Cecelia Morgan introduces her discussion in the paper by describing her findings that the previous history of dueling is often set aside from scholarly work. Whereas modern historical research shows that it is actually intertwined with societal change When I read the beginnings of the paper I automatically draw back to the six historical thinking concepts. The concept that she is describing as lacking in previous scholarly work is historical significance. In this case it was a matter of not exploring the duelling in a further degree to find the other contributing factors. I also found it easy to agree with the statement that said that duelling was not in the best interest of family men that were concerned with being around for the future of his household. It would not have made sense to take a risk that put your immediate family in a state of uncertainty if it resulted in death or maiming. It was different for single men without family connections who were fighting over the affections of a woman. The duels were also interconnected with masculine honour and protecting a woman’s reputation and were fought with the Clonmel code as guidelines. Bown shows in his article that the law in place was very lenient with duelling as long as it followed its code for fair play The guidelines didn’t always hold up in legal scenarios, as was the case with Captain Sutherland and his win over a struggle for a job position and his charge of murder. Another theme that emerges is the correlation between duelling and the defense of sexual reputation; a smeared reputation could cause a decrease in social status. But the duels were also manipulated to be a one sided gain by bending the rules of honour to the person’s advantage. The honourable result was gained by unhonourable methods of duelling instead of being an honest, humble event. It’s also interesting that social status played a role in what challenges were accepted. A man of higher social status didn’t always stoop to meet the wishes of a lower class individual. I find that reading this paper shows me how important duelling was to defining social classes and societal reputation in the past.
The chivaris were a great example of the beginning of what today would be called rally’s or demonstrations but with a twist. Collectively they were made of the same common people with the same ideals and a consensus on something that they considered wrong or immoral. They reinforce the fact that when united, people can accomplish more than any single person could on their own but sometimes to the detriment of other people. This was also a form of harassment that was also used as a form of punishment and a way to fine people for funds. The coercion by a large group of people almost seems a like a bit of cult mentality and it seemed to be a very frightening and unnecessary way of enforcing something. The evolution of the practice into support for political upheaval seemed transform its purpose into something that as a whole seemed more beneficial. Susannah Coolie herself was an immigrant from England and therefore had a bias that the practice that had been carried on for decades was “barbaric”. She saw it as a uncultured method of coercion and a way of making the victims feel inferior. She also concluded that these enforcements to conform to society were greatly biased on the individual’s ethnicity. In fact, her observations might have urged her to continue in her later work with racial equality.
The passage “Acts of Resistance” by Afua Cooper and the articles from the Ontario Archives on enslaved Africans in Upper Canada make for a great insight into sometimes forgotten history. The theme that reoccurs through Acts of Resistance is the observation by the author that the slaves did in fact resist against their maltreatment and that they didn’t just submit willingly. This made me think how related these people are to the Beothuk despite the different periods of time. It was assumed that both were okay with their situation and that they were doing nothing to change it. A very obvious example that that was not the case was Henry Louis. He was not content with his situation and tried to escape it by buying his own freedom. This really stood out how dire a situation can be when you actually have to attempt to purchase your safety and future. I think that little rebellions made by slaves that caused a stir within communities really forwarded thinking on equality. The more they resisted, the more apparent it would have become that being treated like that should not have been socially acceptable. If they had remained dormant in their roles they would not have made the issue apparent and would have not inspired change. Individuals like Chloe Cooley became a catalyst for change by acting out. It makes me think of how individuals over the course of history and how a single person can make a movement gain momentum. From racial equality and women’s rights, it seems like societies issues have always had prominent figures that have inspired change. Understanding that humans have the willpower to fight against what the think is wrong is what makes history as a whole so interesting.
Alexander Peterson Research Paper History 1120 November 2, 2016
Parts of historical thinking have been used in some form throughout the past and present to open different approaches to the way events are recorded. In order to understand history and be properly immersed “…we must concern ourselves not only with what people did, but also with what they thought they were doing”. The records that were gained from pre-confederation Canada were restrictive and from dominant figures in society that happened to be privileged, white men. Historical thinking enlists a checklist for evidence like ethical dimensions and primary sources so that information can be analyzed as thoroughly as possible. The problem with the system in the past was that not all of the fields of observation were applied and often resulted in a narrowed recollection of events that occurred. In depth cultural accounts of First Nations were excluded because they did not meet the directives of the white settlers. It is unavoidable to have bias attached to any record and it is important to have multiple views to create an accurate interpretation. In history the reader has to take biases into account from the point of view of those observed and also the historian’s point of view. Bias factors such as religious values, previous experience, and overall knowledge directly affect what people view as important in historical texts.
First Nations history is important because their culture is ingrained in everyday modern values and is part of the social structure that Canada was built on. The shortage of First Nations primary documents in our current education system often gives the impression that their culture was less relevant than the Europeans colonists. The roles and activities that the people took part in were passed down through their own society verbally and relied on the elder members for past knowledge. First Nations customs are often represented through a europeanized view in modern texts and don’t reflect the personalized accounts that were carried on through oral tradition. However there is an emerging trend of taking those oral histories from the elders of First Nations families and developing them into feasible reports. This visibly shows the breadth of knowledge that has been missing from our past in literature. The pre-confederation era in Canada marked the time for new explorations of native lands and its peoples by white settlers. Exploration entailed the European first hand accounts of witnessing food gathering, religion, marriage, rituals and social interaction that was alien to their Eastern culture. Those documents are what historians have based their research on and now they have begun to explore the gap in perspective that would have been filled by the more extensive person to person knowledge.
French settlers began to arrive in what is now known as Canada in the early 1500’s and promptly created an organized fur trade by the early 1600’s. Eneas MacDonnell arrived much later in 1807 to observe the Northwest peoples of Canada and their traditions over a period of a year. At first glance the journal is written with a prejudice that could only be described as racist. The author brands the people he is observing in a stereotypical fashion stating that “They are a set of complete beggars, and I really believe the greatest drunkards on earth”. His opinion is a generalization that wouldn’t have encompassed every native inhabitant at the time. The author’s point of view was sculpted to the time he lived in and his stance on their culture was valid to his understanding. The biases that accompanied his views were the result of his inexperience with the new land and the natives who lived there. The lack of depth in his account would have also stemmed from not being truly immersed in the daily life that they faced. A year’s time would have not allowed for Eneas to conceptualize the hardships and the reasoning behind their customs. To those reading the report years later however, it would have given the impression that every single indigenous man and woman had an addiction to alcohol. These stereotypes are remembered most when reading a document because of their ability to create a shock and awe effect on the reader. Readers with no previous knowledge of the subject are especially suggestible to the underlying message of racism in historical testimonies. Dr. Emma Leroque, a Metis professor from the University of Manitoba scrutinizes pre-confederation documents with the statement that “Europeans categorized themselves as the “civilized” and Indigenous peoples as the “savages,” the underlying assumption being that as savages, “Indians” were at the bottom of human development.” The theme of social inequality between races since that time period affects a white person’s perspective on Native culture and fosters racism. Derogatory views in pre-confederation Canada have kept large pieces of First Nations history out of mainstream education; this puts Natives at a disadvantage in modern society. The stereotypes affect their lives daily when competing in the the job market and creates hardships on an economic standpoint as a result. If the situation was reversed there would be an outcome in favour of the aboriginal people, giving them the respect and boost in social status in the workplace.
Barkerville, British Columbia was a mining settlement in the 1860’s that started around the Fraser river in the search for gold. The First Nations presence was seldom shown in local records but is still recognized by historians today. Mica Jorgensen observes that “the sources surveyed here indicate that Aboriginal people lived and worked at Barkerville during the gold rush.” First Nations occupants were almost only mentioned through the side accounts of the white citizens yet they were not shy and had an equal right to be heard. The roles that they took were workers in the sex trade, mail couriers, and packers within the community according to the tabloids. What the newspapers and documents didn’t record was the background lives of the First Nations in the town and surrounding area. Their migration patterns based on trade, work and culture remain a mystery that stays unconnected with the history of Barkerville. Partial evidence of their lives in Barkerville can be found with archaeological methods but the perspectives and inner workings of the men and women who lived there will remain unknown. Records that could have been taken would have made a complete picture of the past during that time period and also be used as a useful tool to trace family lineages today. The void in literature could have been filled if an effort had been made at the time by the white men to gather primary accounts from the Native people in Barkerville. The contributions that the First Nations gave to the economy of Barkerville were understated in the historical texts; the full extent of recognition can’t be given today when information is missing. They were the town’s backbone of transport for mining and hunting activities and were relied upon for the majority of the time that the gold rush had occurred in the area. Further studies in the First Nation’s background in Barkerville would show that the incorporation of Aboriginal society into Europeanized texts allows for a broader understanding of the complex social structure in the 1800’s.
The religious beliefs of the scholars did not help the comprehensiveness of historical work in pre-confederation times. Religious practices of the aboriginals were kept out of white texts with the exception of using them as an example to reinforce their practice. The missionary’s agenda of assimilation was not accepted by all and “posed a threat to the very survival of native American society”. The fixation of religious bias in the minds of historians was one of the contributing elements that resulted in the exclusion of First Nations culture in their texts. The missionaries viewed the native people as “savages” that required their guidance towards a righteous path of living and made their intentions clear that anything else led to damnation. Selective information is not an unexpected outcome when most, if not all of the First Nations recollections and opinions were “filtered through white interpreters, recorded by white secretaries, and ultimately arranged in the memoirs of white missionaries.” Understanding the underlying stereotypes towards the First Nations people in modern society could be linked towards the recycling of supremacist ideals from the colonial times in Canada. The clash of religions between the two populations made the integration of the settlers strained. Reduced interaction between the Natives and white settlements would have constricted the flow of information that was collected by the Jesuit scholars. European Christianity stood in such contrast to the First Nations spirituality in terms of inclusiveness to outsider ideals. Religious standards have affected historical method because the scholars would have been inclined to exclude pieces that blatantly contradicted their beliefs.
Understanding the pieces that are missing from historical documents is a process that involves looking deeper for the facts that are not represented in texts. Gaps in historical thinking methods like understanding the thought processes of a person and their values leave something to be desired in previous documents. Religious conduct played an important role the structure of colonial times, often to the detriment of the local people.The observations of modern day scholars are widening those historical boundaries by enlisting the use of historical method. A baseline in Canada’s history is the First Nations culture as a victim of negligence in pre-confederation historical work and studies provide a basis of what can be done better in the future.
Belshaw, John D.. Canadian History: Pre-Confederation. Vancouver, B.C., 2015.
Bradford, Tolly and Chelsea Horton. Mixed Blessings. University of British Columbia: UBC Press, 2016.
Canada History Project. http://www.canadahistoryproject.ca/1663/1663-05-fur-trade.html.
Canadian Heritage “Historical Thinking Concepts” The Historical Thinking Project. http://historicalthinking.ca/historical-thinking-concepts (accessed November 21, 2016).
Jorgensen, Mica. “Into That Country to Work.” BC Studies 1(185) (2015): 109-136.
LeRocque, Emma., “Colonization and Racism”, University of Manitoba, Unknown Publication date.
Ronda, James P.. “We are Well as We are.” The William and Mary Quarterly 34(1) (1977): 66-82.
Penny Light, Tracy, Brian S.R. Grimwood, Brett D. Lashua, Denise L. Levy, Jeff Rose, Annaliese A. Singh and Caitlin M. Mulcahy. Fostering Social Justice Through Qualitative Inquiry. Walnut Creek, California, U.S.A: Left Coast Press, Inc., 2015.
The Acadians were truly set aside as their own people. The move away from the identity of their home country France pronounced their individuality. Although they shared the same language and culture the Acadians stood as a new French population in Canada that was under British rule at the time. To me the Acadians stood out from the rest of New France when it came to interactions with the First Nations people that they encountered. They developed long term trade relations instead of gathering voyages and there were even records of intermarriage between the Acadians and Mi’Kmaw people. There also seemed to be an economic rivalry between New France and Acadia when it came to the attention of their home country France. It makes sense when two settlements with a common connection are fighting for a trade partnership with a sole country. It is notable that the agreement that made better economic sense was with a long term supply of furs from Acadia and not the boom-bust structure of New France fisheries. Their neutrality agreement with England kept the society out of conflict with the British forces until the expansion of France on the East coast became more noticeable. The British government no longer saw the Acadians as bystanders and acted by imprisoning them and ultimately deporting them. I think that the British government was fairly drastic when it came to dealing with the Acadian people, seeing as though they were almost a minority group in numbers. The overall message that was shown to me was that there can be resistance to a connection with an upper power and that a society can still thrive without that connection.
The Fille du Roi from the perspective of Adrienne Du Luc seem like the equivalent to today’s mail order brides. Promises of money and a dowry that would ensure that you “would have the future that was denied to you in your homeland.”. Many of the young girls went overseas as Fille du Rois despite the hard voyage and one way trip. But they wouldn’t have known the perils because of how it was advertised and glorified. You’d have to put yourself in their shoes and understand that they were girls coming from social situations where anything was better than what they were doing (often prostitution or something similar). The accompanied possessions given to them for their new life would have been more than they ever had owned before. They also didn’t have a say in their spouse and were given no time to do otherwise. I think that it made sense to the French government to force these marriages so that there was an effective way of ensuring population growth. They needed everyone to reproduce based on the infrequency of trips from the homeland. For me the Fille du Roi represent the importance that population and workforce had on a new colony and also the contrast in gender roles at the time.
The history of the Beothuk people makes for an interesting read with the many different aspects that led to their extinction. Holly Jr. and Donald H. start by stating that the conception of what you would call “cultural extinction” is usually off. It could be concluded that just because a culture went extinct doesn’t mean that the people lived in fear of demise and didn’t try to adapt. “Yet a careful reading of historical documents and the archaeological record suggests that the Beothuk were actively seeking a means of adaptation throughout the historic period.” This really enforces the idea that humans on a whole never truly give up in dire scenarios and tend to fight to the bitter end. The Beothuk may have known that they were were struggling but they continued to make ends meet until they were physically not able.This passage also acknowledges that the Beothuk were the first aboriginal group to make contact with the European explorers. The extinction of the Beothuk is expanded in Pastor’s journal “The Collapse of the Beothuk World” and draws to the part location played in their demise. “This island, despite its enormous size, has a simplified ecosystem characterized by a disproportionately small number of prey species relative to the large number of predators.” It is interesting to theorize how the series of events could have unfolded differently if the Beothuk had resided on the mainland instead of the island. It seems as though the Beothuk had nowhere to hide from unwanted contact with the Europeans and that their ability to travel or disperse would have aided their survival. The Beothuk also lived off of minority prey species on the island. A valid way they could have adapted would have been to turn to the prey rich ocean surrounding them. They were described as using the coastal seal populations and birds as a food source but were never recorded as fisherman in the ocean inlets. The Beothuk could’ve taken advantage of the small populations of Cod off the coast that weren’t being targeted by the Europeans. The ironic part is that they could have even used the equipment salvaged off of the European shipwrecks to aid with that new source of food. They also could’ve used that source as a way to strike a beneficial trade deal with the Europeans seeing as though that was their main industry off the coast of Newfoundland.
James Ronda makes a great compilation of evidence that shows the trials the First Nations people had with religious newcomers. He points out that the First Nations people were so confirmed in their own beliefs that Jesuit missionaries had a hard time converting them to Christian standards. The natives anticipated a neutral afterlife that didn’t consist of Heaven or Hell or the inclusion of sin in their everyday lives. They could conceptualize their own deity but had no reason or facts to renounce their religion and commit “cultural suicide” It is understandable even in the past for people to question new beliefs and new standards that are enforced on them. Another point that I found interesting was the fact that they realized that they had to die to enjoy the blessings of the conversion. The author also mentions that the native people’s began to see some sinister religious moves along political fronts that were used as intimidation- the threat of hell. To make the concept have more substance and palpability they created visual depictions of hell to enforce the gruesome image. This tactic reminds me of current day propaganda and how easily fear spreads among the population. I think that the same form of terror based political moves are in existence today, even though they may not be comparable in scale. The Hurons in particular were given as an example of people that used that method to their advantage in the scenario of the smallpox disease. They used that fear of the disease to work against the missionary’s goal of widespread baptism. I think that the Huron’s fear tactics were well founded and for a better cause than the religious goals. Any method of avoiding an observable disease would only help their wellbeing. The author really shows the record of events from a First Nations side of view and allows us to understand their reasoning in this time period to a greater extent.
This first passage of Belshaw’s “Canadian History: Pre-Confederation” really draws out the individual aspects of how we view history in general. The author highlighted the the fact that the history we study today has been been channeled through the minds of past historians. It points to why some aspects may have been ignored or highlighted based on the time period and what studies were deemed important. This would make it seem as though there were parts of history that weren’t as accurate as others but in reality all experiences that have been recorded are subjective. Belshaw also adds that there can be new historical evidence that can be found. Contrary to popular belief, historians have to have a fair background in sciences. The lead to new discoveries almost always comes from investigative techniques and the ability to dig deeper and widen the search. New findings could set a whole representation of a recorded event askew and open up many other angles to be interpreted. This makes you think about how people view major events and if a new perspective was given what the result would be. It makes us pose a question such as “If the indigenous peoples of Canada had been able to record their history through literature would the country have taken as long to try and correct the slights against them?” The author stresses the point that even though everything is becoming increasingly electronic there is still a time and place for physical records and the original artifacts that go along with them. The passage really gives an informational insight to the basics and inner workings of historians and their work.
How the roles and traditions of FN people were misrepresented through European text and history.
- Pros and cons of historical method
- What goes along with history taking- bias, ethnicity, previous experience
- Why FN history is important
Body 1- MacDonnell’s letter (improper record)
- How did MacDonnell record his experience?
- What was it’s purpose?
- What perspective and bias came along with his journal?
Body 2- Barkerville (explanation of how improper records affect knowledge)
- How did the records taken by Barkerville’s white inhabitants influence what we know today about that time period?
- What is the author’s overall impression of how the record was kept?
- Why is it so important today that we have a good understanding of those past events? (FN had a huge part in economics, social structure, workforce) (If records weren’t kept properly on population then we don’t know the full contribution and social interaction that occurred.) (Proper recognition can’t be given when information is missing)
- Conclude how FN history is misrepresented
- Summarize why it is important