Canadian history pre-confederation - Essay Example

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The Canadian confederation came into being after the London Conference of 1866 where the majority population of Canadian provinces had accepted the framework for uniting the British colonies of North America into a single, self governed unit. The Dominion of Canada formally came…
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Canadian history pre-confederation
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Download file to see previous pages All the different groups of people who resided in geographical region of Canada added in one way or the other to the culture and identity that we recognize today.
However, the popular version of history as it is taught to the masses often glosses over the contribution of and lifestyle followed by one set of people, that is, the slave groups who were also amongst the early settlers of the region. Canadian history, when it discusses the role of slavery and the slave trade within the region only highlights the fact that the government was amongst the first to hasten the demise of the abhorrent practice. The Canadian society as a whole has difficulty accepting the fact that slavery was actively practiced in New France and this fact has been documented as far back as 1629 with the arrival of the Kirke brothers and their young slave boy in Quebec2. The institution of slavery formed a significant part of Canadian society and hiding this fact is doing a disservice to the identity of the thousands of the African and Aboriginal men, women and children whose lives were impacted and molded by the practice.
Slavery was a part of life in New France as well as under the Lower Canada during British rule. Slaves were owned by people from various demographics including religious, military and political leaders and the merchant class3. Popular historical narrative tended to portray that the slave trade had only reached the region after the British had conquered the region in 1760, however in the book “Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage” historian Marcel Trudel provides extensive details of the people who lived as slaves before that time as well as the people who eagerly owned and ‘flaunted’ them. He states that “Slavery in Quebec was not some economic imperative, but rather a form of public extravagance which conferred ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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