The Struggle for a National Identity

Their Timeline of Struggle

1600's: England & France began colonizing Canada. Soon, they began fighting over who had control over it. Fought over Fur trade. The French had a good relationship with the Canadian Natives.

1689-1763: A brutal time of war. British and French fought four wars in North America in this period of time. Finally British troops won and automatically assumed control over the region.These wars included The French & Indian War, and The Battle of Quebec.

1763: French surrendered all of their Empire and territory to Great Britain. Brits also allow French settlers to remain and keep all of their culture, as long as they recognize that they have total control over the region.

1867: Brits create Dominion of Canada. Britain is still in control but...Canada has its own Gov't and its own foreign policy.

1931: Canada becomes independent and British controls ended.

1974: French was made official language of Quebec and many English-speaking residents and businesses left.

1995: A referendum on whether Quebec should secede from Canada was narrowly defeated.

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Seperatism in Focus

The Québécois have said that they feel as if they are different from the rest of the Canadians and they even vote and act differently from the rest of the country. While the U.S embraces a “melting pot” and open-minded approach to immigration, Canada has embedded the principle of “multiculturalism” in its constitution, and many Québécois are over protective of the cultural character of their province, a largely Catholic island of French in a North American protestant sea. As in France, which banned face-covering garments in 2011, intellectuals and politicians in Quebec fret openly about newcomers from developing countries, Muslims especially – sometimes in a manner that the rest of Canada finds shocking and even racist.

Canada's National Identity

When it comes to foreign policy, they’re really articulating what they think are Canada’s national interests rather than having a conversation about Canada’s national values. In the last year, the War of 1812 commemorations showed how their government is hammering home Canadian history as something that is bedrock to Canadian identity. This government is very consciously reacting against what was basically a generation of continuous Liberal government with a liberal understanding of foreign policy, a liberal understanding of history and a liberal understanding of national symbols.