Canadian Nationalism In George Brown's Given Mcgee

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The journey McGee would take in British North America (and later Canada) was largely political and it was during this time that he advocated for the “new northern nationality”. His idea of what constituted the “new northern nationality” was largely focused on a few values that he strongly held. Namely, minority rights, immigration, and most importantly separate schools. Moreover, through literature from his days as a member of the Young Ireland Movement, McGee advocated for a type of Canadian nationalism based on the Irish culture. Therefore, once in Canada, McGee went on to the search for which political party closely advocated his values and mimicked his idea of “northern nationality.”
McGee would eventually side with George Brown’s
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Given the improvement of separate schools was at the top of McGee’s priority list, and given his alliance with the Reform Party was almost non-existent due to their lack of effort in improving separate schools, McGee decided his best course of action would be to align himself with the Liberal-Conservatives. According the George Brown, McGee’s separate school would more likely be supported by Liberal-Conservatives than the Reformers . In essence, “Liberal-Conservatives contained High Anglicans who wanted their own separate schools” and they also contained individuals who would do anything for power including giving into “French Canadians and Irish Catholics on the education issue.” The Liberal-Conservatives had a few values that coincided with McGee’s vision of Canadian nationality such as “support for railway expansion, limited separate schools, etc.” Although, they were greatly associated with the Orange Order which McGee still viewed as the “greatest threat to his vision of Canadian nationality”, but this was yet a risk he had to take in order to get his separate…show more content…
This was especially true with regards to a particular Irish nationalist group, The Fenians. The Fenians were a group of Irish Catholics from the United States with the hope of “liberating Ireland by invading Canada.” They wanted to bring forward the “rise of Irish revolutionary nationalism” which was based on the anger they felt from previous religious conflicts. Although, their plan did not give them the outcome they hoped for since by trying to invade Canada and break the British presence in North America, they “inadvertently contributed to the ‘rise of national feeling’ in Canada” which lead to the Canadian Confederation. In McGee’s eyes, Fenianism was an “irreligious, illegal, immoral, dangerous, conspiratorial, and counterproductive movement.” They were the reason that Irish Catholics had a bad name in Canada. For the Fenians, McGee was a traitor given he was once an Irish revolutionary republican advocate but in turn “betrayed Ireland for power and prestige in
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