Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Liberal Nationalisms: Empire, State, and Civil Society in Scotland and Quebec

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Liberal Nationalisms: Empire, State, and Civil Society in Scotland and Quebec

Article excerpt

James Kennedy, Liberal Nationalisms: Empire, State, and Civil Society in Scotland and Quebec (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2013), 336 pp. Cased. £67. ISBN 978-0-7735-3898-6.

This book explores the rise of Liberal nationalisms in Scotland and Quebec between the early twentieth century and the First World War. It takes a historical sociological perspective and heavily focuses on newspapers in both nations to gauge both ideas of Liberal nationalism and the support various political associations had. In terms of the latter, the two most prominent associations were the Young Scots in Scotland and the Nationalists in Quebec. Kennedy situates the development of Liberal nationalism in both Scotland and Quebec firstly in their collective membership of the British Empire but also in the membership of their states, that is the United Kingdom and Canada. He makes the point that both of these contexts had an impact on the way in which Liberal nationalism developed in both nations.

One of the strengths of this book is the way in which Kennedy illustrates the complexity of views held by Liberal nationalists in both Scotland and Quebec, particularly when it came to religion. The two established churches of the two nations, the Presbyterian Church in Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec, had a considerable impact on the development of their respective nationalisms. This latter point leads to another excellent point made by Kennedy: Liberal nationalism was not the only nationalism existing in Scotland and Quebec during his period of study. …

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