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Monday, November 12, 2012

English Canadian in 1837/8?

English Canadian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

'via Blog this'

I attended a house concert by a Quebecois band yesterday.

In the lead-up to one of their songs they said, wrt the revolutions of 1837 in Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario) "At that time the only Canadians were French Canadians".

But... this abortive revolution established an English Canadian identity, already evolving as a result of the Loyalists and the War of 1812.

The colonies were called "Upper and Lower CANADA", after all. Upper Canada was majority English and/or American.

William Lyon Mackenzie briefly established the "Republic of Canada". (Per wikipedia - they did not teach this in my schools in Quebec. :-( )



Earlier: in the War of 1812, The Frontier Light Infantry were two English speaking companies of the otherwise mainly French Canadian Voltigeurs.

Coleman's Troop were officially The Canadian Light Dragoons.

English Canadian identity was probably tentative in 1837, as it is tentative in many ways even in 2012.

But saying that there were no English Canadians is just the sort of myth that a nationalist movement like Quebec creates to justify itself.

1 comment:

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

French Canada, Quebec, les canadiens, was already well on the way to having an identity separate from its mother country, France. After all, France had preferred to keep Guadeloupe rather than Canada.

English Canadians were more conflicted: were they Canadian, or subjects of the British Empire? Both. And, for many at the time, American.