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206 LETTERS IN CANADA 1980 given us tools to examine central aspects of the Metis leaders life which authors like Jordan and Tremaudin might well have found embarrassing. Doug Owram's study of Canadian expansionism in the West breaks the link which the late W.L. Morton had sought to establish between Riel and the tradition of western protest. Since history is always interpreted through the prism of our own time, the age of Islamic revolutions and ayatollahs has reminded us that rebels may as easily be reactionary as progressive. There were two sets of rebels in the West in 1870. One of them, with close links to Ontario and a weak presence on the spot, saw their goal as the creation of a fundamentally British nation extending from coast to coast. The other, with far more tenuous links to Quebec, sought to preserve their society largely as it was. The Manitoba Act of 1870 was very largely a triumph for the conservative solution and Riel expected to find his livelihood in the one trade left to a man who would not be a farmer, a lawyer, or a priest, that of professional politician. If he had fulfilled his ambition, he might have emerged as a durable, respected political figure or he might have shared the fate of his Manitoba contemporaries and been tarred by corruption, compromise, and failure. Instead, a single fatal decision denied him amnesty and a political career, drove him to exile, insanity, and the tragic mismanagement of 1885. To achieve respect for his shaky provisional government, he had authorized the killing of Thomas Scott. 'We must make Ottawa respect us,' Riel explained. It was not unlike the real reason the Macdonald government would condemn Riel himself to die in 1885: Canadian authority over the West could no longer be challenged by rebellion. Progress and expansion could not be halted again. It is both the challenge and the frustration of history that each generation writes its own version. The disinterring of de Tremaudin's book, complete with misprints and marginal errors, is a reminder of how far we have changed and of how the past continues to change. (DESMOND MORTON) Yvan Lamonde. La Philosophie et son enseignement au Quebec (1665-1920) Hurtubise HMH. 312. Until recently Canadian historiography has been primarily concerned with military, constitutional, political, economic, and social history with little attention to the intellectual aspects of culture. But a change has been occurring; and nowhere has the interest been greater than in Quebec. In the last twenty years offerment the philosophy formerly taught in Quebec has come to be treated as an ideology used to sustain a church-state nexus collaborating with 'foreign' economic powers to oppress the Quebecois nation. This view has become almost an article of faith amongst the new elites. Yvan Lamonde has written a copiously documented study of 'quand, par qui, pour qui, comment et pourquoi' certain doctrines were promulgated and inculcated. His first chapter, covering 1665-1759, deals with the teaching of philosophy in New France by the College des Jesuites de Quebec. The second, on the period 1770-1835, concerns the formation of the first colleges, the reorganization of the teaching of philosophy, and the first Quebecois 'manuel' by Jerome Demers. The third, the 'plaquetournante ' of his analysis, explains the evolution (1835-79) from a period of confusion, through the search for a 'Catholic' philosophy, to the circumstances of and reasons for the restoration of Thomism with the encyclical Aeterni patris. The last chapter takes us up to 1920, explains the way in which pedagogy in college philosophy was structured and made uniform, and outlines the social changes that justified the publication ofa second Quebecois 'manuel' by Stanislas-Alfred Lortie. What is significant is that Lamonde's account is detailed, circumstantial , based on extensive archival research, and, whenever possible, quantitative. We are provided with various charts, graphs, lists of teachers showing where they taught and were taught, and a substantial bibliography. This enables us to argue theories on a better factual basis than heretofore and for this we are in his debt. What is Lamonde's own theoretical framework? He takes as his general setting the importation of traditional...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 206-208
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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