• Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Irish: Networks of Diaspora in Early-Twentieth Century Northeastern North America

    Patrick Mannion On October 4th, 1920, Irish-Canadian nationalist Katherine Hughes arrived in St. John’s, the capital and chief port of the Dominion of Newfoundland. Her objective was to establish a branch of the Self-Determination for Ireland League (SDIL) – a Canadian organization designed to win popular support for Irish independence during the peak of the… Continue Reading

  • No, Confederation Wasn’t About ‘Freedom’

    Shirley Tillotson Editors’ note: This essay is jointly posted with our partners at ActiveHistory.ca, and appeared in an earlier version as a Letter to the Editor in the National Post (Oct. 26, 2017). Fundraisers love anniversaries. They’re like birthdays, right? Presents can’t be far behind. But when it’s the anniversary of a death, it’s not so… Continue Reading

  • Britishness and Whiteness in Early Canadian Culture

    Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy In the September 28, 2017 issue of the New York Review of Books, Fintan O’Toole explained Brexit as the consequence of a rebirth of English nationalism: “Brexit is a peaceful revolution but it is unmistakably a nationalist revolt. It is England’s insurrection against … the belief that contemporary nationality must be fluid, open,… Continue Reading

  • The American Gaze: Adam Gopnik’s Canada

    Jerry Bannister Adam Gopnik’s recent article, “We could all have been Canadians,” published in the May 15th issue of the New Yorker, has attracted considerable attention on social media among Canadian historians.[1] I’ve already chimed in with a short comment on Christopher Moore’s blog.[2]   With the sun shining hopefully on my back deck this morning,… Continue Reading

  • Canadian Exceptionalism is about Land and Resources

    Rachel Bryant Canadian exceptionalism has emerged (or re-emerged) in the Trump/Brexit/Canada 150 era as a useful concept for scholars and journalists seeking to understand how Canadians and their institutions are (or are not) unique in hemispheric and global contexts. But exceptionalism is about more than the ways in which vast geopolitical entities relate to one… Continue Reading

  • “The Mighty Waters of Democracy”: Thomas Chandler Haliburton on American Populism

    Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy On Nov 8 2016 reality-show star and billionaire Donald Trump won by a landslide the presidency of the US. Despite the still-ongoing collective head-scratching over the exact causes of the victory, nobody contests that the unlikely candidate rode an unprecedented wave of populism and nationalism whose long-term consequences remain to be seen. Trump’s… Continue Reading

  • Settler Colonialism and the Future of Canadian History

    Jerry Bannister In March I had the pleasure of attending the Pierre Savard conference[1] at the University of Ottawa. I was asked to give a talk on the future of Canadian history, particularly the ongoing debate over transnational versus national perspectives. I never did get around to asking why they invited me to speak. Perhaps… Continue Reading

  • Trafalgar Days in Nova Scotia

    Keith Mercer The Royal Canadian Navy recently named October 21 “Niobe Day,” in honour of HMCS Niobe, one of Canada’s first two warships. It was bought from the British in 1910, shortly after the Naval Service of Canada was established that spring, and served in the First World War before being seriously damaged in the… Continue Reading

  • Crossing Borders: Restructuring North American Narratives

    Patrick Lacroix It is encouraging to see that Atlantic history, alongside environmental history, has emerged as a leading line of enquiry. The Atlantic perspective has already done wonders for our collective understanding of the slave trade and the Age of Revolution. Here I hope to recommend a continental perspective as a profitable avenue for assessing Early Canadian and Early… Continue Reading