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As One Reads Confederation: The Use And Abuse Of History By D.G. Creighton, It Becomes Apparent That He Exemplifies No Secrecy When Referring To The Present Day Problems Emerging Between Quebec And The Rest Of Canada

1399 words - 6 pages

As one reads Confederation: The Use and Abuse of History by D.G. Creighton, it becomes apparent that he exemplifies no secrecy when referring to the present day problems emerging between Quebec and the rest of Canada. His bias toward Quebec is of importance when considering the immense role Lower Canada played in the formation of Confederation. His article however, seems to rest solely on an interpretation of unfounded facts. It appears as though he simply forgot to include any endnotes or references in his article. Perhaps some would trust that his extensive historical background affords him the right to simply state things as fact without any source of evidence to support them. This author however, will not accept all that Creighton states as truth without some sort of substantiation. Vipond on the other hand uses great precision when expounding upon (in extensive detail) every fact with solid references. He utilizes evidence from local newspapers, articles and more importantly, he illustrates his arguments with reference to the Constitution Act itself. One must be compelled to accept Vipond's contentions as more plausible because of the historical base of evidence with which they are presented.Creighton begins to delve into the heart of his confederation argument by stating that in the past, debate about the intentions of the Fathers of Confederation has never really occurred. In his view, the purpose of these men was set out with "utmost clarity and precision, in speech after speech, resolution after resolution". He exerts that it is easy to know their intentions, but shows no signs of evidence to support this contention. Why does he not provide an example of a specific resolution or speech that can lend support to his argument? It is very difficult to accept that which he declares as actual truth, for without the evidence to support him, Creighton's statements are simply baseless facts, with no credence of support.According to Creighton, the Fathers of Confederation wanted to achieve a "great transcontinental nation in the form of a constitutional monarchy under the British Crown". By this he refers to the British model of government and hence a 'parliamentary sovereignty'. This parliamentary sovereignty would encompass all of the provinces under the power of a concentrated sovereign legislature. Creighton stresses that at that time, most Canadians and more importantly the Fathers of Confederation themselves were most interested in a form of legislative union under one common parliament. This would allow for little provincial autonomy or sharing of authority with the federal government. It is clear that Creighton believes the Fathers intended Canada to be a legislative union, but that problems arose in the face of these hopes. The most vociferous challenge in Creighton's view emerged from French Canadians, who were genuinely concerned with retaining their unique cultural practices. In addition, the Maritime Provinces were lacking the proper...

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