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Justifying the End of Official Bilingualism: Canada's North-West Assembly and the Dual-Language Question, 1889-1892

  • Edmund A. Aunger (a1)

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During a three-year period beginning in 1889, Canada struggled through a bitter identity crisis as militant English-Canadian nationalists rallied support for their vision of a homogeneous English-speaking country. In the eye of this storm was a NorthWest Legislative Assembly determined to abolish official bilingualism and assimilate its French-speaking minority. This article examines the origins of the North-West's ''dual language question'' and critically evaluates justifications given for the suppression of the French language. In their debates, the North-West legislators grappled with enduring issues of national unity, economic efficiency, majoritarian democracy and political legitimacy.

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Justifying the End of Official Bilingualism: Canada's North-West Assembly and the Dual-Language Question, 1889-1892

  • Edmund A. Aunger (a1)

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