Many people across the globe argue that nationalism within Canada is simply not feasible. It is said that we as a people, differ so greatly with our diverse cultures, religions, and backgrounds that we cannot come together and exist together as a strong, united nation. In his book, Lament for a Nation, George Grant tells the reader that “…as Canadians we attempted a ridiculous task in trying to build a conservative nation in the age of progress, on a continent we share with the most dynamic nation on earth. The current history is against us.” (1965) Originally directed towards the Bomarc Missile Crisis, the book argues that whatever nationalism Canada had was destroyed by globalization as well as the powerful American sphere of influence. Although it is true that the book was initially written as a response to the events that took place in the late 1950s, many of the points are still valid today.
Though diversity can be, and often is an asset, in the context of nationalism, so many variations among a nation in conjunction with globalization can cause an observer to believe that in a sense, there is no true Canadian nationalism. Prime Minister Trudeau may have indeed attributed nationalism and the foundation of a nation to will, but a desire to build a nation is insufficient for one to be formed. For a nation to truly be stable and unified, nationalism is key. In turn, then, this nationalism will result in citizens desiring to improve and further their nation. Despite the fact that will has indeed played a critical role in preserving Canada by helping to create nationalism during watershed moments in history such as the Patriote movement, key battles in World war I, and even Québécois movement today, it is important to remember that the will was first a byproduct of nationalism as opposed to will being the creator of nationalistic beliefs among people.
During the 19th Century
As most Canadians may know, the land we know now as Canada was once the property of Britain and France- the countries that originally colonized Canada. After Canada was officially formed in 1867 and even prior to that event, there was much division among the Anglophone and Francophone populations, though a strong desire for freedom from the British Empire ran on both sides.
Due to the bitter rivalries of their mother countries, the two sides also had a strong feels of animosity against one another. This animosity was furthered when the French surrendered New France. This cession of French territory to the British occurred after the French and Indian Wars of the mid 18th century; specifically after the treaty of Paris in February 20th of 1763. The essential annexation brought about much anger within the French. This was illustrated during the highlights of the Patriote movement (the rebellions of 1837 and 1838) and the secession of New France to become British. These events, along with prior rivalry with Britain and its...