Liberalism in Winnipeg, 1890s-1920s: Charles W. Gordon, John W. Dafoe, Minnie J.B. Campbell, and Francis M. Beynon

Korneski, Kurt (2004) Liberalism in Winnipeg, 1890s-1920s: Charles W. Gordon, John W. Dafoe, Minnie J.B. Campbell, and Francis M. Beynon. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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During the first quarter of the twentieth century Canadians lived through, were shaped by, and informed the nature of a range of social transformations. Social historians have provided a wealth of information about important aspects of those transformations, particularly those of "ordinary" people. The purpose of this thesis is to provide further insight into these transitions by examining the lives and thoughts of a selection of those who occupied a comparatively privileged position within Canadian society in the early twentieth century. More specifically, the approach will be to examine four Winnipeg citizens - namely, Presbyterian minister and author Charles W. Gordon, newspaper editor John W. Dafoe, member of the Imperial Order Daughters of Empire Minnie J.B. Campbell, and women's page editor Francis M. Beynon. -- In examining these men and women, what becomes evident about elites and the social and cultural history of early twentieth-century Canada is that, despite their privileged standing, they did not arrive at "reasonable" assessments of the state of affairs in which they existed. Also, despite the fact that they and their associates were largely Protestant, educated Anglo-Canadians from Ontario, it is apparent that the men and women at the centre of this study suggest that there existed no consensus among elites about the proper goals of social change. Nevertheless, although their divergent experiences of the social order translated into a variety of aims and perspectives, what bound these people together was an acceptance of central liberal ideals and assumptions. That this broad concurrence existed, and that the men and women at the centre of this study were part of a community that could bring considerable politico-economic pressure to bear in seeking to realize their envisioned future, is significant. What is of particular importance is that, even though the social reality that came to exist was not exactly like that which any of these men and women envisioned, it was the broad commonalities running through their diverse imaginings that informed the overarching shape of social relationships in the post-World War I period in Canada.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 10825
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves.316-334.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 2004
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Elite (Social sciences)--Manitoba--Winnipeg--Attitudes; Liberalism--Manitoba--Winnipeg.

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