Postwar Transformation of Canadian Identity
Postwar Transformation of Canadian Identity
Much can be credited on the postwar state of transformation to the state of Canada. It can be argued that, Canada went through a state of political, social and economic transformations that were built by the effects and influences of the postwar period. Amongst the broad array of scholars and historians that have stood to recommend about these transformations, Jose Igartua can be echoed in his book, “The other Quiet Revolution. ” In his anthology, he has developed an attractive package of the historical background that shaped Canada between 1945 and 1971.
Broadly, the aspect of Canadian national identity within the postwar period has been a hallmark of events that has continued to frustrate, obsess and fascinate its citizens, politicians and scholars across the span of many years. However, a disparity exists between these different persons in their understanding about the state of Canada as having a national identity. At one arm of the argument, some are at full denial that Canada has had anything like a national identity.
The other contrasting fashion of the disparity is that, Canada even enjoys multiple of national identities with a competing portfolio to one another. However, as much as we would choose to neglect the issue of national identity in Canada, a constant reminder about the same is provided by various aspects within the Canadian society. The 20th Century was highly crucial in modeling the nature of the Canadian society. It can be argued that the postwar transformation saw Canada changing from an ethnic into a civic nationalist state.
However, an important question would be in digging about when Canada got out of the British colony and thus providing itself with a national sovereignty. However, the Canadian identity changed from its entangles of the British colony which was characterized by ethnicity towards a society that had an equal share of its civic values. During the British colony to Canada, the Canadians who had a Japanese origin went through learning and emulation of the British colony both during and after World War II. This was however characterized of ethnicity between the Canadians and their colony.
However, its liberation from the British colony gave it a chance of sharing its civic values where other races such as French Canadians as well as other non British racial groups were now recognized . This provided that all the groups were given the power of participating in the Canadian life parameters through shared responsibilities and resources. Elsewhere, an endurance of the ambiguities that had encroached the culture of the English Canadian identity was provided by the radical establishments of the civic modeled Canada in order to provide a well formulated intellectual activity.
However, Igartua has drawn the use of Anthony Smith’s theory in explaining the context of Canadian nationalism. By and large, the Canadian shift of its former ethnic state to a civic nationalism can be argued as important historical events towards the shaping of Canadian identity. In the lieu to bridge an affirmative description to this state of transformation, different scholars such as Richard Gwyn, John Dieferbaker and Michael Ignatieff have soundly come up to explore the legitimate foundations in the change of the Canadian identity transformation.
According to Igartua however, the 1960’s was a unique period in the Canadian history where it experienced a state of “Quiet Revolution” which can be equated more or less to that shaped the modern Quebec. However, the analytical exploration into the state of revolution of Canada by Igartua is established through his “argumentative statements” and a pursuit of “conventional wisdom “ about the Canadians identity theory.
In his acknowledgement however, though the English Canadians have not finally dispensed a truly indisputable state of national identity, it can be said that they have changed the ideal terms with which state of identity could be developed and discussed. Generally, a great challenge is posited to the fact that the identity for English- Canadian went through a state of gradual process whose beginning point was in the World War I and ended in the World War II. This saw great heights of transformations into its economic and social parameters soon after the World War II.
According to Igartua however, the English Canada after 1945 had still the bondage of a British colony state in a commonwealth of British Empire. However, the fight for its liberation went on in 1946 when its liberal government made attempts of introducing a new national flag, changing its Dominion Day to become Canada Day as well as separating its citizenship. Indeed, the same was loosely echoed by the Canadians who associated it with the activities of the French and British Canada towards repudiating its national sovereignty.
The same conflict also saw many liberals and conservatives being outraged by the refusal of the Canadian government in backing of Britain at the crisis of Suez Canal. Broadly, the Canadians were shallow of this fury when they noted that Britain had a narrow level of self interest to Canada or even any other commonwealth state. However, Canada was know loosing its capacity as a pure British nation despite the massive chanting and borrowing of pro-British slogans by the conservatives led by Diefenbaker and his fellow conservatives.
Elsewhere, Deifenbaker was divided in Canada when he chose to posit that Britain was becoming one of the members in the European Economic Community. This was in the implication to the Canadians that they had sediments of ties to Britain which repudiated a contrasting essence of state phenomena to their obligations. Generally, the basics of Quiet Revolution for English Canadian are centered in its flag debate of 1964 and its consequent implication in its responses towards the implication of the Royal Commission on “Biculturalism and Bilingualism which was hereafter called the “B and B Commission”.
Presumably, much can be said and handled in these two levels of state revolutions. Firstly, the Canadian flag debate has gone down into the historical books of a period of fountain chronological events. This saw the older and former view posited to the Canada as British state which was highly exposed by its conservative leader Diefenbaker to no longer hold any fundamental interest to the public and newspaper editors over justifying why the state was to be ruled by a conservatives parliament.
Consequently, this move was historical and saw many Canadians who included a majority of francphones to have a great sigh of enthusiasm in embracing the new state flag in 1964. However, another portion gave a resignation to the same as an implication of the anti-support campaign towards the conservative rule but followers of the British colony. The rising new flag consequently saw the former “Red Ensign” and “Union Jack” which were focused as the long serviced convenient symbols were submerged under the power of the new rule .
According to Igartua, this new flag had no trace about the former power of the two “nations that found Canada”. However, this new flag came as a uniquely “fitting banner” towards the emergence of a civil Canadian State. Elsewhere, the supplementary role played by the “B and B Commission” was ideally important when analyzing the state of revolution in Canada after World War II. Historically, this commission was an awakening step for the English Canada towards the Quiet Revolution issues embraced by the Quebec. Historically, many quarters predicted a back clash in their ant-campaign on nationalist philosophies that came from the Quebec City.
This was also in the anti-campaign against the liberal government of the federal system. The commission also recognized and anticipated that Canada was not as perceived by many people as bifurcated state that was made of two monolithic racial /ethnic groups. However, it constituted an agglomeration of many individual persons who obliged to equality of their rights. Moreover, Igartua argued that the long held concept about individual equality finally came to loose its connotation when it came to have its ground work meaning modeled into a more universalistic and premise approach to human rights conception.
This consequently saw the establishment of support towards Trudeau’s vision towards Canada which was later modeled in its official languages in the Act of 1969. Through out the historical confrontation to build up and restore the sense of national identity, English Canadians went through a back log of defining their optimistic sense of identity as a tool for political survival. The postwar Canada embraced a radical epoch into a fountain state of search for knowledge through emergence of a well structured curriculum of education.
Across the board however, its plunge into wide pools of education and issues also saw Canada embracing a unique state of change into its identity. According to Igartua, text books and school curriculum within Canada seldom changed to capture a broad and highly developed state of codification towards the broad state of the Canadian identity. The former structures and modalities on societal modeling envisaged by the pre-war period were averted by the nature of the changing state of education in the country.
Consequently, Canada started to enjoy a wide and promoted state of its educational and knowledge background that went even beyond the levels of many postwar countries. Generally, Canada posited a pride in a British heritage as well as imperial achievements few years after the end of world war II. However, its state of national heritage identity was precariously eroding within the 1960s to giving in less ethnocentric and more conservative view about its past .
Such past chronological heritage is what was known to give non-British races, Francophenes and natives a short thrift as it was modeled by the nature of the British culture and modes of living . Importantly therefore, the educational transformation for the post war Canada was highly important in shaping its national identity. Historically, such education can be internalized as a tool that provided a positive influence in the decline of the old system of societal establishment modeled by the British colonial system to a more conservative state that was ruled by civic rule of society leadership by itself.
Pursuit in the changing state of education offered an attractive state with which the native and other non-British citizens enjoyed a more lucrative fashion towards modeling their life which was not shaped and dictated by colonial majesty. According to Igartua, collective identities perceived by postwar Canadians were responsive and malleable towards the changing state of the Canadian context.
To him however, the advanced and more modeled state of education did a lot to improve the state of changing national identity whose focus was from a society governed through rule and dictates to a more rational and civic society where each person played a predominant role towards its progress. It is also important to pinpoint the influence of change in art, sports and literature as an important variable in the changing course of Canadian identity,. However, the Canadians embraced such changing precepts into literature, art and sports that also defined their new status of a changed national identity.
The stylistic status and capacity of its cultural imaginery was therefore changing to a more benevolent status that ignited a reservation of a more nationalistic identity. They started developing a more reformed state of national approach and models of culture which was coined towards addressing the change of its former identity towards a more Canadian nationalist identity. By and large, few other variables would be incorporated in the modalities of developing a Canadian identity. This can be factors such as the United States influence in political and economic structures that provided a cutting edge into this revolution.
Elsewhere, the change in the nature of Commonwealth Empire was an important factor towards this change. Moreover, the status of immigrations provided a refuge towards a support for a refining factor in the process of Canadian refining identity. Different types of foreign immigrants were found being desirable by the Canadians towards the end of 1940s. To the Canadians, different scopes of immigrants gave them a motivation towards redefining their identity when they brought in various cultural identities from their countries of origins .
This consequently influenced the identity of the English Canada. As how Edmund Burke made complains within the French revolution, any a nation could not survive and cohere if it had basis of rights and abstract compactness. However, it had to interact with wide phenomena of social structures that were engulfed and borrowed from different social Diasporas. This was true for Canada in that its Quiet Revolution was initiated by an interaction with a broad phenomena of both state and foreign phenomena which included cultural borrowings, political and social imageries.
Summarily therefore, the post war Canada was characterized by a changing phenomena of its national identity that was modeled on a more civic self-ruled and democratic system of government. The same changing identity also saw a gradual change into the British colonial system into a more national state of government modeled by the rules, culture and principles of the English Canadians . It was characterized of a wide scope ideological and culture diversities.
It saw a new massive reconstruction into its cultural portfolio that gave in a new framework of relationship between the state and the citizens. There was also a new re-organizement into the labor and the political structures which saw a change in the provincial administration and economic reconstruction. This period was also marked as a period with which great foundations of social and political consensus was formulated. It was provided by tools such as creeping Americanization, diffusion of societal prosperity, and the end of challenged cultural dominance.
Equality and equity gradually paved its way into the Canadian societal modalities that provided an equal share of the state advantages between both the marginalized and the huge groups . Seldom therefore, the postwar culture was important and characterized by strong sense of internal tensions that contained elements of national conservatism and a broad reflection of diversity into its cultural , political and economic facets. It had a lot towards providing better structures for a more stable state of Canadian status.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 9 November 2016
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