Laurier and a Liberal Quebec: A Study in Political Management

Laurier and a Liberal Quebec: A Study in Political Management

Laurier and a Liberal Quebec: A Study in Political Management

Laurier and a Liberal Quebec: A Study in Political Management

Excerpt

Sir Wilfrid Laurier's transformation of Quebec in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from a Conservative into a Liberal fortress, his struggle for political liberalism against ultramontane Catholicism, and his championing of a broad Canadian "nationalism" as opposed to a narrow nationaliste or separatist Quebec-oriented loyalty are the chief themes of this work. It was prepared originally as a Ph.D. thesis under the supervision of the late F. H. Underhill for the University of Toronto in 1956. Its author, Dr. H. Blair, Neatby, of the Department of History at Carleton University, at first intended to follow it up with some fuller treatment of Laurier, but an opportunity came along in 1958 to take up a portion of the Mackenzie King biography project. William Lyon Mackenzie King, 1924-1932: The Lonely Heights was the first fruit of that labour; a second volume is in preparation. Dr. Neatby now feels too far distanced in both time and interests to return to the subject of his first serious professional research. Yet, since Laurier and a Liberal Quebec was accepted by the University of Toronto, it has won considerable respect among scholars of post- Confederation politics as the most illuminating study available on Laurier's relationship with his native province and on the origins of that "solid Quebec" on which federal Liberalism has based its near- monopoly of office since 1896. Microfilm and xerox copies have been much in demand, and interlibrary loan services heavily employed -- so that this unpublished study never has been allowed to moulder in the archival obscurity to which so many "proofs" of doctoral worthiness justly have been condemned. Recently, Dr. Neatby yielded to the urgings of many friends and colleagues, and agreed to its release in the Carleton Library Series.

From the original version a few things have been omitted, and some alterations have been made. The author's original "Introduction," appendices concerning some Canadian constitutional documents, and his very thorough bibliography have been dropped, principally to save space. However, I have drawn on these sources for preparation of this introductory essay and for the brief "Note on Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading" which is at the end of the book. The text proper is almost exactly as first written, with a few exceptions. Much of the quoted material in the thesis was in French, and, not without regret, it was considered necessary . . .

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