“A Desirable Measure of Responsibility”

Jacob A. C. Remes

in Disaster Citizenship

Published by University of Illinois Press

Published in print December 2015 | ISBN: 9780252039836
Published online April 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780252097942 | DOI:
“A Desirable Measure of Responsibility”

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This chapter examines how the Halifax explosion changed local churches and unions, as well as the ways that membership in a church or union altered the individuals' and families' experiences of the disaster. In applying for and receiving disaster relief, disaster survivors were sorted by organizational membership—in churches, in clubs, and in other formal institutions. When Haligonians applied for aid from the Halifax and Dartmouth Relief Committees and their successor, the Halifax Relief Commission, they were asked, among other things, what organizations they belonged to, including their church, their union, and their fraternal societies. This chapter compares the Halifax Relief Commission's instrumental use of churches, which emphasized clerical authority, with the ways that lay congregants chose to use churches to come to terms with their grief. It also considers how unions responded to the considerable growth of the technocratic, interventionist, progressive state during World War I.

Keywords: unions; Halifax explosion; churches; disaster relief; Halifax Relief Commission; progressive state; World War I; survivors

Chapter.  15179 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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