Winnipeg, imperialism, and the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee celebration, 1897

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Dickens, Thomas Welwood
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On the 22nd June, 1897, Queen Victoria reached the sixtieth year of her reign. Throughout the British empire that day, the majority of her subjects in the settlement colonies "jubilated" by celebrating the event in various ways. Winnipeg, in many ways a microcosm of the empire itself, celebrated in much the same way as elsewhere in the empire that day. Although certain sections of the population did respond indifferently and unenthusiastically to the idea of celebrating the event, by jubilee day the organizers of the loyal pageant had achieved their aim, outwardly at least, of a consensual demonstration - a kind of family reunion under the Union Jack. The jubilee organizers were obsessed with using the jubilee as a means of upholding and reaffirming their traditional cultural sentiments and ideas, centred in the British nation, the monarchy, and the empire. This was the imperial, ephemeral pageant which they had planned in order to produce the desired effect. However, simultaneously, and perhaps more fundamentally, the jubilee and late nineteenth century local imperialism are quite instructive. In general, what is revealed is an impelling propaganda on behalf of the existing social, political, and economic system which the ruling class-avowed imperialists all-sought to maintain. This thesis also examines the nature of the imperialist component of the conventional cultural sentiments and ideas prevalent in Winnipeg in the late nineteenth century, culminating in 1897...