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Free «Canadian History and Its Circumscription» Essay Sample

Stephen Dedalus in Episode 2 of "Ulysses" by James Joyce (1918) remarked, "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake." Are Canadians similarly circumscribed, in their political, cultural, or other choices, by the burden of Canadian history? Is change possible or desirable?

This citation is found in Stephen Dedalus’s dialogue with his school headmaster Mr. Deasy. For us to understand how it could be possibly applied to the case of Canadian history, one needs to have a look at the context, in which the phrase was used. Stephen is an unwilling teacher, and Deasy tries to place him in the role of a student. Yet Stephen moves out of this position using a few enigmatic assertions, including the one previously mentioned. In this case, Stephen’s understanding of historical past as a “nightmare” is an direct questioning of Deasy’s understanding of history as one going in the direction of a certain aim (the revelation of God), and not as something abstract and disconnected with the modern day. Stephen’s understanding of history has a number of connotations. Stephen views historical past, as well as Irish history specifically, as marked with aggression—Deasy’s ideas of history facilitate this aggression through taking out a number of individuals from history, in particular, those who have no faith in the God of Christianity. Stephen’s opinion likewise describes his understanding of the tensions involving history and art—Stephen sees historical past as a hopeless disorder and art as a method of symbolizing that disorder in an ordered design. As a final point, Stephen’s assertion is additionally a particularly individual one—his personal past is something he is attempting to triumph over. At the beginning of Ulysses, Dedalus is feeling especially desperate about the chance of rising over the complications of his parental input. From the above mentioned context it is possible to reconstruct the meaning of Dedalus’s claim in that by labelling history with a negative term “a nightmare”, it is meant that it is unfavorable in terms of the following points: 1)it is unorderly 2) it has one main negative feature all over its course (aggression, according to Dedalus) 3) it is challenged by its the previous two characteristics in its attempts to break through and rise above the previous heritage.



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It should be mentioned that the first feature from the listed above is not applicable to the suggested discussion within the framework of the pursued goals of this work. In this work, the discussed issue is whether the Canadian history can overcome a certain, possibly negative, feature peculiar to its historical past, and whether it can rise above the established historical setting in order to deal with modern-day challenges in such a way, that would be proper within the framework of contemporary reality. The discussion will focus on Canada’s economic identity, since it is the foundation for cultural identity.

The industrialization progression in Canada was postponed in comparison with the U.S. and Europe as a result of its colonial standing. The British authorities generally looked at Canada as an end user marketplace and a supplier of raw material and hardly ever motivated manufacturing processes in it (“Building a Liberal State”). This kind of Canadian under-growth likewise granted a market for the American merchandise, which possessed uncomplicated assess as a result of regional closeness and reduced transportation expenses. The United States always released finalized goods to Canada, which affected its industrial growth. To conquer this challenge, the Canadian authorities used various economic procedures in the late 19th century that pushed the American businesses to set up their manufacturing facilities in Canada.

The initial Canadian attempt, which persuaded the American businesses to establish their branch-plant companies, appeared to be the Canadian Patent Act of 1872 (“Are We American Yet?”). It proclaimed any patent useless if it was not utilized during two years of its Canadian registration. The Act offered American companies a motivation to set up their factories in Canada to ensure that the Canadians could not take advantage of these patent privileges.

The main push to the U.S. multinational corporations' progress originated from the Canadian high tariff guidelines. In 1878, Canada announced a high tariff on all imported goods to safeguard its slowly developing production establishments against the inflow of the US completed products (“Are We American Yet?”). This kind of high-tariff approach led to an influx of American branch plants as well as subsidiary firms, which gained an unhindered admittance to the Canadian marketplace along with its resources. The outcome was that Canada quickly evolved into a branch-plant market and the US businesses were prevailing in Canada's most vibrant manufacturing industries, whilst Canadian owners were restricted merely to sectors with less capital including, for example, textile production. Yet, Canada's high tariffs in its process of industrialization indicated a type of declaration of independence from America. At the same time, the approach turned into a situation of getting US capitalists to change the location of their manufacturing facilities to the north (Holtfrerich, 1989).

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In 1897, the Canadian government initiated an advantageous treatment plan for British goods. This motion likewise sped up the advancement of American businesses in Canada, which saw the chance that the British lawmakers could offer the same advantage to the Canadian goods. In order to have this advantageous entry to the British market segments, American companies set up its subsidiaries within Canada.

In the nineteenth century, Canada was taken over by the British international investment. However, in the twentieth century, the percentage of the British capital in Canada diminished whilst the portion of the American one enhanced. Following the World War I, the US investment in Canada improved swiftly and substituted the British (Fatemi, 1979). On the other hand, in the course of the 1930s along with 1940s, American multinational business pursuits slowed down because of Great Depression in addition to the Second World War. Certain multinational companies quit or sold out their international subsidiaries permanently. The transnational pursuits throughout this interval were also stunted because of foreign cartels, which disallowed businesses of one nationality to take part directly in a different state's marketplace (McCalla, 1990).

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The most widely recognized stages of US multinational development in Canada began at the conclusion of the World War II and carried on up to the end of the 1960s. The US MNCs in Canada obtained support as a result of Korean War in 1950s (“From Warfare to Welfare”). The serious lack of dollars compelled the Canadian authorities to promote US investment whilst the decreasing supply of important materials urged America to look in the direction of Canada. This contributed to a substantial influx of US investment capital in Canada (Wilkin, 1970). The advancement of American capital persisted to increase up to the late 1960s, despite the fact that in 1970s it experienced competition of international investment in Canada coming from other countries. The percentage of American international investment started to drop in Canada following this period.

As a result, American MNCs thought it challenging to contend with their competitors by transferring products to Canada. Additionally, the MNC's capital in Canada displays that it is not dispersed systematically throughout all manufacturing sectors (McCalla, 1990). It is particularly large in huge technological ventures and low in small-scale and non-technological projects. For this reason, all high profit industries of the country's economy were taken over by US MNCs, which resulted in nationalism amid the Canadian people (McCalla, 1990). The Canadian authorities reacted to this nationalism by setting up a variety of inspections to assess the functionality of these international MNCs. The data outlined that these types of MNCs were degrading the economic efficiency of Canada and intimidating its state sovereignty. To resist these issues, the reports suggested a number of steps to the administration, which were executed afterwards (McCalla, 1990).

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There is no questioning the idea that anti-Americanism has been a historical as well as core aspect of Canadian nationalism, one whose origins go back to the inflow of United Empire Loyalists soon after the US War of Independence, to the concern of army invasion following the American Civil War, and to the risk of US manifest destiny while settlement extended westward at the last part of the 19th century (“Are We American Yet?”). Overall, Canada has lived with just one particular neighbor, America. More distant neighbors across the Arctic Ocean do not perform a considerable function in Canada's governmental awareness nor in the development of the prominent versions of nationalism. Various other states became engaged mainly by means of greater, intercontinental issues and operations, equally hot as well as cold, inside which Canada was only one of multiple participants (“The Rights Revolution”). In this framework, and taking into account the irregular character of the American-Canadian interaction, it is expected that anti-Americanism appears to have been so essential to Canadian nationalism. America has been practically the only design against which citizens of Canada have analyzed their personal identity, the sole mirror whereby Canadians have evaluated their nation's value.

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If we follow a traditional perspective and look at nationalism as an ensemble of inside-group loyalties as well as outside-group hostilities, then it is not unexpected that Americans are the mere outside-group of any special importance for the majority of Canadians. Nor, having the access and impact of American businesses along with cultural industries, is it expected that anti-Americanism has demonstrated itself in practically all aspects of Canadian life. Considering the overpowering American position in the region, it could be asserted that any type of Canadian nationalism should provide a method of national identification and in so doing protection from the giant located southwards. It must likewise be mentioned, though, that the primary emphasis of anti-Americanism continues to be on the US presence in Canada, there is no proof or probability that Canadians can be singled out from other ethnicities in their disliking of America or Americans by themselves.

Anti-Americanism may likewise be associated with several other characteristics which have definitely played a role in defining Canadian nationalism. The ones who view Canada as a "caring community" and who prove this inference by mentioning the Canadian medical care system, equalization plans, and the practical unavailability of metropolitan ghettos hold American counterparts in view. Canada seems to be not so much a caring culture in the complete meaning of the word, as it is a degree more tending culture when compared with America. People who boast Canada's reports regarding order and law, who view their nation as the "peaceable kingdom," hold American equivalences in view as well.

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Canada together with Britain did not consistently have common interests as was outlined at the conclusion of the World War I (“Canada goes to War”), as Canada started to state its own international policy ambitions for the first time. It is incontestable that the willingness as well as patriotic eagerness with which Canada supported Imperial projects was a sign of nationwide loyalty. It may not be correct to understand this nationwide loyalty merely in the basic framework of the nation-state. Despite the fact that there seemed to be a developing political as well as economic foundation for national loyalties to Canada, this maybe continue to be insufficient to get over Canada's shortage of a natural national identity. Canadian national ambitions were restricted to interior self-governing and economic advancement. To be able to make up for the Canadian nationalism's parochialism as well as materialism , a lot of English Canadians searched for a cultural identity by means of loyalty to an Anglo-Saxon country. English Canadians could preserve such double loyalties, if they offered suitable remedies to various demands. Canada's dedication to imperial protection promoted imperial unity with no contradiction to Canada’s domestic pursuits. It was merely the awful losses of the World War I that put Canadian and imperial loyalties into a clear conflict (“Canada goes to War”). Starting from that point, it was going to be Canada First.

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Canada’s identity is evolving. In response to Dedalus’ words on awakening from the historic past, it should be said that Canada’s intrinsic and ongoing feature is that it has always struggled with differentiating itself from its rather big and active neighbor to the south (“Are We American Yet?”). Up to the last Great War Canada could be said to be broadly deemed as less American and more British (“Canada goes to War”). However, as time passed, Canada may be suggested to tend to be associated with the United States. While Canadians identify themselves by their lack of identity, they likewise identify themselves by what they are not—and what they are not is either American or British. This way of rising above the standard measures of identity as a nation with multiple identities, all resembling some other cultures, yet not a single specific (“Contact of cultures”), may a be a supportive tool to help Canada develop in the modern context of globalization and cultural open-mindedness. Canada does not need to overcome the current cultural setting, but to channel in to its best interests. Such a change is possible and desirable.


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