Canada's Founding Debates

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Janet Ajzenstat, Paul Romney, Ian Gentles, William D. Gairdner
University of Toronto Press, Jun 21, 2017 - History - 502 pages
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Canada's Founding Debates is about Confederation—about the process that brought together six out of the seven territories of British North America in the years 1864-73 to form a country called Canada. It presents excerpts from the debates on Confederation in all of the colonial parliaments from Newfoundland to British Columbia and in the constituent assembly of the Red River Colony. The voices of the powerful and those of lesser note mingle in impassioned debate on the pros and cons of creating or joining the new country, and in defining its nature.

In short explanatory essays and provocative annotations, the editors sketch the historical context of the debates and draw out the significance of what was said. By organizing the debates thematically, they bring out the depth of the founders' concern for issues that are as vital today as they were then: the meaning of liberty, the merits of democracy, the best form of self-government, the tension between collective and individual rights, the rule of law, the requirements of political leadership, and, of course, the nature of Canadian nationality. Canada's Founding Debates offers a fresh and often surprising perspective on Canada's origins, history, and political character.

Previously published by Stoddart Publishing, 1999.

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The only collection on the subject I have found so far. Read full review

Contents

PART FOUR WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT THE NEW NATIONALITY
Minorities and Minority Rights
PART FIVE HOW TO MAKE A CONSTITUTION
Pro and
Appendixes
Afterword on Books
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Janet Ajzenstat is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at McMaster University.

Paul Romney has been writing on Canadian history for thirty years.

Ian Gentles is Professor of History at Glendon College, York University.

William D. Gairdner is an author and independent scholar interested in Canadian history and politics.

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