Canadian nationalism has historically had a difficult relationship with the idea of the nation itself. Are we a nation? Or a land of many nations? Most prominent in this discussion has been the question of French Canada.
In this essay, I will argue that both Quebec and Canada are nations. I will examine what the definitions of ‘nation’ are. I will then argue which types of nation, or combination thereof, are more robust than others. The central question can then be answered as to what type of nation Quebec and Canada each are, and how they fit together; answering this question will draw on defining the past of each nationhood, and follow into speculating on their future.
One will usually see a ‘nation’ defined as roughly ‘a large aggregate of people with common characteristics’, and this is generally correct – but of course leaves much to be defined. ‘Nation’ is derived from the Latin natio, which translates to ‘birth’, and is related to concepts such as people, tribe, race, class, stock, breed, etc. As one can see, the rough definition fits the etymology insofar as it denotes classifying large groups of people. Continue Reading