Church and state in the Confederation debates of 1865

Thumbnail Image
Mackay, Ian
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This thesis asks what influence Christianity had on Canadian Confederation. It studies discussions relevant to political philosophy, education, and worldview in general in the Province of Canada's 1865 ratification debates on the Quebec Resolutions. Chapter 1 demonstrates the influence of beliefs about Canada's standing as a Christian nation, the sinfulness and fallibility of human nature, the importance of religious liberty on constitutional preferences, and support for the British constitutional tradition of mixed government. Chapter 2 shows how different Protestant and Roman Catholic convictions about the eternal nature of the human soul impacted views on the group rights issue of educational systems. Chapter 3 examines how providence-based understandings of history shaped the Canadian founders' vision for the new dominion. The thesis argues that a perception of 'God and state' had a widespread and foundational influence at Confederation. It also reassesses the 'political nationality' interpretation promoted by Morton, LaSelva, Ajzenstat, and others.
Church and State, Political Thought, Ideas, Religion, Confederation, Providence, Canadian History, Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Bible and Politics