The Loyalist Myth and Tradition in Canada
This paper compares and contrasts the development of the Loyalist myth and tradition in Upper Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and briefly sketches some of the myth's long-term influence on Canada.
# 66668 | 1,806 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2006 |
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The paper first defines the words myth, tradition and legend. Resulting from the definitions, the writer states that the so-called myths surrounding the Loyalists should more correctly be labeled legend and tradition. The paper explains that when the Loyalist was extirpated from American soil for being un-American, the Loyalist, robbed of his identity, and forced to create a new one, insisted he was British. The writer explains the relationship between the Loyalist and Britain to be one of child to parent. The writer explains the development of the Loyalist legend, noting that the natural antipathy many Loyalists felt towards the Americans, mingled with feelings of superiority, always warred with the knowledge that America was, in fact, their true homeland. The writer posits that the delay in Canada attaining independence may also be traced to the Loyalist tradition because English Canadians always seemed nervous about cutting the ties between mother and child. The writer concludes that the Loyalist tradition, although muted, is still a force in Canadian life and that this can be seen in the fact that Canada still belongs to the British Commonwealth.
From the Paper:"A historical myth can have several definitions. A useful one is that it is "a means of self-identification, deriving its justification from an ideological reinterpretation of the historical past." Here the key word is self-identification. When he was extirpated from American soil for being un-American, the Loyalist, robbed of his identity, and forced to create a new one, insisted he was British. But since he was not British, he had to define for himself a special relationship with Britain; the only one available to him was that of child to parent. Hence so many Loyalist references to the "mother country," and so long an interval before Canada gained independence. Even today the titular head of Canada is also from the "mother country."
"Because events had made him a loser, the Loyalist desperately needed to turn his defeat into victory. He especially needed to do so in those areas-such as New Brunswick and Upper Canada-which he had founded, because no nation can be born out of defeat. He did so by emphasizing his loyalty: loyalty to Britain, to the British Constitution, and to the monarchy. In fact, loyalty came to function "as the founding and integrating myth of the new society." Loyalty, however, was never focused on Canada but always on Britain. Two manifestations of the focus, at least up to the 1960s, were a Canadian national anthem and a flag both of which were British. "
Cite this Comparison Essay:
The Loyalist Myth and Tradition in Canada (2006, June 18) Retrieved March 02, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/the-loyalist-myth-and-tradition-in-canada-66668/
"The Loyalist Myth and Tradition in Canada" 18 June 2006. Web. 02 March. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/the-loyalist-myth-and-tradition-in-canada-66668/>