Nationalism is often stigmatized and misunderstood, especially when it comes to minority nationalism. Some people misguidedly associate all expressions of nationalism to national-socialism, tribalism, and racism.
On the contrary, the origins of modern nationalism in the 18th century point us to the humanist ideals of equality of men, freedom for all peoples, and peaceful relations among free States. Quebec nationalism emerged within the context of the American, French and Latin American revolutions, periods of history during which most European colonies in America gained their independence. Unlike the Thirteen British Colonies which fought to maintain the liberties they already enjoyed vis-a-vis England, Quebec, in 1775, was a conquered country. The people of Quebec had no liberties to preserve: they were all to be gained or regained. From this important period of time in human history, we have inherited a patriotism enlightened by the highest moral values and ethical principles.
In the context of a colonization by a foreign power, the nationalism of a conquered/colonized people can be and has often been supported by a progressive and popular liberation movement, inspired by the greatest and most universal ideals. Think of Daniel O'Connell in Ireland, Mahatma Gandhi in India or Louis-Joseph Papineau here in Québec. In the context of a territorial expansion or consolidation, the nationalism of a strong people can become and has too often been akin to imperialism, inspired by sentiments that shame all of humanity. Think of British and French imperialism and colonialism.
Quebec independentists see a very clear distinction between nationalism, today a universal phenomenon, and the exploitation of a people's patriotic sentiment by political rulers who wish to keep themselves in power or gain more of it. Between the self-hatred of the colonized and the chauvinism and hatred of others of the colonizer, there is a balance: self-respect. Self-respect leads to self-confidence and openness to others. When a conquered nation seeks its independence, it is trying to attain this balance.
Nationalism, when combined with despotic or oligarchic rule can be and has too often been disastrous for human beings, there is no denying this. That is why Québec nationalists, from the most conservative to the most progressive, have overwhelmingly rejected, and continue to reject, the use of violence as a means of attaining our national independence. Our most determined political adversaries cannot claim the same.
- History: Nationalism by Adam Metcalf, Oswego City School District's Regents Exam Prep Center
- History: Imperialism Thomas Caswell, Oswego City School District's Regents Exam Prep Center
- Nationalism, Internet Modern History Sourcebook
- The Nationalism Project, by Eric G.E. Zuelow and others
- Croatian Nationalism, by Ante Cuvalo, Croatian Studies.org (Excellent intro)
- Nationalism, in Google Directory
- Nationalism, through Google Scholar
- Bibliography of Quebec nationalism in Wikipedia
- Québec Nationalism and Canadian Federalism, by Michel Seymour, January 2001
- On Redefining the Nation, by Michel Seymour (PDF)
- Québec and Canada at the Crossroads: A Nation within a Nation, by Michel Seymour (PDF)
- Nation-States, National Minorities and The Draft Treaty, by Michel Seymour (PDF)
- History of Quebec nationalism by Claude Bélanger
- Quebec: a modern, pluralist, distinct society by Will Kymlicka
- The Evolving Parameters of Quebec Nationalism, François Rocher, 2002 (PDF)
- Is Quebec Nationalism Just? - Perspectives from Anglophone Canada, Joseph H. Carens, 1995
- Quebec Nationalism, through Google Scholar
- French-Canadian Nationalism, through Google Scholar
The avent of Canadian nationalism was delayed by various factors, one of them being the implantation of the stronger ideology of British Imperialism among the ruling class. Although the Westminster Statute gave the Dominion of Canada its independence in 1931, it is only after World War II that British Canadians began to identify as Canadians first and foremost.
- British Imperialism in Wikipedia
- United Empire Loyalists in Wikipedia
- Dominion Nationalism
- See also Indirect Rule
- Bibliography of Canadian nationalism
- I am English Canadian, by Charles Blattberg in Tolerance.ca
- Canadian Nationalism & anti-Americanism, United North America.org (1)
- Pierre Elliot Trudeau & the demise of liberal Canadian nationalism by Keith Jones, World Socialist Web Site
- The three nations of Canada may tear it apart, articles by students of the Carleton University School of Journalism
- Canadian Nationalism in a Nutshell, by Roland Barphe
- English Canadian Nationalism in a Nutshell, John FitzGerald
- Our Two Founding Lies, John FitzGerald
- Vimy battle marks birth of Canadian nationalism, Mary Nersessian, CTV.ca News
- English-Canadian Nationalism in Decline, by Sylvia Bashevkin
- Imagining Canadian nationalism, by Harsha Walia
- Pierre Elliott Trudeau: 1919-2000, by Ray Conlogue, October 10, 2000
- Canadian Nationalism, through Google Scholar
- English-Canadian Nationalism, through Google Scholar
- British-Canadian Nationalism, through Google Scholar
(1) Major propaganda piece, but still a good read. It would not be so bad if the author was not so ignorant of Quebec nationalism and indifferent to the human rights of Native Americans. No good answer could ever come out of a discussion where the majority of the interested parties were not invited.
- Read books on nationalism