Nationalisms in Canada | Wikipedia audio article

Nationalisms in Canada | Wikipedia audio article


There has historically been, and continues
to be, several rival nationalisms in Canada. Canadians have differing cultural and political
identifications which often overlap. Loyalty towards Canada is tempered by strong
regional and ethnic identities, and an affinity toward a common North American culture shared
with the United States. The largest and most-apparent differences
are between English and French Canada, with the federal government recognizing the Québécois
as “a nation within a united Canada”. Among the provinces, Newfoundlanders also
have a strong sense of national identity, having had a period of separate nationhood
before joining the Canadian Confederation. Additionally, there has been a revival of
Aboriginal nationalism, identifying with a specific band or tribe or with First Nations
in general. Also common are diaspora nationalisms, with
nearly every such community represented in Canada. Most Canadians see no conflict in being loyal
to Canada while retaining a sense of ethnic identity and connection to the homeland. With an increasingly diverse cultural landscape
in the country, some have advocated for civic nationalism based on shared citizenship and
common rights.==Identifying nationalism==
There has long been a recognition by scholars that English and French Canada have divergent
views of the nation, often referred to as the Two Solitudes, from the title of a 1945
novel. The existence of multiple strains of nationalism
within nineteenth century English-speaking Canada was first explored by historian Carl
Berger in his 1971 book The Sense of Power and his article in The Journal of British
Studies.==History=====
First Nations, first nationalism?===
In the historiography of nationalism there is significant dispute over whether true nationalism
existed in pre-modern societies. Canada’s aboriginal peoples were generally
organized into small societies which anthropologists call bands, which were sometimes part of a
larger grouping called a tribe. Occasionally several tribes would form a larger
group called a confederacy (the Iroquois, Seven Nations of Canada, Huron, Blackfoot,
and Plains Cree-Assiniboine were or are confederacies). None of these resembled nations as understood
in Europe in terms of scale or permanence. Today these groupings are referred to as “First
Nations”, representing their historical and modern role as sources of identity for many
native people.===Settler and refugee nationalism arrive
===The first Europeans to exhibit nationalism
in Canada may have been the French settlers who inhabited New France. They showed a great deal of loyalty and community
in the face of repeated attacks by British and Iroquois rivals during the French and
Indian Wars. However, by the end of the French regime in
North America, acadiens and canadiens may have already been showing signs of developing
identities distinct from France. The interrelated British ideologies of nationalism,
unionism, loyalism, and imperialism arrived first in Newfoundland then the Maritimes,
and finally in Central Canada with British traders who followed the British Army into
these regions as each was successively won from France, ending with the Treaty of Paris
(1763). They were reinforced from the 1770s to 1810s
by the United Empire Loyalists: pro-British refugees fleeing the American Revolution.===Rival nationalisms under British rule
===Reactions to British and American encroachments
produced movements for solidarity between native tribes across much of eastern North
America during Pontiac’s Rebellion of 1759 and Tecumseh’s Rebellion of 1811. By the end of the War of 1812, however, natives
had lost their national sovereignty across most of Eastern Canada. The influx of British settlers into Canada
helped to prompt the development of French-Canadian nationalism which was quite evident during
the 1837 rebellion against British rule in Lower Canada. At the same time a few English-speakers in
Upper Canada were switching from a British to a Canadian form of identity, as evidenced
in the contemporaneous Upper Canada Rebellion, although this was a minority position. Not long afterwards, many English-speakers
in Canada became attracted to American nationalism, in the form of annexationism, highlighted
by the Montreal Annexation Manifesto of 1850. Irish nationalism in its strong form of physical
force Irish republicanism was evident in Canada during the Fenian Raids of the 1860s and assassination
of Thomas D’Arcy McGee in 1868.===Nationalism and Confederation===
When the Canadian Confederation was established in 1867, British and Canadian forms of identity
and political allegiance continued to coexist. In 1891 election, Prime Minister Sir John
A. Macdonald, himself a Scotsman, wrapped himself in the Union Jack, swore to keep Canada
British, and called proposals for freer trade with the United States “veiled treason”. In Western Canada, native tribes retained
their autonomy from Canadian society far longer than in the east. The interaction of European and Canadian traders
with Indians in the interior led to the creation of an entirely new nation, the Métis. Along with Indian allies, the Métis asserted
their national rights during the two Riel Rebellions (1870 and 1885).===The
turn of the 20th century to the Great Wars===
The project of Imperial Federation (creating a federal government for the entire British
Empire), had important advocates in English Canada (the “imperialists”) around the turn
of the 20th century, but it ultimately floundered due opposition from (“anti-imperialist” or
“nationalist”) French-Canadian leaders such as Henri Bourassa and Wilfrid Laurier, and
to indifference in Britain. “British feeling” in Canada was in decline
following the Alaska boundary dispute in 1903, in which Britain sided with the United States’
border claims over Canada’s. Imperialists in Canada tried to correct this
with the creation of the Empire Club of Canada that same year. Newfoundland had persistently resisted offer
to join the Canadian Confederation since 1867, and so was elevated to the status of a dominion
in 1907, co-equal to Canada within the British Empire. This further solidified Newfoundlander identity
and added a period of separate nationhood to the later mythos of Newfoundland. By the 1910 Canadian federal election – which
again centred on trade with the United States and also the creation of a Canadian Navy separate
from the British Royal Navy – Prime Minister Laurier complained that in Quebec he was called
an imperialist, in Ontario a separatist, but, he protested, he was simply a Canadian. Canadian participation in the World Wars was
both divisive and unifying in different ways. French Canadians resisted the implementation
of conscription during the crises of 1917 and 1944, leading to an erosion of francophone
identification with the Canadian federation. In contrast English Canadians, especially
recent immigrants from England, rallied to join the military in large numbers out of
a sense of British loyalism. They saw their experience of the war, fighting
in the Canadian Corps, as “the birth of a nation”, when Canada replaced Britain as their
primary focus of loyalty.===After the wars===
Canadian ties with Britain were loosened when Canada became fully legislatively independent
of the United Kingdom by the Balfour Declaration of 1926, created its own citizenship law in
1946, and its own flag in 1965. Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, though
Newfoundlander identity did not disappear. In Quebec traditional religion- and culture-focused
French-Canadian nationalism was being replaced with a new state-centred Quebecois nationalism
during the Quiet Revolution, leading many to adopt the goal of Quebec’s secession from
the Canadian confederation. This has for the most part been a peaceful
movement, aside from a string of terrorist attacks by the Front de libération du Québec
(FLQ) in 1969 and 1970, leading to a government crackdown in 1970. Since the 1970s, there have also been movements
that have sought to turn the habitual feelings of Western alienation into a movement for
Western separatism or Alberta separatism, although these movements often overlap with
annexationist movements. Also since the 1960s and 1970s there has been
a revival of Aboriginal nationalism in Canada. This can take the form of identification with
a specific band or tribe or with First Nations in general. Cree and Inuit nationalism in northern Quebec
(which is generally mutually exclusive with Quebecois nationalism) lead to the James Bay
and Northern Quebec Agreement (1975) which was concerned with native title over northern
Quebec’s crown lands. However the potential fate of northern Quebec
if Quebec were to secede from Canada remains a point of controversy. Inuit activism (perhaps nationalism) has led
to the creation of the federal territory of Nunavut (1994) and intra-provincial territories
of Nunavik (in Quebec), Nunatsiavut (in Newfoundland and Labrador), and the Inuvialuit Settlement
Region (in the Northwest Territories and Yukon).==Present day==
Diaspora nationalisms are quite common in Canada, with nearly every diaspora community
in the world represented. Prior to the liberalization of Canadian immigration
laws in the 1960s, the largest diaspora populations were groups with European or Near Eastern
origins like Ukrainian, Irish, Azerbaijani or Armenian nationalists, and Zionists (people
who support the existence of Israel). These have since been joined by groups from
other continents, especially Asia, such as Punjabi Sikhs, Sri Lankan Tamils, etc. As of 2012 the two largest strains of nationalism
in Canada are Canadian nationalism and Quebec nationalism. Most citizens of Canada have a strong sense
of loyalty towards Canada and other Canadians, however this is tempered with strong regional
and ethnic identities and an affinity towards a common North American culture shared with
the United States. Most non-Aboriginal English-speakers in Canada
consider Canada to be their “nation” and are hostile towards any proposals to divide the
Canadian Confederation into smaller states, or join it to the United States. French-speakers in Quebec generally refer
to Quebec, and not Canada, as their “nation” – although they may also have a strong sense
of Canadian-ness and many “soft nationalists” are federalists (wanting to remain in Canada)
rather than sovereigntists (seeking separation). Linguistic minorities (French-speakers outside
of Quebec and English-speakers in Quebec) tend to be passionately pro-Canadian, seeing
the continuation of Confederation as their only guarantee of continued cultural survival. A minority of the public in provinces other
than Quebec also think of their province as their main source of loyalty, instead of Canada. Aboriginal peoples may (or may not) think
of their band or tribe as their primary sources of identification, and may at the same time
reject Canada as a colonial state or feel no animosity towards Canada (although resentment
of perceived instances of racism is high). Recent immigrant groups are often accused
in the populist media of being insufficiently loyal to Canada (e.g. being called “Canadians
of convenience”) but generally most Canadians find no conflict in being loyal to Canada
and retaining a sense of ethnic identity and connection to the homeland. According to the political philosopher Charles
Blattberg, Canada should be seen as a multinational country. All Canadians are members of Canada as a civic
or political community, a community of citizens, and this is a community that contains many
other kinds within it. These include not only communities of ethnic,
regional, religious, and civic (the provincial and municipal governments) sorts, but also
national communities, which often include or overlap with many of the other kinds. He thus recognizes the following nations within
Canada: those formed by the various aboriginal First Nations, that of francophone Quebecers,
that of the anglophones who identify with English Canadian culture, and perhaps that
of the Acadians.==See also==
Nationalism in the United Kingdom (disambiguation) Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Canadian identity Immigration Watch Canada

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