What Two Ethnic Groups Dominated The Culture That Would Form In Canada During The 1800s

Canada – Early British rule, 1763–91

  • Between 1979 and 1980, there was a Progressive Conservative administration in place.
  • In the years 1993–2006, the governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin were in power.
  • The legalization of marijuana, environmental protection, and the attack on a mosque in Quebec are all on the agenda.

Roman Catholics and Immigration in Nineteenth-Century America, The Nineteenth Century, Divining America: Religion in American History, TeacherServe, National Humanities Center

Roman Catholics and Immigration in Nineteenth-Century America
Julie ByrneDept. of Religion, Duke University©National Humanities Center

1905 Pamphlet provided courtesy of the Center for Migration Studies in New York City. It goes without saying that the story of Roman Catholicism in nineteenth-century America is also the story of immigration. Until around 1845, the Roman Catholic population of the United States consisted of a tiny minority of largely English Catholics who were often fairly well-off in terms of social standing. In the mid-1840s, however, a horrific potato famine in Ireland forced millions of Irish Catholics to move to the United States, and the face of Catholicism in the United States started to change dramatically and permanently.

  • Many people of different religions, including Jews, Protestants, and even some Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists, came in the United States during the successive waves of mass immigration that occurred between the 1840s and the 1920s.
  • In 1850, Catholics constituted barely 5% of the overall population of the United States.
  • The magnitude of the demographic and theological upheaval brought about by immigration will help your pupils comprehend why so many American residents were concerned about the so-called “Catholic hordes” when they first heard about them.
  • What caused the shift in events?
  • What was the reason for the country taking them?
  • An emerging “middle class” of clerks and bureaucrats was thriving in the cities, while thousands of peasants were being displaced from their land and labor due to the introduction of new agricultural practices.
  • The country was gaining international recognition for its democratic values and opportunities for employment.
  • Many sons and dads, and then entire families, left behind their old lives and goods and boarded packed ships bound for New York, where they eventually arrived.
  • Having a welcoming attitude toward immigrants was part of the American dream; after all, all of the country’s founding groups and many of its top individuals had been brought to the country as immigrants.

However, on a more practical level, America’s emerging industries and thriving frontier towns necessitated the use of vast amounts of low-wage labor. As a result, immigration was beneficial to both sides—at least on paper.

Guiding Student Discussion

Nevertheless, theoretical concepts may not necessarily correspond to the sentiments and experiences of actual individuals in real circumstances. Immigration was intended to be helpful to both the immigrant and the host country, but it has instead triggered a slew of concerns, uncertainties, and problems on both sides of the border. To begin, you could want to have your pupils discuss with you about the positive and bad FEELINGS that they might have had at the time, as both natives and immigrants would have had.

  1. Allow them to envision what it must have been like for people already living in America, who seen their cities transform in such a short period of time: suddenly, there was a Catholic church in every neighborhood.
  2. It’s possible that some of your pupils are Catholic themselves, and they may be astonished to learn of the religion’s prior poor rank among the “assimilated” religions they are familiar with.
  3. Others may be aware of immigration as a result of news stories or personal interactions with neighbors.
  4. Their understanding of the present may be aided by their knowledge of the past, and the reverse is also true.
  5. The immigrants clung to Catholicism for spiritual solace and a sense of belonging as a community.
  6. Both sides utilized Catholicism as a means of expressing their opposition to the other.
  7. What were the ways in which Protestant Americans used Catholicism as a “substitute” for Catholicism on immigration issues?
  8. “American Dreams” of abundant farms and easy money disappeared in the run-down, neglected areas of huge cities and perished as a result of long hours spent in low-paying, backbreaking jobs that were not well compensated for the effort.
  9. Because, more than any other group, it was the Catholic Church that made a deliberate effort to welcome the new Catholic immigrants.
  10. To be clear, the local Catholic church was more than simply a place of worship for the immigrants; it served as the focal point of a complete community and a full way of life for the immigrants.
  11. Although it should be stressed that there is far more continuity than difference between Catholic ritual and belief and Protestant Christianity, students should be aware of the aspects of Catholic ritual and religion that distinguish it from Protestant Christianity.

For generations, Catholic tradition had prevailed.

  1. They believed that the institutional Church, with its highly organized hierarchy headed by the pope in Rome, was the only source of spiritual nourishment, divine authority, and final salvation
  2. That the sacraments—religious rituals such as the Mass and confession—were the primary means of human contact with the divine
  3. And that the saints—who, like Mary, the mother of Jesus, were holy people held up as examples by the Church—could be called upon in prayer to “intercede” on their behalf with
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The reformers of the Protestant Reformation were adamant in their opposition to these emphases, focusing on the importance of

  1. The Bible, rather than sacraments, as the source of revelation from God
  2. Jesus himself as the sole essential intercessor with God the Father
  3. And a reduction in the amount of hierarchy in church structures.

For four centuries, Catholics and Protestants engaged in actual and rhetorical battles against one another on these and other topics, resulting in the hardening of their mutually hostile viewpoints. Especially in nineteenth-century America, where Bible-believing, evangelical Protestants were the overwhelming majority, the Catholic minority faith, with its complex ceremonies and statues of the saints, appeared to most people as unusual, if not downright wrong. These were of course natural and comfortable methods for Catholics to proclaim their trust in God.

  • Protestants, on the other hand, were considered weird and “wrong.” The religious beliefs of the immigrants were a source of significant concern for Protestants.
  • Some of them were scared by the prospect of America becoming a “Catholic” country; they were concerned that the Catholic faith, with its hierarchies and traditions, had rendered the immigrants unsuited for a democratic and individualistic society like the United States.
  • However, while the churches might make an effort to safeguard immigrants, they could do little to combat the discrimination that Catholic immigrants encountered on a daily basis in “mainstream” America.
  • The American Protective Association, a well-known national group, was created primarily to promote anti-Catholicism and other biases.
  • Partially no, and partially yes, to that question.
  • Many individuals from the higher classes were unconcerned about Catholics’ religious beliefs, and instead concluded that because the immigrants were poor, foreign, and different, they were also filthy, dangerous, and sluggish as a result.
  • Anti-Catholic prejudice, on the other hand, was based on religious beliefs.

However, no matter how much Catholics worked to demonstrate that they were respectable, upstanding, and patriotic citizens of the United States, some Protestants refused to accept them simply because they were Catholic.

Others may be more sympathetic to the Protestants’ religious convictions than they are to their own.

Given the societal stigma associated with being Catholic, students may understandably be perplexed as to why the vast majority of Catholics who immigrated to this nation choose to stay Catholic.

There are other more as well.

Another reason is that Catholicism was considered a “alternative” or “different” religion in America at the time, and some Catholics wore their “differentness” as a badge of honor or as a sign of identification in a foreign society at the time.

They had been Catholics in the Old World, therefore they had to be Catholics in the New World, and that was the end of it.

In fact, quotas for Catholic nations were set so low that Catholic immigration had almost completely ceased by 1924.

Historians Debate

In some ways, the Catholic immigrants of the nineteenth century faced as much conflictwithintheir churches as without.The debate raged between Church leaders about the best strategy to deal with the immigrants—”Americanize” them as quickly as possible, or encourage them to retain their own national language and faith customs as long as they could.The proponents of the first view, called “Americanists,” tended to be theological liberals and social progressives who were quite optimistic, in the spirit of the “Gilded Age,” about the compatibility between America and the Catholic religion.The advocates of the second view, considered “conservatives,” tended to be traditionalists who regarded America’s infatuation with the new technology, “materialism,” and social reform as a dangerous context for preserving the troubled immigrants’ faith.Often the immigrants themselves had their own opinions in the matter, but were caught between warring bishops.Over the long term,boththe Americanists and the conservatives “won”:the pope pronounced in favor of the conservatives in 1891, but as new generations were born, of course, Catholics became quite “Americanized” as aspects of the Old World devotional culture and theology were gradually left behind and shades of a new, more individualistic and democratic Catholicism appeared.Scholars of American Catholic history have universally considered immigration by far the most dynamic force in the nineteenth-century American Church, but they continue to debate the issue of “Americanization.”The magisterial histories of American Catholicism written successively by John Gilmary Shea, Peter Guilday, and John Tracy Ellis from the 1890s to the 1950s considered “Americanization” a good thing and countered popular perceptions of Catholics’ unfitness for America with numerous examples of American Catholic achievement.More recent histories by Jay Dolan and Patrick Carey (1990s) reconsider the merits of “Americanization” in light of contemporary discussions of “Catholic difference” and “multiculturalism.”Their worksuggests that traditional immigrant Catholicism contributed to changing thedefinitionof “America” from a nation of Anglo-Saxon Protestants to a culture of diversified regions and peoples.They also carefully distinguish between religious styles, political leanings, and social status associated with different ethnic groups within Catholicism;for example, the Irish Catholic political machines in New York were much different than German Catholic sodalities in the Midwest, though both kinds of groups grew out of the immigrant Catholic experience.Other historians have pointed out that concepts like “Americanization” and “assimilation” assume there was a coherent “American” population, when in fact immigration itself was overshadowed and interimplicated with the great social debates over slavery and, after the Civil War, the so-called “Negro problem”—issues whose very existence proves that a homogeneous “American” population could not be taken for granted (Jenny Franchot,Roads to Rome).Newly-ordained African-American priests New Orleans, Louisiana, 1934Library of CongressOther studies have taken up the history of African Americans who were themselves Catholics; this minority within a minority persevered with little attention from their Church throughout the period of European immigration (Stephen Ochs, Cyprian Davis). Some historians have found the “differences” between Catholics and Protestants in this period overplayed;both groups, for example, were implicated in a broad cultural concern to establish a “domestic” religion alongside church attendance that emphasized religious commodities in the home and family prayer (Colleen Mcdannell, Ann Taves).Still other historians have painted in great detail the complex social worlds of the immigrant neighborhoods, raising the question whether ordinary immigrant Catholics really noticed or cared about the “mainstream” Protestant world much at all (Robert Orsi).Julie Byrne is Assistant Professor of Religion at Duke University, specializing in American religious history (20th-century U.S. religion, Catholicism, race, gender, and theory). She is the author ofO God of Players: The Story of the Immaculata Mighty Macs(2003), a study of a Catholic girls’ college basketball team as “lived religion,” and is completing her next book,The Other Catholic Church, on independent Catholic traditions in the United States.Address comments or questions to Dr. Byrne through TeacherServe ” Comments and Questions.”TeacherServe Home PageNational Humanities Center Home Page Revised: November 2000nationalhumanitiescenter.org
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Is There a Deep Split between French and English Canada?

It is important to remember Canada’s purposeful and successful pursuit of unification as we consider another big and long-standing concern facing the country: the preservation and promotion of peaceful ties between French Canada and English Canada. In this context, “English” Canada refers to the whole people of the country, regardless of whether they are of British or other descent. Despite the fact that it is concentrated in Quebec and Ontario, the problem affects the entire country. English Canadians are a significant minority in Quebec, accounting for roughly 20 percent of the province’s 3.3 million residents.

  • Three out of every 10 Canadians are natural speakers of the French language.
  • Assimilation, on the other hand, was out of the question.
  • They proceeded to live as Frenchmen under the protection of the French flag.
  • Following the British capture of this French province in 1760, it took more than a quarter of a century before any significant English-speaking community established themselves on the territory of ancient Canada (Quebec and Ontario).
  • There was minimal assimilation, and what there was was primarily of English-speaking persons by the French, who dominated the situation.
  • The initiatives stoked deep racial tensions and only served to strengthen the resolve of the French to maintain their own national identity in America.
  • It was only the formation of colonial self-government on the basis of equality for French and English that put a halt to the movement.

Nationality Backgrounds

The British Isles are at 49.68 degrees (English 25.80, Scotch 12.20, Irish 11.02, Others.66) French:30.27 Various other Europeans:17.76 (German 4.04, Ukrainian 2.66, Scandinavian 2.13, Netherlands 1.85, Jewish 1.48, Polish 1.45, Italian.98, Russian.73, Hungarian.47, Others 1.97) Asiatic:64 1.65 for Indians, Eskimo, Negroes, and others

Occupations of Canadians over 14

Agriculture has a population of 1,083,816 people. 355,079 dollars in trade Logging and trapping are two of the most common occupations. 131,700 people participate in fishing. 31,392 people work in the finance industry. 338,031 clerical workers Mining 71,886 tons of stone were quarried. 734,424 hours of service 703,162 units were manufactured.

263,544 people work as laborers. 202,848 square feet of construction 11,413 is an unspecified number. 268 656 people use public transportation. On December 31, 1944, there were 4,195,951 people serving in the Armed Forces. The number of casualties up to May 31, 1945 was 102,954.

How deep is the division?

Canada resembles a double-yolked egg in many ways. French Canada and English Canada both serve as a sort of nation within a nation, as does the United States. The Dominion is a country that has both British and American citizenship. Double nationality is a concept that is strange to American ways of thinking, yet it must be acknowledged before one can begin to comprehend Canadian culture and society. There are just a handful nations in the world — and none in this hemisphere — where such perfect dualism may be found in such abundance.

  • Canada’s dual nationality is commemorated on every postal stamp and on every piece of paper currency produced by the Dominion government, which are both printed in both French and English to commemorate the country’s dual citizenship.
  • Every motion in Parliament must be submitted in both French and English, and members may deliver their speeches in either language.
  • Both languages are also official in the province of Quebec, but they are not in any other province, which is something that the French do not appreciate.
  • Furthermore, because the French Canadians are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, the distinction in nationality has endowed religion with unique liberties that are not common in our society.
  • They would have been forced to send their children to French Roman Catholic schools if they did not do so, a possibility that they did not find acceptable.
  • This was in order for the Roman Catholic minority in Canada West, which is now Ontario, to be afforded the same privilege as the majority.
  • In addition, a tax known as the tithe is used to fund the Roman Catholic Church in the province of Quebec.

With an amendment that exempts Protestants from having to pay tithes to the Roman Catholic church, the law that governs the imposition of this tax was carried over from the previous French rule.

Why the trouble over conscription?

Our generation has witnessed the most severe disagreement that has ever developed between English and French Canada, and it has been about conscription. It erupted during World War I, and it erupted again during World War II. Voluntary military duty is a long-standing practice in the United Kingdom. Even though Britain didn’t abandon it until 1916, in the midst of World War I, Canada was the only British dominion to do so. This was due to the fact that the Canadian army suffered more casualties in 1917 than the voluntary system could compensate for: For a variety of reasons, voluntary recruiting in French Canada had not kept pace with recruiting in English Canada.

  1. Almost every French Canadian had to trace their ancestors back nearly two centuries and a half in order to locate a relative who had lived on the other side of the Atlantic.
  2. It influenced their perception of the war as a British-led conflict in which Canada had no legitimate role to play.
  3. Their religious beliefs were also a hindrance due to two odd occurrences that occurred at the time, one in France and the other in Ottawa.
  4. Some of these exiles were able to seek asylum in Canada.
  5. As a result, when Germany invaded France in 1914, French Canada was inclined to see the invasion as a punishment of God on what they perceived to be a corrupt and irreligious country.
  6. This means a great deal to Canadians, but it means nothing to Americans, who are unlikely to have heard of the Orange Order.
  7. It made its way into Canada more than a century ago, and there it pounced with ferocity on the anti-Catholic and anti-French sentiments that have long characterized the province of Ontario.
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The opening chasm

English Canada was befuddled by the situation in French Canada and cried out for conscription in order to draft French Canadians as quickly as possible. After a general election was called, English Canada imposed its will on French Canada, in direct contradiction to the assurances given when the Dominion was formed that the English-speaking and Protestant majority would never use their language against them as a steam roller. The French Canadians were beaten to a pulp. They had terrifying visions of being crushed once more in the dark, uncertain future ahead of them.

They were facing the ultimate loss of the liberty that they cherished above all else: the freedom to be themselves.

A law granting the government nearly unlimited authority over people and property was passed by the Canadian Parliament in 1940 just as France was about to fall.

After that, compulsory military training was instituted, but the Prime Minister stated that he would not abandon the voluntary system for overseas service unless absolutely necessary.

French Canadians remained nervous, and their fears were awoken by English Canadians, who began to raise the old cry once more, causing the French Canadians to flee.

An election was held in the spring of 1942 to clear the air, and voters were asked if they agreed with the government’s decision to withdraw from the war.

As a result, there was increased tension, which the government was able to alleviate by convincing Parliament to legalize the draft for use in foreign countries while also promising not to use it unless absolutely necessary.

was not necessary until the autumn of 1944, when the Canadian army battering its way into Germany had suffered heavy casualties.

Meanwhile hot words flew back and forth between the two peoples of the country.

English-speaking Canadians attacked the government for coddling Quebec. But the dual nationality of Canada makes it a hard country to govern, particularly in wartime. FromEM 47: Canada: Our Oldest Good Neighbor(1946) (1946)

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