Polarity, Patriotism, and Dissent in Great War Canada, 1914-1919

Polarity, Patriotism, and Dissent in Great War Canada, 1914-1919

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By Brock Millman
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2016
World Rights
336 Pages 12 Images
ISBN 9781442615380
Published Feb 2016
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ISBN 9781442647251
Published Feb 2016
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Compared to the idea that Canada was a nation forged in victory on Vimy Ridge, the reality of dissent and repression at home strikes a sour note. Through censorship, conscription, and internment, the government of Canada worked more ruthlessly than either Great Britain or the United States to suppress opposition to the war effort during the First World War.

Polarity, Patriotism, and Dissent in Great War Canada, 1914–1919 examines the basis for those repressive policies. Brock Millman, an expert on wartime dissent in both the United Kingdom and Canada, argues that Canadian policy was driven first and foremost by a fear that opposition to the war amongst French Canadians and immigrant communities would provoke social tensions – and possibly even a vigilante backlash from the war’s most fervent supporters in British Canada.

Highlighting the class and ethnic divisions which characterized public support for the war, Polarity, Patriotism, and Dissent in Great War Canada, 1914–1919 offers a broad and much-needed reexamination of Canadian government policy on the home front.

Brock Millman is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Western University.


Introduction: Trouble In Mariposa

Chapter 1. ‘They Exceed in Stringency Anything We Know Here’: State Orchestrated Repression in Great War Canada

Chapter 2. ‘Because They Are Totally and Exclusively Canadian’: A Clash of Canadians

Chapter 3. ‘A Cleavage in the Population of This Country Along Racial Lines’: French And New Canada

Chapter 4. ‘A Life and Death Struggle for Christian Civilization’: The Great British Canadian Crusade

Chapter 5. ‘Down with King Borden and His Boches. Long Live the Jails!’: Inter-Communal Riot as Social Control, 1916–1917. The Case of Quebec

Chapter 6. ‘We Cheerfully Accept The Burden Layed Upon Us’: Inter-Communal Riot as Social Control in British Canada, 1916–1917

Chapter 7. ‘The Politician Who Attempts to Wander About in No-Man’s Land Must Be Ruthlessly Destroyed’: The Election Of 1917

Chapter 8. ‘Absolute Masters Of All Authority’: Inter-Communal Violence, 1918

Chapter 9. 1919: The War at Home Continues When the Boys Came Home


Appendix A: Opinion And Punishment

Appendix B: ‘War Crimes’ in Canada During the First World War

Appendix C: Great War Timeline

‘Millman’s bold and provocative interpretation of wartime dissent offers a new perspective on a past that many Canadians continue to find embarrassing and shameful.’

Raymond B. Blake, Literary Review of Canada April 2016