Tag Archives: Confederation

Karl Marx reflects on the Subject of Confederation

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By Mark Leier Deep in the archives of the Society for the History of Anarchism and Marxism, (SHAM) I discovered a hitherto unknown letter from Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels. Dated 21 July 1867, the bulk of the letter is a reaction to the confederation of Canada, which had been proclaimed twenty days earlier. It is particularly interesting for two… Read more »

Acknowledging the Land and the People: A Practice for all Canadian Historians

By Thomas Peace Pour assurer notre existence, il faut nous cramponner à la terre, et léguer à nos enfants la langue de nos ancetres et la propriété du sol [1] These words captivated my attention a few months ago as I walked across Parc Montmorency, the site of the old parliament buildings in Quebec City. They are found on the footing… Read more »

Join the Confederation Debate Today!

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This is the second of two posts responding to “Debating the Confederation Debates of 1865” a two-week series we ran in partnership with Canada Watch. By Daniel Heidt As the countdown to our country’s 150th  anniversary begins, Canadians are hungry for information about their country’s past and contemplating its future. The Confederation Debates – an online and largely crowd sourced initiative –… Read more »

Looking at 1867 from 1967 and 2017

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This is the first of two posts responding to “Debating the Confederation Debates of 1865” a two-week series we ran in partnership with Canada Watch. By Christopher Moore During the constitutional wrangles of the 1980s that became known as “Meech Lake,” one of the premiers supposedly remarked that the fathers of confederation were fine men for their time but didn’t know much… Read more »

The Robert Harris group portrait

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This is the fourteenth post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Ged Martin The founding, in 1880, of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts no doubt represented a landmark in recognition and encouragement of the visual arts in the Dominion. Unfortunately, it was not easy to advance its cultural agenda, especially the central… Read more »

Using history to justify Confederation

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This is the thirteenth post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Marlene Shore History was frequently invoked in the Confederation debates by both pro-confederates and anti-confederates to justify their positions. All parties realized that they were at a pivotal juncture, when a new set of constitutional arrangements would alter the destinies of the new country’s… Read more »

Confederation comes at a cost: Indigenous peoples and the ongoing reality of colonialism in Canada

This is the twelfth post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Gabrielle Slowey In 2015 Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, declared: “Reconciliation is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships.”[1] Why did he point this out? The reality remains that Canada and Canadians are not respectful of our relations with Indigenous… Read more »

Gender and the Confederation debates

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This is the eleventh post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Kathryn McPherson The participants in the 1865 Confederation debates were divided by ethnicity, region, political opinion, and religion, but they shared class privilege, a racial identity we would now call “white,” and gender. They were all men. This latter shared identity would… Read more »

A workingman watches

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This is the tenth post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Craig Heron Tabernacle! Finally they’re gone. Pity the poor caretaker! I’ve had to wait for these windbags to finish their speeches almost every night for six weeks before I could close up the Parliament Building. So, night after night, I’ve sat waiting… Read more »

The nature of Confederation

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This is the ninth post in a two week series in partnership with Canada Watch on the Confederation Debates By Sean Kheraj Nature mattered to Confederation.[1] In the minds of many of the legislators from the Province of Canada in 1865, the union of the colonies of British North America was providential and evident in the natural environment. The land, minerals, forests,… Read more »