The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s–1970s
1 Assimilation Policy in Canada, 1890s–1953
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Assimilation Policy in Canada, 1890s–1953
In the late nineteenth century Canada started to receive large waves of non-British migrants for the very first time in its history. These new settlers arrived in a country that very much saw itself as a British society. English-speaking Canadians considered themselves a core part of a worldwide British race. French-Canadians, however, were obviously excluded from this ethnic identity. The maintenance of the country as a white society was also an integral part of English-speaking Canada’s Britishness. Thus, the non-British migrants were required to assimilate into this English-speaking Canadian society without delay. But in the early 1950s the British identity of English-speaking Canada began to decline ever so slowly. The first steps towards the gradual breakdown of the White Canada policy also occurred at this time. This had a corresponding weakening effect on the assimilation policy adopted towards non-British migrants.
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