A Study of Disaffection in Upper Canada, 1812-5
John Rolph. Toronto: Printed by M. Reynolds, Cor. Office, Quebec: Imprime par Flavien Vallerand, Dionne, Pierre Bedard et ses fils. Quebec: Typ. Laflamme et Proulx, Talents alone, however, were not a sufficient base for human worthiness. Since individuals had no control over their allocation 1 6 humans sought a more reassuring and controllable connection over the consequences of perfecting human talents.
They focussed their sights on effort and education as the true measures of worthiness. Arguably they were allocated on a random base, something that favoured arbitrarily some individuals over others. This aspect of modernity had deep roots in Christianity which long regarded idleness as "la maftresse qui enseigne tous les vices".
The true character of merit, an observer noted, did not so much reside "in the performance but in the effort. Those who could not work as a result of illness or age were considered worthy of benevolence; but those who could work and chose not to were considered unworthy, idle and dangerous.
Early nineteenth century discussions of what constituted human worthiness in relation to charity distinguished early on between the worthy sick and the unworthy poor. And when men chose to beg they were described by the moral-minded as behaving like animals. Idle and wandering, beggars swarmed 1 7 - Nothing good could come from idleness.
It was the cause of all disorder according to Bishop Humbert. Pierre Hubert Humbert, Instructions chretiennes pour les jeunes gens: utiles a toutes sortes de personnes. Quebec: no publisher cited, , P.
La nature nous en fait un besoin; la societe un devoir: I'habitude peut en faire un plaisir. Tome I, No. Leading the thinking of the day, Holland proposed to finance the maintenance of the aged and sick poor through municipal levies and to force able-bodied men to work. Le Canadien and The Quebec Mercury conducted a dialogue of sorts on the Dutch proposals during the spring of In contrast, men who worked would meet their basic needs and those of their families and contribute to social tranquility and order.
Working played a socializing function because it coerced man into curtailing his most self-destructive and anti-social impulses in order to provide for his survival and that of his immediate family -something that he was duty-bound to do but could not be morally legislated into doing. As inheritors of the Enlightenment's civilizing development of the arts and the sciences, Canadians saw work as something more complex than a mere stabilizer of the passions. Work, for them, became the activity by which man improved his natural self, smoothed the roughness of his nature and built his experience into ever more sophisticated and complex identities and behaviours.
Working became a many-sided expression of self-interest because it enabled humans to perfect themselves, accumulate earthly rewards and produce useful outputs for which they could be esteemed. Moreover, the activity focussed the attention away from the motives for self-interested pursuits in commercial societies where having good intentions was not sufficient for perfectibility and growth. The appeal to the passions mediated by self-interest to induce farmers to work permeated the 2 1 - The Quebec Mercury.
The discussions on the Poor Laws in England were framed in much the same terms when it came to worthiness and unworthiness but differed on the method of financing preferring a centralized organization working in conjunction with Parish Vestries. James Struthers' book No Fault of Their Own, shows how much these categories of analysis were still being used in the first half of the Twentieth century.
Unemployment and the Canadian Welfare State Christian morality, be it Protestant or Catholic, did not accommodate idleness in any way. The medieval contemplative life never centred on idleness but rather on the active contemplation of God. For those concerned with such development, it was essential to look beyond the sort of subsistence economy that left men undifferentiated and without scope.
Farmers who cultivated for simple necessity lacked the foresight that came from a developed self-interest and, insofar as one commentator was concerned, worked only to meet immediate needs and showed no concern whatsoever for their future: " In his bilingual pamphlet on the cultivation of hemp, Charles Taylor emphasized increased yield per acre, easy tending and assured profits, all of which would appeal to a farmer's self-interest. Furthermore, these farsighted farmers contributed, even without intending to, to the growth of Canada and England while subsistence farmers did not.
Here was a clear instance in which pursuit of self-interest enhanced the public good. A Terrebonne notary, Francois-Hyacinthe Seguin, might also reflect that the best way to induce farmers to compete among themselves and ameliorate their agricultural practices was to publicly reward the winners with distinctive honours during the annual fair. Seguin was not alone in appealing to the passions of ordinary men. William F. Buchan in his Remarks on Emigration published in sought to entice potential migrants to the Eastern Townships by appealing to their mediated sense of pride and possession: " Quebec: John Neilson, Seguin thought it better to offer public honours rather than money as rewards.
He estimated that the status gained would last while the money would be quickly squandered on drink. Taylor, Buchan and Seguin called on the passions of farmers to energize them into altering their habits in ways that added to their wealth and perfectibility without their having to form any intent to profit the general good. They could be enticed into proper behaviours on the promise that in both the short and long term, their social status and their wealth would be increased as a result of their own private exertions which guaranteed that they merited what they acquired.
Work was necessary in order to lay a claim that things acquired were merited: it distinguished one's conduct from that of those who possessed things without personal effort. It was also something which, in a carefully planned commercial environment, made the individual productive year round; this gave a measure of control over leisure time when human minds and hands drifted towards a dangerous idleness. One commentator urged women to continue to manufacture hats because the activity kept them occupied all winter.
It is only by a full employment of time that poverty can be kept out of doors. Indolence has ever proved the mother of distress. In a visitor by the name of Diereville described the long colonial winters that imparted to the inhabitants habits of idleness. A commentary that he followed by a poem. L'oisivete leur plait, ils aiment le repos De mille soins facheux le Pays les delivre N'etant chargez d'aucun impots Ils ne travaillent que pour vivre. Ils prennent le temps comme il vient S'il est bon ils se rejouissent Et s'il est mauvais ils patissent Chacun comme il peut se maintient Sans ambition, sans envie lis attendent le fruit de leurs petits travaux Et I'aveugle fortune en les rendant egaux 24 regular, disciplined work, Etienne Parent told his audience, man's intelligence would go unused and his ability to develop the arts and the sciences and improve himself and his condition would go to waste.
Productive individuals and productive societies, however, could set their own course and gain control over their destiny. Indeed, work became an index of civilized behaviour since it contributed to personal and social growth; it also became an index of moral behaviour since it ensured the worthiness of the participants. The moral boundaries of Canadian modernity were made clear by Etienne Parent in his address when he clearly distinguished between the industrious and the idle.
Modern societies would be composed only of "des hommes progressifs ou retrogrades, des egoistes ou des. Individuals were not free to remain idle but Parent and others believed that they would choose to work once they had been made aware of the personal benefits they could reap if they perfected their talents. Work was an essential component of commercial society. Without it, individuals could not develop their talents and channel their energies into productive activities. This left them at the mercy of their own Les exempte de jalousie.
With work, however, individuals could call on their passions with a measure of certainty that the result would not lead to their decline; working at perfecting their talents, gave individuals a measure of personal control over their lives and ensured that the present and particularly the future could hold something secure entirely due to their own abilities and exertions. As a consequence, humans gained a measure of moral comfort about the social esteem and the material possessions they accumulated since they were the extension of willed behaviours instead of arbitrary circumstances.
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This type of arrangement liberated humans from thinking that only the 'lucky' - those born to riches and power -and therefore the unmeritorious had a place in society. The working of commercial societies brought with it a reflection on human worthiness grounded in natural talents and personal effort and undermined social ties dictated by time and arbitrary circumstances. Grounding social esteem in talents and work held much promise for those who wished to change the premises on which public recognition had been extended in the past.
While still possessing the potential to foster hierarchy - albeit on different grounds than noble birth - such grounding opened up avenues of worth to wide segments of the population. Anyone who could direct his or her impulses into constructive self-interested actions could become the subject of public recognition in ways that enhanced the individual's stature in the community.
Esteem and respect once automatically extended to seigneurs and appointed authorities could be now directed at and obtained by 'ordinary' individuals. The new Canadian age, in theory at least, extended to all those who worked and got educated the tools to access human worth. When two aboriginals tribes petitioned Lord Elgin for their lands, they made it clear that to be able to fully participate in "I'etat civilise", they should be given the chance to acquire an education and work the land, first as farm hands then as owners.
The petition was probably written by John Neilson on their behalf. Indeed, nothing prevented them from making a contribution to the development of the arts and the sciences and the growth and progress of civilization and, in the process, winning individual social status and monetary reward. As human beings, women were no less motivated than men by self-interest to delay the gratification of their passions so as to acquire greater satisfaction in the future. Enlightenment understanding of personality and the individual held the promise of equality between the sexes.
Women, like men, could calm their passions through work in ways that enabled them to perfect their talents and acquire reputation and monetary comfort in a deserving way. They were under the same kind of Christian injunction to work and needed an environment conducive to the perfection of their natural talents. Indeed, a correspondent of Le Canadien was alarmed when he witnessed women working in the fields, a type of activity that was, he thought, the natural domain of men.
A study of disaffection in Upper Canada in 1812-5
The practice was contrary to civilized habits and usually found " Buchan, Remarks on Emigration. A few years later, another observer questioned the appropriateness of a ordinance that called women to corvees in times of war. Le Spectateur. They extended to women the same categories of analysis they utilized for men.
However, the treatment differed in one important aspect. As long as they worked, men could be perfectible in as many areas of endeavours as human nature offered; but women's talents were named: beauty, dexterity and nurturing. By naming the talents of women, men placed them in the scheme of things in a way that limited their sphere of activity and arbitrarily determined for them the path they could follow and the avenues that could earn them merit. Here too the drive for knowledge had its source in a natural impulse common to all individuals.
Curiosity, according to a correspondent to The Quebec Mercury, was a universal passion that knew no bounds: Since then curiosity is a passion inherent in the human mind, in every situation from the gilded palace to the mud-walled cottage and operates with incessant activity upon every degree of human understanding, it is an object of great utility and importance in the right ordering of the mind, to direct the operation of so operative a quality to such object of enquiry as may be conducive to real improvement and lead us to the knowledge of mankind; 4 1 Thus understood, curiosity could be harnessed by education to direct the energy of the passions into perfecting the self in ways that accumulated experiences and knowledge and reduced contingent instances.
There was something special about an educated person, something that both adorned the self and gained the esteem of others without recourse to artificiality. Indeed, as Lucius pointed out in Le Canadien. Marta Danylewycz demonstrated that unmarried women - in this case Catholic nuns - found ways of developing their natural talents in supposedly non self-interested avenues other than marriage.
Within the institution of the convent, women became doctors, professional nurses, painters and educators while enjoying something like the rights of citizenship when they ran for office or elected their superiors. Marta Danylewycz, Taking the Veil. An Alternative to Marriage.
Motherhood and Spinsterhood in Quebec. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, By , Etienne Parent was distressed by the lack of openings available to women who wasted their intelligence, their talents and energies in "les occupations sedentaires et monotones de la domesticite.
But more than anything else, education enabled the individual to recognize his true self-interest and plan his future in a moderate and rational manner. In , William Lyon Mackenzie published his Catechism on Education, a short pamphlet in which, in the best scholarly fashion, he analyzed the benefits of widespread education.
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Longer life, greater wealth, increased respectability, and other earthly rewards came to those who could channel and control their appetites. Learning helped man uncover his self-interest by giving him greater insights into his personal character. It illuminated the best way to perfect those talents and qualities that were his exclusively: knowledge, argued a correspondent of The Canadian Magazine, gave " See also Quebecensis: " Years later, a correspondent of Lord Gosford wrote that whoever got an education forever acquired " York: Colonial Advocate Press, The pamphlet helps situate Mackenzie intellectually since most of the text is composed of footnotes quoting his sources.
They tell of a widely read man, well versed in the philosophical underpinnings of the issues of the day and owning much of his thought to what is currently known as the Scottish Enlightenment. Here Mackenzie shows himself the inheritor of Adam Smith in referring to a natural morality; temperance, as distinct from reason necessitating an act of will, worked naturally to calm the passions.
Education gave individuals an insight into their own personal make-up and that knowledge permitted the full exploitation of their talents and capacities as well as the assurance that their destiny, if well managed, could unfold predictably.
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In short, according to noted reformer Pierre Bedard, education enabled man to anticipate the future. Michel Bibaud's poem on ignorance warned of the uneducated man's tendency to view as sorcerers and magicians people who mesmerized him. Deceived, he too readily extended to them unfounded power: "II attribue a I'homme un pouvoir surhumain. Particularly vulnerable to deceivers, they tended to put their faith in charlatans and demagogues who were the most adept at deceiving them.
The same held true of women who, without education, would be prey to deceivers unless they learned to recognize their best interest in the relationships they developed.
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As one commentator put it: "When it comes to women, it is undeniable, that ignorance, and the thoughtlessness arising from ignorance are the sources of the greatest number of deviations from virtue and respectability. Ignorance leaves women a prey to the arts of the seducer. VII, Written in , the article was published in Epigrammes et Autres Pieces de Vers. Montreal: Ludger Duvernay, , P. Seducers, like all deceivers, were characterized by an unchecked desire for satisfaction and a propensity to corrupt others through deceit and manipulation and were at risk of becoming ruled by forces like fortune over which they had no control.
By coming to understand the passions, by refining the mind, the uneducated acquired the insights into human behaviours that enabled them to differentiate between those who sought immediate gratification through deceit and those who merited what they acquired. Contingency was prevented from affecting the lives of individuals in other areas as well. Education provided humans with an understanding of the causes of things and therefore undermined the practice of allowing chance to rule the important questions of life.
For instance, an ignorant people was unlikely to be able to tell the difference between a good and a bad government and would not have any rational reason for liking the one or disliking the other. Their attachment would be, according to an author, "always accidental. But education gave the people a clearer understanding of what constituted good or bad conduct in an administration along with a clearer knowledge of the imperatives that governed rulers. In more ways than one, then, mass education ensured that the process of rule unfolded free from contingencies.
Importantly, work and education levelled the inequality of conditions created by arbitrary circumstances. Now anyone could aspire to the greatest achievements in life. Indeed, pointed out William Lyon Mackenzie, many men born of poor parents had risen to untold heights and took their potential as far as it would go. Now 5 0 - Ibid. Etienne Parent was no less adamant in claiming that all humans had an equal right to earthly benefits.
In his words, all humans were born equal and "Chacun a un droit egal aux avantages de la societe et doit par consequent etre mis en position de pouvoir jouir de ces avantages. In contrast to European societies, North American democratic habits, a correspondent wrote, "n'admettent plus d'autres superiorites que celles des intelligences cultivees. Canadians became adamant about linking the esteem they extended in ways that were free of the irrationality and arbitrariness of European systems.
Contrasting their sense of worthiness with the habits of Europe contributed to giving Canadians an identity that was distinct and 'American'. In a system that accepted that humans were motivated by their passions and their self-interest, delayed gratification replaced denial as the expression of virtue. Indeed, modern Canadians differentiated between those who sought the selfish and immediate satisfaction of their pleasures and those who acted according to an enlightened self-interest. They marshalled the language of contingency that had characterized all those who sought their self-interest and reserved it for those who had not learned the moderation necessary to function as civilized beings.
In doing so, they opened up the avenues of worth and growth to individuals who had been previously excluded from participating in a sociability reserved for 5 3 - Mackenzie cited the names of Haydn, Castalio, I'Abbe Hautefeuille, John Prideaux, Sir Edmund Saunders, Linnaeus, Ben Johnson, Moliere and countless other renown figures whose parents were of low birth. Catechism on Education. According to The Quebec Mercury, without education a man could not rise higher than a manual labourer "while a man of education may, if he is ambitious aspire to govern empires.
Dependent as we are upon each other for the real enjoyment of intellectual and social life, such distinctions in respectable society would be as misplaced as injurious. I, No. By the same token, they underscored that merit - as they understood it - was a standard of allocation of earthly benefits that minimized contingencies.
The process of transformation from a 'natural' and instinctual self to one that was modern and refined took many years to accomplish and owed nothing to sudden and unexplainable causes. Indeed, self-love took a lifetime to learn. The whole thing started in infancy and spread over one's entire life, according to a commentator who linked the learning of self-love to one of maturing: "A trois ans, on aime sa mere; a six, son pere; a dix, les fetes; a seize I'ajustement; a vingt, son amante; a vingt-cinq, sa femme; a quarante, ses enfans; a soixante ans, on s'aime soi-meme.
It required the interplay of experience and knowledge in ways that added slowly but surely to the complexity of the self. Success depended "not on sudden impetuous efforts but on slow, regular and persevering industry. Young men were particularly dangerous in this regard. Immature and unschooled in what constituted real self-interest, they would act imprudently and without the maturity required to detect the solid from the glitter. Blinded by their impetuosity and lack of tempered self-knowledge they were "apt to catch at the brilliant and enticing bait of pleasure, to indulge in gratifications which, surrounded by the charm of novelty, promise nothing but happiness.
According to one commentator, this had happened when young assemblymen had acted hastily and forced Governor Craig into taking drastic measures in The country was now in "un etat de crise" because young men "qui sans autre but que leur ardeur dont ils 5 7 - Magazin du Bas-Canada. I, Tome 1, Janvier , P. The individual control of one's destiny and the destiny of society was fragile. Properly paced, change benefitted mankind; but improperly managed, change could alter individuals and circumstances in ways that became uncontrollable.
This certainly was to be kept in mind when only a few among the uneducated received schooling. The result could certainly disturb the orderly development of an individual who could find himself "elevated above his former associates This did not constitute a problem provided that the rate of change neither overtook the individual's capacity to adapt to the changes nor altered his circumstances to such an extent as to create desires and wants that were inconsistent with his capacities and his sociability.
The alteration, however, was real. From having been instinctual, gullible and routine-bound, the modern individual came to control his emotions, see through deceivers and take on projects that challenged his capacities in ways that distanced him from his original nature. Education was mainly responsible for the alteration according to one observer who argued that the benefit of education gave additional spring to agriculture, husbandry and commerce [and] polishe[d] the fine qualities of the human heart; it is a soother of his sorrows and his most precious jewel.
Ignorance being the source of every vice and cruelty, the savage knows no pleasure but in the calls of nature. He would leave behind the unchallenging - Le Vrai Canadien. In this kind of intellectual environment, an attachment to old ways revealed that an uneducated mind and the practices of a subsistence economy were counterproductive and served no one's interests. With a little education, farmers were likely to accept new medical procedures for themselves and their children.
This became evident during cholera epidemics that raised the necessity of having children vaccinated. Without a modicum of education, it was thought, farmers would continue to refuse the procedure. What may have been perfectly 6 3 - Parent, "Du travail chez I'homme", P. II, No. X, April , P. Terrebonne notary Seguin reflected that the practice of not seeding on Fridays was widespread even if no one could explain its origin. In his poem Contre I'lgnorance. Michel Bibaud wrote that ignorance prevented men from seeking proper medical care.
Believing that illnesses were sent by God and could not be fought off, ignorant men shied from doctors and their remedies. Michel Bibaud, Epitres et Satires. Yves Marie Berce looked at the reaction of common folks to vaccination campaigns and found similarities in all the countries - France, Italy, England and Spain -studied. As a rule, country folks believed that smallpox came and went like the seasons and accepted it as a fact of life.
They were not predisposed to listen to doctors who spoke an incomprehensible medical language. This was perceived as a sort of scientific dogmatism to which they were not privy and that suggested giving the disease to a healthy child who might never catch it in the first place. Unexposed to the notion of perfectibility and progress, they regarded the doctors intent on displacing their own remedies as interlopers. Doctors, for their part, regarded their obduracy as evidence of ignorance and superstition. Doctors and their followers believed in the unquestionable supremacy of their cause.
Messire de Courval attested to this when relating that the smallpox vaccine tested on criminals bound for the gallows had yielded successful results. This, he said, showed that " Croyances populaires 36 rational behaviour in view of what constituted order in the past was now considered the unwelcome lingering of pre-civilized manners. Education contributed to the alteration by substituting new scientific facts for old superstitious beliefs and by making work productive and enjoyable: the end result was the emergence of a different type of individual: civilized, proficient in the intricacies of the written word, shaped by new medicines and new agricultural practices and able to shape the world around him.
Modernity altered more than the farming and the medical practices of the educated and industrious; it altered the kind of sociability and ties that had been the norm in the past. Indeed, farmers were expected to let go of their associations with country healers and develop a trusting relationship with scientifically-trained doctors on the strength of knowing the scientific fact that the cure of the later outperformed the cure of the former.
Educated and industrious individuals were expected to widen "le cercle de leurs connaissan-ces. Perfecting and working within more specialized boundaries changed the nature of the self and of the ties that bound individuals to each other. William Buchan made this clear in his instructions to emigrants. At the beginning they would be expected to " As, however, numbers increase, the joint employment will cease and each [would confine] himself to his proper occupation. With the emergence of the division of labour, self-interested strangers became dependent on one another by virtue of the services and products their individual skills allowed them to provide and not by virtue of ancestral bonds and localized kinship ties that characterized societies of subsistence.
The modern individual would cease to share with his neighbours a likeness that had made one farmer indistinguishable from another in the past. Just the opposite, he would develop specialized skills in tune with his talents and his efforts that would et medecine preventive Paris: Presses de la Renaissance, Particularly Part 2, P. This did not mean that the individual began a life of independent solitude. To the contrary, the individual became tied to others - strangers - who needed his services and products as much as he needed theirs.
Hidden interdependencies based on perfected talents and self-interested pursuits would develop among individuals who needed each others' uniqueness. Modernity altered the nature of the ties as much as it altered the self and, in some cases, the alteration produced levels of sophistication and ambivalence that had to be reckoned with.
When, in , a group of doctors thanked Francois Blanchet, a doctor and a Member of the Legislature, for his exertions on behalf of the medical community they noted their disagreement with his political principles but publicly praised his contributions to the profession. The doctors' assessment took into account that Blanchet's skills and exertions as a doctor contributed to the public good and were worthy of praise; they could not, however, see the public good emanating. Conversely, others may have thought Blanchet's medical practice shabby while agreeing with his political stance and Blanchet himself might have interpreted all this differently.
Blanchet was far from being an enigma but he certainly gave pause to those who may have wished to sing his praises unconditionally. The modern self had lost its singular identity and acquired a multiplicity of defining characteristics. It had become complex and diverse; its projected images, its appearance to others and the judgments they passed were relative to their own perspective on things. The moderns had to learn to live with the degree of uncertainty that an acquaintance with enhanced talents and diversified activities produced.
They had to incorporate into the way they thought about themselves and others a measure of ambivalence that made the extension of esteem and rewards open to doubt.
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Clearly they needed something that could distribute esteem and other rewards on an impartial basis and anchor the circumstances in which individuals could expect to receive merited accolades in the future. For that purpose they turned to institutions. An observer remarked on the uncertainty of the future in this regard when he noted that: "Les talents sont innes, I'education les developpe, les circonstances les mettent en jeu ou les rendent inutiles.
Elle vous peindra toujours comme une puissance superieure Hughes Heney a Jacques Viger, 18 Juin Men were responsible for their intent and for generating actions but the consequences of these actions remained in the hands of fortune. As a result, they could not control the circumstances in which rewards would be extended. Raphael and A. Macfie, Indianapolis: LibertyClassics. Johnson notes that Upper-Canadian doctors were also involved in politics. The statement holds true for Lower Canada as well. Johnson, Becoming Prominent. Regional Leadership in Upper Canada He was a specialist in chemistry whose work demonstrated the causes and consequences of chemical imbalances in the body.
Francois Blanchet, Recherches sur la medecine ou ['application de la chimie a la medecine. Scientific dispensers of health did not provide surplus goods and fashionable trinkets but extended life according to proven scientific facts that contained empirically verifiable truths. No matter how passionately they pursued their self-interest, the consequence of their actions catered to society's essential needs. Hospitals that were run by professionals and that dispensed scientific care, according to one author, would ensure that doctors, motivated by self-interest, could excel in their crafts for the benefit of all since the structure itself would guarantee it: En effet, pour s'assurer que le Medecin s'attache d'une maniere infatiguable a I'avancement de son art, il est seulement necessaire que son credit s'y trouve interesse.
Ce puissant mobile qui a conduit aux plus haut faits, et qui est le premier moteur de toutes les actions des hommes, est cause que I'homme dans quelqu'etat qu'il soit, eprouve toujours le besoin meme de redoubler d'efforts pour acquerir les connaissances qui lui manquent, et de perfectionner celles qu'ils possede.
A country's stature came from its ability to produce and maintain a growing population of productive citizens; conversely a shrinking population signalled a nation's decline. Efforts to convince the 'lower ranks' to get vaccinated against smallpox were inspired by the idea. For instance, on January 16, Le Canadien published a letter urging the clergy to convince their parishioners to get vaccinated because the procedure was " Lord Clive, for instance, returning from Madras where he had accumulated glory and riches, found himself unable to enjoy his relationships, his family and his fortune because of his poor health.
Concluding that "Je ne suis done heureux en rien" he shot himself. Magazin du Bas Canada. Tome 2, No. Furthermore, the emergence of the specialized self created other specialized identities, since scientifically-run hospitals would treat the sick instead of harbouring the poor. The care of the 'worthy poor' then passed into the hands of specialized benevolent associations.
It did not matter that self-interest was the source of movement towards the public good: once an apparatus that ensured that the process worked independently of their intentions had been built, that process could simply continue. Individuals were thus left with the satisfaction of being able to claim that a public good resulted from their actions and gloss over their own selfish intent.
The rise of those institutions showed that it need no longer matter that individual undertaking was motivated by self-interest because the outcome of that undertaking was guaranteed, by virtue of the impartial institutions wilfully created, to augment, without fail, the wealth and the well-being of society as it was then understood. The institutional outcome gave private, personal action a public dimension. Nineteenth century Canadians still spoke and wrote of the corrupted self created by the unchecked passions, and the more they insisted on the development of natural talents the more they condemned those who indulged their need for money, status, rank and power in a purely private way.
Doctors had a generic term to describe the corrupted and corrupting: 'charlatans'. When they talked of charlatans, they reverted to biblical language and used a terminology that for centuries had been directed at infidels, unbelievers and barbarians. The civic tradition had adopted this language to describe those who sought their self-interest 7 9 - Professional distributers of benevolence acquired a particular social status that was once reserved for kings and clergy.
Women's benevolent associations, the Protestant Church, doctors, influential citizens and political figures rallied to provide British immigrants with the care they needed. Not to be outdone, societies of self-interest reoriented its scope to indicate those who, in their estimation, made money and status the immediate goal of their self-interest in the multitude of avenues opened to them. The accusation of charlatanism appeared like a litany in the writings of Canadians, particularly those who were scientifically-minded.
Unconcerned that many of those he denounced for practicing "unscientific" medicine were in fact born in Canada, L'Ami du Peuple described charlatans as a foreign-bred force: Vraiment mon humanite souffre en considerant cette race vagabonde; Men ne s'oppose a sa propagation, elle se perpetue dans le sang meme de ceux qu'elle immole; elle exerce sans management ses mains meurtrieres sur nos Canadiens, elle s'en rit, elle s'en moque d'elle; elle ne trouve aucun obstacle pour arreter ses progres.
Tous les ans il arrive dans notre Province quelqu'uns de ces etres merveilleux qui viennent s'etablir; il en vient de toutes les nations. Ou sont leurs licences, leurs sciences, lis I'ignorent eux-memes; cependant aussitot arrives, les voila docteurs. It was unstoppable and struck at random and with impunity. Like Fortune, charlatans laughed at order - where were their degrees, their permits, the proof of their scientific knowledge - and displaced those who were qualified to dispense medical care. Their remedies were panaceas that cured by chance 8 2 and gave them an ill-merited reputation which they manipulated with " Using illusion and deception, they went about acquiring riches and status in exchange for fallacies and pipe dreams that were detrimental to the very people that held them 8 1 - Le Canadien.
The author went on to say that charlatans resembled magicians: their remedies were cure-alls, they mesmerized the population by their tricks and they created impressive displays out of nothing. The same thought was expressed in Le Canadien. Attempting to portray the injustice in the situation, The Quebec Mercury told the following story. A quack and a physician of learning who did not have " The answer is simple enough: only one of a hundred people passed on the street has common sense.
That one", says the quack, "comes to you and I take care to get the other ninety-nine. According to those who commented on their activities, the quest of charlatans differed markedly from the quest of scientifically-trained doctors. Their self-interested pursuit gratified the lust for earthly rewards without the cleansing mediation of work and education, without any requirement that they perfect their natural selves and without the institutional structures that led to the public good.
When the medical journalist Archibald Hall built his case for the regulation of the profession, he proposed a scientific curriculum that would rid the profession of " The denunciation of charlatans lasted until doctors acquired the right to regulate their profession, to determine the type of education required to practice, and the ability to define the proper conduct of their members.
In his Address to Victoria College, John Rolph was still condemning medical practices based on magic and superstition. In his study of the medical profession in Quebec, Jacques Bernier quotes similar condemnations in Les charlatans " However, unlike barbarians and unbelievers, they were not to be repulsed by force of arms or burned at the stake; in societies of self-interest, they were simply legislated out of existence. Nonetheless, they remained free, as individuals, to adopt behaviours and habits that would bring them merited rewards and make them worthy in the eyes of society.
Throughout the century, Canadian physicians remained aware of the argument, so widely held up to this time, that a seeking after earthly possessions was inevitably accompanied by corruption and downfall. Consequently, they insisted that offices, emoluments and the monetary rewards that came with them be awarded on merit. They aimed their weapons in two directions simultaneously: charlatans and appointed doctors. On the surface, these two may not have had much in common but they shared an important characteristic: both were creations of arbitrary circumstances.
The former acquired money and esteem by artifice and the deluding of others; the latter emerged from "the lottery of birth" to acquire unearned wealth and social standing. Neither merited the possessions he received and neither was worthy of esteem from the individuals who recognized the kind of deception that was being played out. Appointed doctors brought to their positions no other qualifications than birth and fortune, conditions rarely associated with talents.
Casting aspersions on those who owed their position to arbitrary circumstances rather than merit became a common way of underscoring the emerging problem of disorder Addressed to the Inhabitants of British America. Montreal: Nahum Mower, Ridding the profession of caprice, whim and arbitrariness meant ridding it of those who came to it with no real worth.
Replacing them with scientifically-trained men of merit would permit things to follow their natural course. As Le Canadien pointed out: "Le temps n'est pas eloigne ou les hommes et les choses prendront leur place naturelle; les charlatans seront mis de cote, les ignorants seront dans leurs bancs, et les hommes de merite seront employes et payes.
Moreover, being employed and paid by institutions made their earthly rewards less artificially acquired. Emphasis on natural talents and merit also strengthened the argument of reformers as they sought to make public structures conform to principles of order rather than incorporating more contingent aspects. If this was done, the future circumstances of the doctors and the health of the community would escape all arbitrary and contingent interferences.
It would further ensure that the doctors could pursue their self-interest without having to fear the consequences of their actions since they could rely on free-standing institutions to channel private exertions into useful public benefits. While they could conceive of an orderly development to self-interested pursuits, the doctors continued to apply selectively the well-known motifs and expressions associated with contingency in ways that helped them both delineate the boundaries between order and chaos and facilitate a changeover from an old to a new manner of understanding and distributing medical care and earthly rewards.
The same sentiments were echoed in The Resolutions of the Quebec Medical Society published the same year. The Quebec Medical Journal. Hall, Letters on Medical Education. Letter III, P. A rational engagement was possible if those involved conducted their pursuit in a self-interested manner, something that altered significantly the notions of morality that came into play. The discussions on drink and prostitution showed just how these could conflict.
From an otherworldly point of view indulging the passions without restraint made humans resemble uncontrollable forces. Very much like a volcano that devastated all, the passions, once engaged, were uncontainable. According to a Quebec Mercury correspondent: "Thus as, in the natural world, the strife of elements, so, in the moral world, the conflicts of the passions produce the most destructive results.
This, more or less, was how morally-minded people couched their references to unbridled human behaviours. Attesting to the enduring presence of the conservative Christian discourse regarding the passions throughout the nineteenth century, writers, both lay and clerical, warned of the effects of alcohol in apocalyptical language. Drinking was an activity, which, once embarked upon, became practically impossible to stop, a fact resulting in inevitable devastation. First indulged in with caution, drinking enticed the young man on a sublime and devastating adventure where: " Under its influence, men lost all sense of place, shed their civilized demeanour and returned to a state of natural barbarism, where, in perfect equality, they indulged their passions in an unrestrained fashion instead of pursuing their interest.
Broken families, forsaken promises, robbed employers and general social chaos resulted from the passions unchecked and humans could hardly survive the experience. Moral guardians, therefore, sought to control these behaviours by banning them altogether, since they could not count on uneducated individuals to moderate such dangerous impulses. Doctor Blanchet, however, thought that drinking in moderation could do no harm 9 6 and others believed that moderate use was permissible for those who understood the principles behind the rational indulgence of pleasures.
Toronto: T. Bentley, LXXI, No. The Temperance Movement succeeded in outlawing alcohol in Ontario but not Quebec in the later part of the century. Religion and Social Reform in Canada Soap and Water: moral reform in English Canada. In his letter of December , L' Ami de la Patrie wrote that such a pleasure as prostitution brought with it a myriad of ills including " In short, prostitution lead to the dissolution of all existing t ies. Cosmopolitus' view was quite different. For him, individuals were motivated by self-interest to conduct themselves in the most responsible manner possible and there was no need to resort to state legislation for something that clearly belonged to the domain of private morality.
He stressed the moral relativism of views regarding prostitution by stating that it was a fact of life in cities, many of which - Berlin for example - ascribed no moral consequences to the action. Indeed, he added, L'Ami's reaction showed its thinking to be " See issues of 26 December , 2 and 9 January The language of contingency sometimes included pitting the virtue of the country and its folks against the corruption of the city and its folks.
Still on the subject of prostitution and obviously in favor of its curtailment, a writer described how poor and virtuous country boys were seduced by the glitter of the city and its brothels and soon started to steal from: " Le Vrai Canadien. The motives they had for behaving the way they did were their business, did not harm, and therefore ought not be legislated. Indeed, some Canadians understood that a life of comfort and plenty exposed them to 'sinful' situations that did not exist in societies of poverty.
Their morality did not involve denying their impulses but managing them in ways that did not hurt themselves or others. Civilization did not make them moral; it did, however, render them fit to live in beneficial harmony with strangers. Furthermore, modern morality held individuals responsible for their actions. With insight into the workings of self-interest and an understanding of the rational manner of handling their impulses in ways that did not endanger their health or the public good, humans gained control over their conduct and their destiny.
Given this type of intellectual environment the moderns were freed from blaming their ills on obscure and uncontrollable forces. As John Neilson remarked to Andrew Stuart: "We are somehow the authors of our own misfortune but it is a consolation which is allowed to the unfortunate to lay their bothers on the shoulders of Dame Fortune. Blaming her was just a way of refusing to own up to one's responsibilities. Etienne Parent shared these thoughts but added that the age of personal responsibility and knowledge was still in the process of unfolding and only slowly were humans accepting to be held accountable for their actions.
Over time, however, individuals would mature and recognize that inconsistencies were no longer the doing of external forces but the consequence " They held the well-born, rich and powerful, the deceivers, the idle and the ignorant responsible for preventing them from realizing their potential and obtaining their merited rewards. The modern virtue of the moderns differed with a more otherworldly sense of morality in the view they held of earthly possessions.
For the more conservative-minded true worth resided in denying the impulses to acquire them and finding solace in having little. But for those intent on engaging life in the fullest it meant demonstrating rational conduct in relation to their possessions. Poverty, according to the next author, hardly called for restraint. Aboriginals, for instance, may "possess many virtues; yet these are to be attributed more to their poverty, than to their ignorance.
When plentifully supplied with the necessities and pleasures of life, they have generally given themselves up to odious vices and brutal sensuality. Poverty might force people to be virtuous but that type of virtue had nothing to do with will or choice. Real virtue consisted in being challenged by the encounter with earthly benefits and rationally engaging the cornucopia of modern life in ways that demonstrated measured restraint and careful indulgence.
That kind of behaviour built the self-esteem of the individual and earned the respect of peers. In modern thinking, active engagement with the goods of the earth added complexity to the understanding of moral behaviour and human worth in ways that poverty and abstinence did not.
Fresh from a trip to England, Egerton Ryerson addressed his fellow Methodists, declaring that after having examined the doctrine of "political economists" he found them to be immoral. They refused to regard any improvements to the self 1 0 5 - "Du travail", P. Toronto: J. Lawrence, , P. Far from perfecting natural attributes, societies of self-interest had counterfeited nature and offered nothing but a distorted and artificial version of it. That certainly was the opinion of Colonel Vassal de Monviel. Borrowing a biblical metaphor, he accused certain doctors of acting like snakes to tempt the peasants with lies and deceits so that the peasants "se laissent seduire par ces langues envenimees" and succumbed.
In many ways he agreed with a local seigneur who argued that doctors and other educated individuals had insinuated themselves between lord and peasant and enticed the inhabitants to break their traditional ties; accordingly, the doctors were "peut-etre les etres les plus dangeureux pour la religion et le gouvernement.
After the rebellions, I'abbe Ducharme of Sainte-Therese parish blamed the doctors, notaries and lawyers for heading the rebellion and seducing the people into violent behaviours and ungodly expectations. Many agreed with him. ALL 71 Paperback 44 Hardcover Stock Status. ALL 71 Available ALL 71 English Publication Year. Display 21 - 40 from 71 results. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment to protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature.
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Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity individual or corporate has a.. Battle of Lundy's Lane--July 25, This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity individual or corporate has a copyright on the..
The Battle of Lundy's Lane, 25th July, The Battle of Fort George.