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234 THE UNIVERSITY OF THE ERIC l\. \iVALKER been the past two worked over some ""The CanndirlnJ: TI,e Story oj (l Company $2.00. G. Wrong, REVIEWS make the ments 235 or press, or on And as Artemus once it's the number of as near to the presen t the Mackenzie first U"'~"HLLl"'F'>.J Professor S. did some years ago for the United 1783 and 1917. He written a vivid and COJ:np,reJlerlQe:a h11<:!rr't1""T of the land and At every turn 236 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO New. a writers on the to sink away of 1783. At REV1EWS 237 ment in. Canada proper and the Maritime Provinces, with the United States just beyond the undefended frontier as a standing and sometimes threatening republican alternative to self-government within the Empire; but from that point onward the lively interest and cohesion of the story seem to diminish. Perhaps it could not have been otherwise. From the point of view of the historian, especially of one who is avowedly writing a popular book, it is a misfortune that the crisis in the political life of the Dominion came so long ago. The political uni ty of Canada was achieved when our grandfathers were still young, and since then three generations of Canadjans have had to undertake the humdrum task of maintaining that unity and of filling in the framework provided by the Confederation's acquisition of the Hudson's Bay Company's territories and the northern Pacific slope. The absence of dramatic foreign affairs, at all events until 1914, as Professor Wrong frankly admits, make the annals of federal Canada a trifle dull; but, as he truly notes, there is real romance in "taming the wilderness ... and the passing from a dependent colony to a young nation in charge of a considerable portion of the surface of the earth." The comment is so just that a reviewer may be pardoned for regretting that the author did not allow an ampler canvas for this part of his panorama, the nearest to us in time and surely not the least significant. He might then have revealed this romance more clearly, and at the least, in a history of a people, he might have given a fuller and perhaps more hopeful account of Canadian literature in the 'two languages, and certainly of the distinctive school of Canadian painting. There is indeed an undercurrent of disillusionment running through the last few chapters, especially those on the decades since the conclusion of the Great War. Doubtless this reflects the Canadian recoil from the optimism of the early nineteen-hundreds, when the Dominion, in the confident expectation that it would in the not distant future be numbered among the mighty peoples of the earth, furnished its seven millions with three competing lines of railway from the Atlantic to. the Pacific. But it reflects also the state of mind of English-speaking folk in most parts of the world, and not least of those in Great Britain itself. Times.have changed; things are not what they once were, and the future is uncertain. One section of the Canadian people, however, seems to be 238 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY certain of itself. New France may have lacked the population which could alone have made the dream of a Bourbon North America come true, for then as now few Frenchmen could endure to leave "~a doulce pays de France." For all that, the French Canadians today number about thirty per cent of the Dominion's population, and enthusiasts among them foresee a time when they will dominate by sheer weight of numbers and racial solidarity. It may be so-stranger things have happened; but however far distant the day when the vigorous French-Canadian birth-rate may reverse the military decision of 1759, the present fact would seem to be that les Canadiens are more sharpJy divided from their neighbours of British and other stocks than are the Afrikanders from the British in South Africa. No doubt, like those two peoples, French and British Canadians have a growing fund of common fears and hopes and experiences, and to that extent can be regarded as one people; it may be cheerfully admitted that a Canadian can judge far better than anyone else how far the North Americanism that is common to both sections outweighs the forces that make for separation; nevertheless, the perusal of Professor Wrong's most welcome volume may prompt oversea readers to ask whether the sub-title should not have been "The Story of Two Peoples." PURITANISM AND LIBERTY* ERNEST BARKER This volume took its origin from an incursion of the philosophers (an admirable incursion, which brought home rich spoils) into the domain of the historians. In some lectures on "The Essentials of Democracy," delivered in 1929, Dr. A. D. Lindsay, the Master of Balliol College) Oxford, went to the Clarke Papers, and to the record which they contain of the Putney Debates of the New Model Army in October, 1647, for his starting point. Here, he said, "we happen to possess a first hand account ... of a memorable debate on the principles of democratic government." He analysed the principles *Puritanism and Liberty: Being tIle Army Debates (/6ยข7-9) from Clarke Manuscripts , with supplementary documents, selected and edited with an introduction by A. S. P. Woodhouse, Dent (London), 1938, 18s. net. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 234-238
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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