Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canada 1849

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canada 1849

Article excerpt

Derek Pollard and Ged Martin (eds), CANADA 1849 (Edinburgh: Centre of Canadian Studies, 2001), 256pp. Paper. £15. ISBN 0-9052-4410-9.

The 1999 conference of the University of Edinburgh Centre of Canadian Studies assumed the form of a sesquicentennial celebration. The numerical opportunity directed the attention of participants toward a varied and substantial range of topics: in this respect, success was clear.

It was perhaps too much to expect temporal exactitude. Had that been attainable, Ged Martin would surely have succeeded. He argues the proposition that '1849 was Year One for a shared common history of British North America . . .' (p. 10) and supplies supporting proof that no one else could convey, but even so, absolute certainty seems unexpectedly lacking. 'The suggestion', he concludes, 'that 1849 might be regarded as Year One in the modern history of Canada is perhaps best regarded as an analytical tool rather than the tool of a new religion' (p. 24). The other contributors, it can be said, decline to play the part of converts.

For the most part the papers relate to Canada at mid-century, understandably so in the absence of events that would set 1849 apart from other years. This is somewhat unfair to the incendiaries of Montreal, derogating their burning of Parliament, but for Scott See, in his authoritative assessment of over 400 collective conflicts that occurred in the course of a century, the 28 taking place in 1849 should 'be thought of as characteristic rather than extraordinary' (p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.