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“Anglo-Conformity”: Assimilation Policy in Canada, 1890s–1950s


“Anglo-Conformity”: Assimilation Policy in Canada, 1890s–1950s

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In the late nineteenth century Canada started to receive large waves of non-British migrants for the very first time in its history. These new settlers arrived in a country that saw itself very much as a British society. English-speaking Canadians considered themselves a core part of a worldwide British race. French Canadians, however, were obviously excluded from this ethnic identity. The maintenance of the country as a white society was also an integral part of English-speaking Canada’s national identity. Thus, white non-British migrants were required to assimilate into this English-speaking Canadian or Anglocentric society without delay. But in the early 1950s the British identity of English-speaking Canada began to decline ever so slowly. The first steps toward the gradual breakdown of the White Canada policy also occurred at this time. This had a corresponding weakening effect on the assimilation policy adopted toward non-British migrants, which was based on Anglo-conformity.

Mann, J. (2014). “Anglo-Conformity”: Assimilation Policy in Canada, 1890s-1950s. International Journal of Canadian Studies/Revue internationale d’études canadiennes, 50, 253-276. Retrieved from

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