatherbe’s promotion to the bench in 1878, had himself been made a judge. Graham and Tupper, who had become a partner in 1881, needed help, especially so because Tupper had just been elected to the House of Commons. Borden had hardly settled in when Graham assigned him a long list of cases before the provincial Supreme Court. Other work came from the firm’s Conservative friends in Sir John A. Macdonald*’s government in Ottawa. Borden helped prepare the government’s cases in the seizure of two American fishing vessels in 1886 during the long-standing Canadian-American dispute over fishing rights in the North Atlantic. Then, early in 1888, Thompson, now Macdonald’s minister of justice, invited Borden to work with him in Ottawa as deputy minister. Borden was tempted but declined, preferring to remain in practice in Halifax. In September 1889 Robert Borden married Laura Bond, a daughter of the late Thomas Henry Bond, who had been a successful hardware merchant in Halifax. How they first met is not known, though it may have been at St Paul’s Anglican Church, where she was an organist and he a regular attendant. Their courtship had begun in the summer of 1886. When they were married he was 35 and she 28. Laura was a lively, attractive, and strong-willed young woman whose interest in music and theatre complemented his in literature. Both enjoyed tennis, water sports, and especially golf. At first the Bordens rented rooms in downtown Halifax but in 1894 Borden bought a large home, Pinehurst, on Quinpool Road in the western suburbs of the city. He was now very successful in his career, and he and Laura spent several weeks in the summers of 1891 and 1893 touring in England and Europe. There were no children of the marriage but Borden’s brother Hal was often with them at Pinehurst while studying at Dalhousie. By the mid 1890s the Borden firm, now including William Bruce Almon Ritchie* and others, was among the largest in the province. The Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada Atlantic Steamship, Nova Scotia Telephone, and the bread and confectionery business of William Church Moir* were among its prominent clients. Most of Borden’s work was on referral of appeals to the Supreme Court in Halifax or in Ottawa, and in 1893 he appeared for the first time before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. He had several cases each year in Ottawa. While there he frequently visited Sir John Thompson, who had become prime minister, and other Nova Scotia acquaintances. His closest friends were the Tuppers, Charles Hibbert and his family. In the early nineties Borden and Tupper took up the new fad of bicycling and were often seen on the roads in and about Ottawa and Hull. At home in Halifax, Borden’s reputation and influence in the bar steadily grew. He was elected vice-president of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in 1895 and became its president a year later. While he was serving in that office he and his colleague Charles Sidney Harrington played leading roles in organizing the founding meeting of the Canadian Bar Association in Montreal in 1896. That spring, on 27 April, Borden was in Ottawa arguing cases and went to dinner at Sir Charles Tupper*’s home. It was the day that Sir Mackenzie Bowell* resigned as Conservative prime minister and Tupper was about to succeed him. It was clear that there would be an election before the year was out. Tupper asked Borden to stand for Halifax with the veteran Catholic mp Thomas Edward Kenny*. John Fitzwilliam Stairs*, Halifax businessman and Protestant colleague of Kenny in the House of Commons, was stepping down and Tupper wanted Borden to replace him. Before Borden left the dinner party, he accepted. It was an abrupt change in Borden’s life and opponents would later charge that he had suddenly switched sides. What political interests he had had in his earlier years were certainly on the Liberal side – the Valley was a Liberal stronghold – and he had spoken once on behalf of his cousin the Liberal politician Frederick William Borden* in 1882. In 1886, however, he had abandoned the Liberal cause in disagreement with Nova Scotia premier William Stevens Fielding*’s campaign against confederation. Several of his legal partners in Graham’s firm were prominent Conservatives and when Borden took over the firm all the new associates he chose had Conservative leanings. Yet Borden himself had never before expressed any interest in running for public office. Nor was he deeply moved by the big issue in the 1896 election, the Manitoba school question [see Thomas Greenway*]. After winning the nomination he campaigned on the hardy staple of Macdonald-era Tory politics, the National Policy. This, after all, was the plank in the Conservative platform that captured the interest and support of most of his clients. On election day, 23 June, Halifax voters, for only the second time since confederation, split their ticket. Both the Conservative and the Liberal Catholic candidates were defeated. Borden and Liberal Benjamin Russell, another prominent lawyer and Protestant, were elected. Borden took his place in the commons as a member of the opposition party: Tupper and his Tory colleagues had been soundly defeated by Wilfrid Laurier*’s Liberals. For the next four
4 annotations
 unrest and war 595
  • “These women are an important part of our country’s history,” Ambrose said, “and I am delighted that, through this mural, they are now a permanent part of our city’s visual landscape.”
  • “teenage drug-slaves,” who were “forever maimed for virtue,” were sent out into the streets to recruit new addicts and sex slaves.
  • Murphy took crates full of her book to the first League of Nations drug conference and nominated herself for a Nobel Prize,
  • Smoke pot, Murphy warned, and you’ll not only fall into the clutches of the Mexican elements in The Ring. You’ll also go crazy.
  • Her anti-drug, anti-immigrant manifesto,
  • “At El Paso, a peon came across the International Bridge firing a rifle at all and sundry. Much talk against the Americans and a dose of Marahuana had decided him to invade the United States by himself. The bridge-keeper quickly put a bullet in the poor wretch.”
  • ld scare the rest of the world into following the Canadian lead.Fourteen years later, the U.S. government passed the Marijuana Tax Stamp
  • Murphy had a theory that she concocted and passed off as truth: Africans, African-Americans, Chinese, Middle-Easterners, Greeks, Mexicans and other non-white people had banded together into an international conspiracy called The Ring.
  • Below, another picture shows the natural progression of The Ring’s victims: a fully-clothed white woman reclines with shirtless black man. The caption reads: “When she acquires the habit, she does not know what lies before her; later she does not care.”
9 annotations
 law, govt and politics 587
  • at least three of them held views that can only be described as xenophobic and racist
  • "the $50 note celebrates the right of all people to participate fully in society and to enjoy the benefits of living in a culture that protects their individual rights and freedoms."
  • "not based on hatred" but as "a neutral scientific solution to a problem," as the Famous 5 website would want people to believe.
  • 50 per cent of the city's 42,000-strong Chinese community have experienced some form of racism
  • unshakable sense of the entitlement of her class to rule over those who were less competent and less worthy."
  • The act stood until 1972; in that 44-year period, sterilizations of 4,725 Albertans deemed to be of a lower genetic makeup were authorized.
  • But to put them on the back of a banknote that passes through our multicultural society is one step too far. It legitimizes racism and xenophobia, and ultimately taints the bill.
  • "not based on hatred" but as "a neutral scientific solution to a
  • beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." The thing is, not everyone in the Famous Five held those noble perspectives about equality, dignity and right
  • One becomes especially disquieted -- almost terrified -- in the face of these things for it sometimes seems as if the white race lacks both the physical and moral stamina to protect itself, and that maybe the black and yellow races may yet obtain the ascendancy."
  • "We were aware of the controversy that surrounds these people, but we are here to honour their accomplishments as a group,"
  • Sorry. These five women were clearly pioneers of the feminist movement and should be recognized for their accomplishments
  • The thing is, not everyone in the Famous Five held those noble perspectives about equality, dignity and rights.
  • "Just because this line of reasoning puts it in historical context, it doesn't justify it.
  • Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards -- on the back of the new $50 bill.
15 annotations
  • Macdonald was “corrupt.” True—but so were almost all politicians in that era.
  • Macdonald as a racist simply doesn’t fit the man’s character
  • He was the first world leader—this was in 1885—to attempt to extend the vote to women
  • One was to wipe out the US-based liquor trade that wreaked havoc among Native communities, often leading to deadly fights
  • Here, Macdonald makes the perfect scapegoat. The man’s long dead; and while alive, really was corrupt and a drunk
  • While Macdonald did make mistakes, so did Canadians, collectively
  • . This liberates us to transfer to him responsibility for the deep sense of guilt we feel about the treatment of First Nations, past and present.This is self-delusion. While Macdonald did make mistakes, so did Canadians, collectively. From the end of the nineteenth century on, we became passive observers of what was happening to Native communities. We even managed to pretend that the “Indian Problem” had been solved by Aboriginal peoples themselves. They (by their own choices, we liked to imagine) were already vanishing from Canada by a combination of a decline in numbers, and assimilation. So they no longer needed to be talked about, even noticed.After Macdonald, early Canadian prime ministers took little interest in Aboriginal issues. History books about that period scarcely mention the actions of Native peoples. We succeeded in making them invisible.It wasn’t grassroots activism by ordinary Canadians that changed everything (although later on, this made a real difference). The critical changes were sparked from on high. In 1969, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his Indian Affairs Minister, Jean Chrétien, tabled a White Paper that promised great advances for Native people: The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, which many Aboriginal peoples despised, would be shuttered. And then suddenly, the impossible happened. From coast to coast to coast, communities said no: They hadn’t been consulted. From nowhere came an eloquent, powerful voice of protest—that of Alberta-based Cree leader Harold Cardinal. Canadians actually started to listen.Today, a different Canada now is being born, one in which Aboriginal concerns will be taken seriously, will be respected, will possess real power. It will take a long time to materialize: Macdonald’s guesstimate that his “great-grandchildren” would have to realize it was just about dead on. But it will happen, at last.One side effect of this transformation is that, in the popular imagination, we may well lose Macdonald as a founding father. He really does make an excellent scapegoat.We would be fools to lose him. He truly was the “Man Who Made Us” (to quote the subtitle of the first volume of my Macdonald biography). Stephen Marche’s claim that Macdonald reduced us to “the country we don’t want to be” is pure bunkum. Never in our 150 years have Canadians been more confident about, and proud of, their country. There’s a good reason for this. We are today one of the most successful nations on the globe. Virtually every comparative international survey puts us in—or knocking at the door of—the top ten in quality of life, of governance, and of living peaceably. Our immigration policy and multiculturalism programs are models for the rest of the world, or should be.Rather than use Macdonald as a cover for our own failings, enjoy him. Without him, we almost certainly would now all be Americans. (They aren’t as bad as we often pretend they are. But they are not us.)If Marche doesn’t appreciate any of this, he needs to start reading Canadian history.{"@context":"http://schema.org","@type":"Person","name":"Richard Gwyn","url":"","sameAs":[]}Richard GwynRichard Gwyn wrote The Northern Magus: Pierre Trudeau and Canadians and Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times. TaggedhistoryRelated Posts Quebec Rewrites Its History in One Book August 22, 2019August 23, 2019 What the Winnipeg General Strike Can Teach Us About Class, Capitalism, and Greed April 29, 2019July 22, 2019 The Hawaiian Queen Who Taught Indigenous Writers to Resist April 4, 2018August 13, 2019Post navigationPrevious Article Slip and SlideNext Article No Means No One Comment on “Canada’s First Scapegoat” Pingback: POST # 172 Beware The Ides Or Those That Sing Unseemly Saturated “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” Regard Naming Schools After “Iffy” Politicians | agogblogLeave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Our Latest IssueOctober 2019 Our democracy issue includes stories on the value of polling, Jane Philpott post-Liberals, a democratic experiment in Syria, and political myth-busting. Start my subscription with this issueYour AccountBUY TICKETS TO UPCOMING EVENTS September – October 2019 Sep – Oct 2019 Collapse All Expand All Sep18Wed McKesson Presents The Walrus Talks The Future of Consumerism (Toronto) @ Artscape Daniels Launchpad Tickets Edit @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Sep23Mon CIFAR Presents The Walrus Talks Boundaries (National Capital Region, Gatineau) @ Canadian Museum of History Tickets Edit @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Sep25Wed Suncor Presents The Walrus Talks Energy (Montreal) @ Centre Phi Tickets Edit @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Oct23Wed TD Bank Group Presents The Walrus Talks Inclusion (Waterloo) @ Waterloo Delta Hotel Tickets Edit @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm September – October 2019 Sep – Oct 2019 All Events Join The Conversation. Get The Newsletter By signing up you agree to receive email about events, articles, offers, and the impact of The Walrus in your community.
  • ld as a cover for our own failings, enjoy him. Without him, we almost certainly would now all be Americans. (They aren’t as bad as we often pretend they are. But they are not us.)If Marche doesn’t appreciate any of this, he needs to start reading Canadian history.{"@context":"http://schema.org","@type":"Person","name":"Richard Gwyn","url":"","sameAs":[]}Richard GwynRichard Gwyn wrote The Northern Magus: Pierre Trudeau and Canadians and Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times. TaggedhistoryRelated Posts Quebec Rewrites Its History in One Book August 22, 2019August 23, 2019 What the Winnipeg General Strike Can Teach Us About Class, Capitalism, and Greed April 29, 2019July 22, 2019 The Hawaiian Queen Who Taught Indigenous Writers to Resist April 4, 2018August 13, 2019Post navigationPrevious Article Slip and SlideNext Article No Means No One Comment on “Canada’s First Scapegoat” Pingback: POST # 172 Beware The Ides Or Those That Sing Unseemly Saturated “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” Regard Naming Schools After “Iffy” Politicians | agogblogLeave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Our Latest IssueOctober 2019 Our democracy issue includes stories on the value of polling, Jane Philpott post-Liberals, a democratic experiment in Syria, and political myth-busting. Start my subscription with this issueYour AccountBUY TICKETS TO UPCOMING EVENTS September – October 2019 Sep – Oct 2019 Collapse All Expand All Sep18Wed McKesson Presents The Walrus Talks The Future of Consumerism (Toronto) @ Artscape Daniels Launchpad Tickets Edit @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Sep23Mon CIFAR Presents The Walrus Talks Boundaries (National Capital Region, Gatineau) @ Canadian Museum of History Tickets Edit @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Sep25Wed Suncor Presents The Walrus Talks Energy (Montreal) @ Centre Phi Tickets Edit @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Oct23Wed TD Bank Group Presents The Walrus Talks Inclusion (Waterloo) @ Waterloo Delta Hotel Tickets Edit @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm September – October 2019 Sep – Oct 2019 All Events Join The Conversation. Get The Newsletter By signing up you agree to receive email about events, articles, offers, and the impact of The Walrus in your community.
  • Rather than use Macdonald as a cover for our own failings
9 annotations
 law, govt and politics 678
  • author James Daschuk
  • outcomes almost as a measure of oppression and marginalization.”Both nature and disease conspired against the aboriginal peoples of the prairies. First, the European fur traders infected them with contagious diseases – smallpox, measles, influenza – to which they had no immunity. Then climate change, the building of the CPR and the near-extinction of the bison, on which they depended for food, left them hungry and desperate.YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...John A. Macdonald was the real architect of residential schoolsSir John A. Macdonald, the greatest PM of allThey turned to Ottawa, expecting Macdonald to honour the treaties he had signed with them, guaranteeing food in times of famine and a livelihood in the thriving agrarian economy he envisaged for the western plains.But he spurned their request. He ordered officials at the Department of Indian Affairs in Prince Albert to withhold food from First Nations until they moved to federally designated reserves far from the path of the CPR. Once they complied, they were trapped. They could leave only with the permission of the government’s Indian agent. Aboriginal women were raped. Men could not farm or hunt because they had no land and no freedom. If they complained, their rations were cut. Even if they were pliant, the food was substandard. One contaminated shipment triggered a mass outbreak of tuberculosis.None of this was accidental. Daschuk found the directives Macdonald sent to federal officials telling them to deny food to them to First Nations. He found public statements in which Macdonald boasted about keeping the indigenous population “on the verge of actual starvation” to save government funds. He tracked the infected food shipment to its source, an American company in which a senior official of the Canadian government had a large financial stake.His conclusion: “The uncomfortable truth is that modern Canada is founded upon ethnic cleansing and genocide.”These are shocking phrases – not ones Canadians associate with their peaceful, tolerant country; not ones mainstream historians are eager to incorporate in their accounts; not one that educators want to plant in young minds; and certainly not ones to burnish the image the government seeks to project.Get more opinion in your inboxGet the latest from your favourite Star columnists with our Opinion newsletter.Sign Up NowYOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...Should statues of Sir John A. Macdonald be removed? YesShould statues of Sir John A. Macdonald be removed? NoIf these record-keepers are successful, the sanitized official version of Canadian history will prevail. Sir John A. Macdonald’s 200th birthday (Jan. 11, 2015) will be celebrated in fine style. Our children will be taught that their nation’s founding father was a hero. And we won’t have to reflect on what Daschuk’s discovery says about our forebears or ourselves.Carol Goar’s column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.SHARE:Report an errorJournalistic StandardsAbout The StarARTICLE CONTINUES BELOWARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
  • poor health outcomes almost as a measure of oppression and marginalization
  • But he spurned their request
  • not one that educators want to plant in young minds
  • public statements in which Macdonald boasted about keeping the indigenous population “on the verge of actual starvation
  • tcomes almost as a measure of oppression and marginalization.”Both nature and disease conspired against the aboriginal peoples of the prairies. First, the European fur traders infected them with contagious diseases – smallpox, measles, influenza – to which they had no immunity. Then climate change, the building of the CPR and the near-extinction of the bison, on which they depended for food, left them hungry and desperate.YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...John A. Macdonald was the real architect of residential schoolsSir John A. Macdonald, the greatest PM of allThey turned to Ottawa, expecting Macdonald to honour the treaties he had signed with them, guaranteeing food in times of famine and a livelihood in the thriving agrarian economy he envisaged for the western plains.But he spurned their request. He ordered officials at the Department of Indian Affairs in Prince Albert to withhold food from First Nations until they moved to federally designated reserves far from the path of the CPR. Once they complied, they were trapped. They could leave only with the permission of the government’s Indian agent. Aboriginal women were raped. Men could not farm or hunt because they had no land and no freedom. If they complained, their rations were cut. Even if they were pliant, the food was substandard. One contaminated shipment triggered a mass outbreak of tuberculosis.None of this was accidental. Daschuk found the directives Macdonald sent to federal officials telling them to deny food to them to First Nations. He found public statements in which Macdonald boasted about keeping the indigenous population “on the verge of actual starvation” to save government funds. He tracked the infected food shipment to its source, an American company in which a senior official of the Canadian government had a large financial stake.His conclusion: “The uncomfortable truth is that modern Canada is founded upon ethnic cleansing and genocide.”These are shocking phrases – not ones Canadians associate with their peaceful, tolerant country; not ones mainstream historians are eager to incorporate in their accounts; not one that educators want to plant in young minds; and certainly not ones to burnish the image the government seeks to project.Get more opinion in your inboxGet the latest from your favourite Star columnists with our Opinion newsletter.Sign Up NowYOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...Should statues of Sir John A. Macdonald be removed? YesShould statues of Sir John A. Macdonald be removed? NoIf these record-keepers are successful, the sanitized official version of Canadian history will prevail. Sir John A. Macdonald’s 200th birthday (Jan. 11, 2015) will be celebrated in fine style. Our children will be taught that their nation’s founding father was a hero. And we won’t have to reflect on what Daschuk’s discovery says about our forebears or ourselves.Carol Goar’s column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.SHARE:Report an errorJournalistic StandardsAbout The StarARTICLE CONTINUES BELOWARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
  • First, the European fur traders
8 annotations
 unrest and war 565
  • No
  • What should we be celebrating this January when we talk about Sir John A.?
  • basically we were guys who lived in North America and didn’t want to be American
  • One, he quit, which is damn hard for anybody to do
  • In my opinion, we are in a historic moment where a lot of institutions are being torn down
  •  I think he would recognize a great deal of it. The operations of the House hasn’t changed, the party structure is there
  • For me, without a doubt, it’s that this man was a workaholic
  • One thing that I mention, and people are often surprised, is that he was an advocate for women’s right to vote
  • He deliberately downplayed his intelligence to save contact with the ordinary person.
  • He said it was inevitable that sooner or later women will take their positions as equals in society.
  • the thought of our Prime Minister being a drunk, well gro
  • I’ll admit that I think I would fall into the stereotype about knowing two things: he was our first  prime minister and he had a drinking problem
  • Is he somebody we should look at the way the Americans look at Lincoln? Dutil. I think so
  • Every single Canadian, one way or another was involved with it, right up until today and some are still today.
  • There were terrible mistakes made. Macdonald bears responsibility for those mistakes but that does not erase his ambitions, his intentions and his strategies to help create a partnership.
  • well grow up, we all have weaknesses
  • o Macdonald and none of us would be Canadians
  • there have only been a few people who have led our public life, whether they’re elected or not, who’ve dared to say, “why not?” And I think that, on his 200th birthday, that spirit needs to be celebrated.
  • He said it was inevitable that sooner or later women will take their positions as equals in society. The only person I know of in the world who thought that way at that time was John Stuart Mill, one of the finest minds in the world in the 19th
  • We should recognize that Macdonald was a bit lucky, so was Laurier, in the same way, because he also benefited from that sort of… Nation builders are always given the benefit of the doubt, up to a certain limit.
  • The only person I know of in the world who thought that way at that time was John Stuart Mill, one of the finest minds in the world in the 19th century.
  • But that he did things that today we’d call racism is perfectly correct. He did. But by the standards of the day, he was one of the most liberal-minded on Aboriginal issues in the country, at least in public affairs.
  • Obviously Macdonald had a certain view on French Canadians—that they were a pain in the ass, but they were our ass.
  • Macdonald was not great in the meaning of the word great. You need circumstances to be great, the best example is Winston Churchill. Had there been no Second World War, he’s have been a loser of a politician. He is instead the single most important person in the entire 20th century. Macdonald was really running a backward poor runty little colony, that’s all we were in 1867. What you are telling the story of, with Macdonald, is the Canadian version. We are not dramatic, we did not kill people.
  • But what’s happened, which is so self-defeating, is people who are genuinely infuriated say by the residential schools— absolutely right they are disgusting—are kind of unloading their anger and resentment and guilt onto a guy who was conveniently dead a long, long time ago.
  • For me, the best, most eloquent statement of Macdonald’s success on English-French relations is that Wilfrid Laurier, a francophone Catholic, will be elected in 1896. That the country is so solid after 30 years that people in Ontario will say, yeah, that French-Catholic might be worth a chance because we’re solid enough as a country to take it on
  • about
  • he wrote to a friend, talking about how English Canadians should deal with French Canadians. Obviously Macdonald had a certain view on French Canadians—that they were a pain in the ass, but they were our ass.
  • ove forward. For me, it’s that optimism and the spirit of going further and asking why not? Why not do this? Why not try it? To me that’s the best legacy of Macdonald. Hilderman. I think he ultimately brought a lot of, I know we’ve said reasons why he wasn’t the strongest maybe at inclusion, but I do think his spirit was there to invite people from all over to come to our shores. You (Richard) talk about him being very happy about the first Jewish immigrants arriving to Canada and that was unique in his period. He recognized that if you came to the shores and were going to be hardworking he’d have tremendous respect for you. He wanted to build a nation that included people like that. Gwyn. He did. America of course set the pattern of mass immigration and we should always accept that and reflect that as a great achievement by the United States. But we have come to match that, we actually have for a number of years brought in far more proportional to our population, and our diversity is incredible. In a way, that immigration and multiculturalism is Canada’s tribute to Macdonald. He was a man of real ambition, he had a feeling that there was a validity to Canada which legitimately someone could else say there’s no validity in Canada. Why don’t you join the United States? You’ll all have bigger salaries and so on. He understood that there was something about Canada that was distinctive and it was expressed much earlier in the Northwest Mounted Police. The Klondike story is staggering; you’ve got a tiny handful of policemen and the thousands of people looking for gold, and when you’re looking for gold, nothing will stand in your way, and they obeyed. So the respect for the law in Canada is very, very strong. All his generation had enormous respect for the rule of law. In the end, the rule of law was more important than whether it was right or wrong—I mean it’s much better to be right than wrong, obviously, but you respect the rule of law. This is part of our nature. We are different from the Americans and we are different in a way that these days seems to be working better.
29 annotations