Cadillac

History has been kind to Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, his fame and crest borne on the high-end cars built in the city he founded. It has no reason to be; Cadillac had no respect for history, faked his noble origins, and ensured that whatever scraps may be found about him before […]

From Lionel Groulx, The Birth of a Race

Of all the stations in the metro system, Lionel-Groulx is the most controversial. Named after the priest and historian, he dominated a strand of French Canadian intellectual culture from the 1920s to his death in 1967. To his admirers, including former students at Université de Montréal, André Laurandeau, a future editor of Le Devoir, and […]

From Place d’Armes, a Picture of Awful and Thrilling Beauty

On 25th April 1849, a group of Montrealers set out from Place d’Armes and burnt their country’s parliament to the ground. The army and police did little, despite warnings. Afterwards, among those arrested was the editor and owner of the Gazette. In 1849, the effects of the previous decade’s Rebellions were still vividly felt, and […]

On Peel, A Call for Annexation

Last week I looked at Louis-Joseph Papineau, the leader of the 1837 Lower Canada Rebellion who was exiled in France, largely at the behest of his fellow rebels, when the Rebellion failed. On his return to the newly re-named Province of Canada in 1845, he found a changed system of responsible government, which his former […]

Papineau – un canadien errant

And, I’m back! And with the pressing concern of the moment being keeping the T-1000 that is Mitt Romney out of the White House, I have been starting research on another Proteus, this time from Montebello, the politically fecund seigneurie on the banks of the Ottawa River. It was from Montebello that Henri Bourassa, the founder […]

Place des Arts and Social Reforms

The formula of political language doesn’t change: demonize one group, praise another, propose and justify a policy.  Political content, though, does change, and to find a way into to the political, social and economic concerns of Canadians in the 1960s, I’ve been looking at the newspapers of the day. They show an attitude and set […]