Female imperialism at the periphery: organizing principles, 1900–19

John M. MacKenzie

in Female Imperialism and National Identity

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780719063909
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700396 | DOI:
Female imperialism at the periphery: organizing principles, 1900–19

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This chapter covers the beginning years of the IODE, through to the end of the First World War, and introduces the ‘racial hierarchy’ of the IODE and its preference for British immigration. It covers the IODE's work with immigrants and its maternal wartime labour. The IODE was not a pacifist organisation, as, during the First World War, the goal was victory for Canada and the Empire. Its military involvement refutes the arguments of some contemporary theorists, who consider war and peace as opposites, with women as ‘beautiful souls’ and life-givers, and men as ‘just warriors’ and life-takers. During the IODE's first years, immigration and war work had in common the intended construction of a strong British Canada. The IODE was able to use its élite social status and gender to achieve its objectives. It supported a ‘racial hierarchy’ which asserted that British people and their Anglo-Celtic Canadian descendants were superior to all other races, and discriminatory immigration laws which legislated this preference.

Keywords: female imperialism; pacifist organisation; Canada; immigration; race; Anglo-Celtic descendants

Chapter.  8228 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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