British History is Their History: Britain and the British Empire in the History Curriculum of Ontario, Canada and Victoria, Australia 1930-1975

Stephen J Jackson

Abstract


This article investigates the evolving conceptions of national identity in Canada and Australia through an analysis of officially sanctioned history textbooks in Ontario, Canada and Victoria, Australia. From the 1930s until the 1950s, Britain and the British Empire served a pivotal role in history textbooks and curricula in both territories. Textbooks generally held that British and imperial history were crucial to the Canadian and Australian national identity. Following the Second World War, textbooks in both Ontario and Victoria began to recognize Britain’s loss of power, and how this changed Australian and Canadian participation in the British Empire/Commonwealth. But rather than advocate for a complete withdrawal from engagement with Britain, authors emphasized the continuing importance of the example of the British Empire and Commonwealth to world affairs. In fact, participation in the Commonwealth was often described as of even more importance as the Dominions could take a more prominent place in imperial affairs. By the 1960s, however, textbook authors in Ontario and Victoria began to change their narratives, de-emphasizing the importance of the British Empire to the Canadian and Australian identity. Crucially, by the late 1960s the new narratives Ontarians and Victorians constructed claimed that the British Empire and national identity were no longer significantly linked. An investigation into these narratives of history will provide a unique window into officially acceptable views on imperialism before and during the era of decolonization.


Keywords


British Empire; Britishness; Canada; Australia; National Identity

Full Text:

PDF

References


Belich, J. (2009). Replenishing the earth: The settler revolution and the rise of the Angloworld. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Blake, L.J. (1973). Vision and realisation: A centenary history of state education in Victoria Volumes I-III. Melbourne: Government Printer.

Bridge, C., & Fedorowich, K. (2003). The British World: Diaspora, culture and identity. London: Frank Cass Publishers.

Buckner, P. (Ed.). (2008). Canada and the British Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Clark, P. (2007). The rise and fall of textbook publishing in English Canada. In Gerson, C., & Michon, J. (Eds.), History of the book in Canada, 1918-1980 Vol. III (pp. 226-232, 538-539). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Clark, P., & Knights W. (2013). «Fratricidal warfare»: English-Canadian textbook publishers take on the Americans, 1970-1980. History of Education, 42(5), 598-621.

Clausen, K. (2013). Ontario’s Plowden Report: British influence on Canadian education in the 1960s. History of Education, 42(2), 204-221.

Darwin, J. (1991). The end of the British Empire: The historical debate. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Darwin, J. (2009). The empire project: The rise and fall of the British world-system, 1830-1970. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Douglas, R. (2002). Liquidation of Empire: The decline of the British Empire. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Fresham, P. (Ed.) (1970). Rights and inequality in Australian education. Melbourne: F.W. Cheshire Pty. Ltd.

Gidney, R.D. (1999). From Hope to Harris: The reshaping of Ontario’s schools. Toronto: The University of Toronto Press.

Goldsworthy, D. (2002). Losing the blanket: Australia and the end of Britain’s empire. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

Hawkins, F. (1991). Critical years in immigration: Canada and Australia Compared. Montréal, McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Hopkins, A.G. (2008). Rethinking Decolonization. Past and Present, 200(1), 210-247.

Hyam, Ronald (2006). Britain’s declining empire: The road to decolonisation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Igartua, J (2006). The other Quiet Revolution: National identities in English Canada, 1945-1971. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Jackson, S. (2013). The crown of education: Constructing national identity in the classrooms of Ontario, Canada and Victoria, Australia (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Knowles, V. (2007). Strangers at our gates: Canadian immigration and immigration policy, 1540-2006. Toronto: Dundurn Press.

Llewellyn, K. (2006). Gendered Democracy: Women Teachers in Post-War Toronto. Historical Studies in Education/Revue d’histoire de l’éducation, 18(1), 1-25.

Mann, J. (2016). The search for a new national identity. New York: Peter Lang.

Munro, C., & Sheahan-Bright, R, eds. (2006). Paper empires: A history of the book in Australia 1946-2005. Queensland: University of Queensland Press.

Prakash, G. (1995). Orientalism Now. History and Theory, 34(3), 199-212.

Richardson, G. (2005). Nostalgia and National Identity: The History and Social Studies Curricula of Alberta and Ontario at the End of Empire. In Buckner, P. (2005), Canada and the end of empire (pp. 183-195). Toronto: UBC Press.

Said, E. (1978). Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books.

Shepard, T. (2006). The invention of decolonization: The Algerian War and the remaking of France. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

White, N. (1999). Decolonisation: The British experience since 1945. London: Longman.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14516/ete.161

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2017 Espacio, Tiempo y Educación

ISSN: 2340-7263

DOI prefix: 10.14516/ete

URL: www.espaciotiempoyeducacion.com

FahrenHouse: Salamanca, Spain

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)