Was The King Right
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 24 Feb 1949, p. 234-244


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Was The King Right


Choosing as a subject the King of England, George the Third. Reasons for choosing such a topic. The speaker's learned conclusion that one of the main differences between the French and English in Canada is how they look at History. An explication of that view. The present import of that difference of opinion: Canadians can hardly understand each other, if they do not attach the same value to the same facts. The French Canadian agreement that they have to move along certain lines if they must meet their fellow citizens, with examples of doing so. The marked tendency with some French Canadian writers to blame the British authorities for the wrongs they say were inflicted upon their religion; thus, they always answer that the King was wrong, while English Canadian writers answer that he was right. The marked tendency for French Canadian historians to blame the English at large for the difficulties they have had during three centuries. Most difficulties between the two Canadian groups arising from these two facts. A discussion of another difference: the relation between England, particularly the King of Great Britain, and the Roman Catholics of Canada at the beginning of the British rule in Canada. A very detailed discussion follows, bearing on the speaker's research and what he wants to say in answer to his question "Was the King Right?" The need for more information to be available to the English Protestant students and better information to the French Catholic student. This only one example among many to show how differently History is taught to both Canadian groups. The teachers' main duty to present history as it really is; the common citizen's duty and interest to know the historical facts and to be able to discuss them intelligently, and in a friendly way. This as the way to achieve National Unity.