Poetry, prose, and politics: An examination of anti-Americanism in Tantramar literature
LE3 .A278 2014
Bachelor of Arts
History & Classics
Writers inspired by the Tantramar region have a wholly unique and largely overlooked reservoir of Canadian history to draw upon for their fiction. For these writers, the region has served as a jewel of the pre-industrial past with a deep political history. This history often resonated with the political issues faced by the writers in their time. Between the years of 1740 and 1785, New England’s vexing intervention into the affairs of Nova Scotia’s occupants was central to shaping the political climate of the era. The politics of the time proved irresistibly similar to writers who viewed the Americans of their present as mirror images of the New Englanders of the past. At the turn of the century, fears about the loss of Canada’s sovereignty paralleled the threats of New England invasion that perpetually hung over Nova Scotians. Between WWI and WWII, the late entry of the United States into the conflict were, in the minds of some writers, analogous to the opportunism shown by New England rebels in Nova Scotia during the American Revolutionary War. Finally, the belief that the New England soil was unfriendly territory for New Brunswick Acadians traveling in pursuit of work mirrored the treatment they received when they arrived in various places in America after the Acadian expulsion. For the Tantramar writers, the area’s rich history allowed them to identify and expand upon themes that were contemporary to their time. The theme that tied each era and each writer together was a consensus on the nefarious influence of Americans and their forbearers.
The author retains copyright in this thesis. Any substantial copying or any other actions that exceed fair dealing or other exceptions in the Copyright Act require the permission of the author.