"A Means to Every End" Ideas of Union in Upper Canada, 1822-1842
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis explores debates over inter-colonial union in the Upper Canadian public sphere from 1822 to 1842. In doing so, it examines the emergence of a distinct settler society through its political culture and constitutional development. It argues that these debates, which remained generally consistent over time, reveal the intellectual framework of settler debate bound by emerging and contested understandings of Britishness. Using the concept of settler nationalism to combine two rich intellectual traditions in Canadian historiography – the study of British imperialism and studies of loyalism and liberalism – this thesis emphasizes the similarities between opponents and proponents of union. It investigates the development of Upper Canadian identity and political culture, exploring the emerging dual identity as British subject and Canadian settler. The evidence demonstrates that the political and intellectual foundations of Confederation are far deeper than the scholarly literature has suggested.