Chapter

Britishness and Canadian nationalism: Daughters of the Empire, mothers in their own homes, 1929–45

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719063909.003.0006
Britishness and Canadian nationalism: Daughters of the Empire, mothers in their own homes, 1929–45

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This chapter examines the changes in Anglo-Canadian identity through the 1930s, and also documents the effects of the Second World War in re-defining and shifting this identity towards centering Canada. During the Second World War, when Canada came to Britain's aid, stringent organisation led to a massive contribution to the war effort by large numbers of IODE women. The IODE used its maternal position to reinforce allegiance to Britain, but its perception was ever more Canada-centered. With women's increasing status in society, the IODE's war work was ever confident and impressive. The Second World War accentuated the contradictions between feminism and patriotism. During the war, women had shown that, in the absence of many of Canada's men, they were capable of keeping the country going, whether in the home or in gendered male occupations. The IODE's metaphorical conception of home as nation and Empire became, during the Second World War, more assertive, more confident, more proven and more Canadian in its focus.

Keywords: Britishness; Canadian nationalism; Second World War; Anglo-Canadian identity; feminism

Chapter.  6923 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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