The Evolution of French Canada

By Jean Charlemagne Bracq | Go to book overview
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MEN belonging to the generation now about to disappear have been profoundly influenced by Comte Joseph de Gobineau,1 a French nobleman, who shaped the ethnological ideas current in the world of culture half a century ago. He made race the great and fatalistic determinant of life, and gave Bismarck's countrymen the foremost place among the ethnic groups of the world. These teachings, taken up with enthusiasm by Germany, propagated and exploited by her, were soon accepted in this country, where they were principally disseminated by John Fiske, in England by the Arnolds, and in France by Taine. Gobinism became a literary fashion, a world craze. It has far outlived the early generation of men who were its heralds. What use the Germans made of this doctrine is now well known. If they coveted new territories they excused their aggressive action on the ground that the inhabitants were, or were supposed by them to be, Germans.

Carried away by such tenets Macaulay, like many others, drew certain deductions from the doctrine one of which was that the Germanic peoples are Protestant and the Celtic Catholic, and made ethnology and religion inseparable.



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The Evolution of French Canada


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