Plains of Abraham: Harper forcing re-enactement of 1759 defeat down Quebeckers' throat

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martin dufresne

Reason over Passion, eh? Hey let's go the whole hog and reenact the October Crisis!

-=+=-

martin dufresne wrote:
Reason over Passion, eh? Hey let's go the whole hog and reenact the October Crisis!

 

[url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110709/]They did that already[/url].

 

How is a bunch of paid actors re-enacting an event different than a bunch of amateurs doing it in their free time?  What if said amateurs were filmed and will later be featured in a "docudrama" played on the History Channel.

 

At the end of the day, the problem with this Plains of Abraham event is that it was billed as the "250th anniversary".  That sort of thing does not usually happen with re-enactment events, which go on year after year.  And for those who participate in them, they don't do it to "commemorate" the event but to "live" history and learn about the past.

The question is, who emphasized this "250th anniversary" angle? Was it any of the re-enactment organizations, or was it the federal officials involved?

 

martin dufresne

Hey, if push comes to shove, it'll give Stevie an out to bring the boys back from Affghanistan. "Sorry, Mr. Obomba, crisis on the home front... Whodathunkit!"

toddsschneider

martin dufresne wrote:
... The toddschneiders [sic] of this country will surely scoff and rant, but I'd wager that Quebeckers' reaction is going to turn out a lot stronger than they think. Reason enough for a strong showing at a new referendum? You betcha ...

If you are going to misrepresent my opinions, at least spell my userid right.  I will let you hoist yourself on your own petard, but not mine.

Krago

Tommy_Paine wrote:

"Sorry, but for some reason Ze's comment reminds me of this:"

 Brilliant.   But of course, we won't mention the derisive debates over the merits of "The People's Front of Judea" vs. "The Judean People's Front" or The John Cleese character's attempts to mount a rescue committee-- or was that an ad hoc committee to discuss the formation of a rescue committee for Brian.

Too close to the bone, on a left wing message board.

Laughing

Reg: [arriving at Brian's crucifixion] Hello, Sibling Brian.
Brian: Thank God you've come, Reg.
Reg: Well, I think I should point out first, Brian, in all fairness, we are not, in fact, the rescue committee. However, I have been asked to read the following prepared statement on behalf of the movement. "We the People's Front of Judea, brackets, officials, end brackets, do hereby convey our sincere fraternal and sisterly greetings to you, Brian, on this, the occasion of your martyrdom. "
Brian: What?
Reg: "Your death will stand as a landmark in the continuing struggle to liberate the parent land from the hands of the Roman imperialist aggressors, excluding those concerned with drainage, medicine, roads, housing, education, viniculture and any other Romans contributing to the welfare of Jews of both sexes and hermaphrodites. Signed, on behalf of the P. F. J. , etc. " And I'd just like to add, on a personal note, my own admiration, for what you're doing for us, Brian, on what must be, after all, for you a very difficult time.

martin dufresne

Investigative journalist Norman Lester has a biting Op-Ed in Le Devoir. He suggests if we are going to commemorate humiliating military defeats, why not make a big deal of the 125th anniversary of Batoche where a Métis uprising was crushed by settlers 125 years ago?

Webgear

"MIDLAND HISTORICAL VOLUNTEERS 1885 were formed in Saskatoon in 1985, the 100th Anniversary of the Riel Rebellion. The members represent "A" Company, the 15th Argyle Light Infantry from Belleville Ont. through "H" Company, the 49th Hastings Rifles from Hastings Ont. of the original Midland Provisional Battalion which was first raised on 1 April 1885 at Old Fort Henry in Kingston Ont. We participate in a wide variety of events including the opening ceremonies of Louis Riel Day in Saskatoon, reenactments at Batoche and Old Fort Battleford Historical Parks. The group also does a Ceremonial Guard each year at Marr House, which was used as a field hospital for the North West field force in 1885. We have done documentaries for A&E and the CBC, and we have done movies for the Metis Society, various native groups, and the CBC. There are at present 15 active members and 10 associate members and we are always soliciting new members. Those interested may contact Colin Paul, Secretary, at: [email protected]"

 

http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/2069/victorian.html

______________________________________________________________________________________________ We are like cloaks, one thinks of us only when it rains.

Webgear

Métis organizers from Manitoba , Saskatchewan and Alberta are in the final planning stages of a wagon trek that will include Métis from the traditional homeland for first Canadians of mixed ancestry. Métis, a recognized aboriginal group in the Canadian Constitution consisting of mixed races including Cree and Dene First Nations, French and Scottish fur traders, will reenact the travels taken by their ancestors in the 1800's along various original cart paths used in the Fur Trade and settlement of Western Canada.

Starting in St. Laurent , Manitoba on July 19, the Manitoba Métis Federation Infinity Trail Riders will travel to Batoche , Saskatchewan for the opening parade of Back to Batoche Days on July 21. Back to Batoche is a five day national event held for the past 30 years focusing on Métis culture hosted near the historic site of the Riel Rebellion of 1885. From Batoche on July 24, after a ceremony commemorating Métis Veterans, the Manitoba group will team up with the Saskatchewan Métis Wagon Adventures 2005, and the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), to travel along the Carlton Trail to Iron Horse Trail in Alberta .

 

http://www.saskmetiswagon.ca/news2.htm

______________________________________________________________________________________________ We are like cloaks, one thinks of us only when it rains.

martin dufresne

"We participate in a wide variety of events including the opening ceremonies of Louis Riel Day in Saskatoon, reenactments at Batoche and Old Fort Battleford Historical Parks."

How sad. I imagine it is a refurbished and dignified version of the massacre of old people that actually went down there.

Harumph

People do historical re-enactments all the time.  If some Quebecers can't deal with the fact that the French lost to the British way back when, they're pathetic.  Of course, that seems to be a common theme amongst the Paul McCartney-hating, xenophobic bigots representing the "vraie souche". 

 Keep ghettoizing yourselves - good plan.  When your youth have no mobility, and therefore jobs, because they can't speak the same language as 90% of the rest of the country, I'm sure they'll appreciate the trusty stewardship of the "vraie souche" and revel in visions of Bonhomme and the FLQ.

 

remind remind's picture

martin this is a bit off topic, but everytime I see this thread title come up, I think "what in the hell was Martin thinking using such teminology, when he is the one always yelling about sexua and violent metaphors in wording?"

Did you not think about the trigger it would for those who have been forced to give blow jobs, and are victims of oral rape?

Ken Burch

Harumph wrote:

People do historical re-enactments all the time.  If some Quebecers can't deal with the fact that the French lost to the British way back when, they're pathetic.  Of course, that seems to be a common theme amongst the Paul McCartney-hating, xenophobic bigots representing the "vraie souche". 

 Keep ghettoizing yourselves - good plan.  When your youth have no mobility, and therefore jobs, because they can't speak the same language as 90% of the rest of the country, I'm sure they'll appreciate the trusty stewardship of the "vraie souche" and revel in visions of Bonhomme and the FLQ.

Go to bed, General Wolfe.  You're 282 years old and you're drunk.

I think we can start the pool on when THIS genius gets banned.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________ Our Demands Most Moderate are/ We Only Want The World! -James Connolly

al-Qa'bong

remind wrote:

martin this is a bit off topic, but everytime I see this thread title come up, I think "what in the hell was Martin thinking using such teminology, when he is the one always yelling about sexua and violent metaphors in wording?"

Did you not think about the trigger it would for those who have been forced to give blow jobs, and are victims of oral rape?

Take a deep breath, there remind.  St. Martin is probably mocking those anglos who complain about French being shoved down their throats every time they have to read French on their cornflakes boxes.

 

St. Martin wrote:
How sad. I imagine it is a refurbished and dignified version of the massacre of old people that actually went down there.

 

Your imagination leads you astray.  Carry on.

 

martin dufresne

Good point, remind. I hadn't thought of forcing stuff down people's throat as an allusion to sex, more force-feeding, but I'll avoid that metaphor from now on.

Fidel

They should re-enact that one where the Americans best soldier attacks Quebec City with 700 troops in 1775. "I would stand in line for this" Moby

martin dufresne

Quebec nationalists about to demonstrate in Ottawa against the staging of the event

Odile Tremblay surveys the reenactment partisans' retreat in Le Devoir as the Mouvement impératif français and the Société St-Jean-Baptiste announce plans for a demonstration on the Hill, February 22. (No muskets, please.)

Good Rod Love Op-Ed in the Glob...

jacki-mo

Why not have the French Canadians win this time around.

It's Me D

martin wrote:
Quebec nationalists about to demonstrate in Ottawa against the staging of the event

jacki-mo wrote:
Why not have the French Canadians win this time around.

I thought that would make a terrific protest, as the re-enactment proceeds protesters should get into period costume and then simply join in on the re-enactment as reinforcements to the French... kick some British ass... would that be an effective protest? Maybe not... it would certainly be a good time though!

Caissa

Wasn't this a battle bettween two colonial powers?

It's Me D

Sure the battle was, but is the re-enactment?

Caissa

The point is they were both interlopers on someone else's land. The re-enactment is exactly that:the re-enactment of a battle between two colonial powers. A pox on both of their houses.

It's Me D

Has anyone brought up criticism of this re-enactment from a native perspective? I'd be curious if there has been any.

Caissa wrote:
The re-enactment is exactly that:the re-enactment of a battle between two colonial powers.

It seems you agree with the view that the decision to re-enact the battle was made for the sake of history (for some reason), with no consideration of contemporary politics; a lot of people (both in this thread and otherwise) seem to disagree with that interpretation (hence the protests).

-=+=-

It's Me D wrote:

Has anyone brought up criticism of this re-enactment from a native perspective? I'd be curious if there has been any.

 

If you read the previous posts, this was already discussed.

 

Many native bands are participants in military re-enactments of this time period.  At this time, tribes were military and diplomatic allies of the British and French.  Currently, many native bands like to keep this aspect of their history alive.

 

This is probably another instance where native aspirations conflict with those of Quebeckers. 

Caissa

My academic background is in history.

It's Me D

-=+=-: I did come in late I'll admit so thanks for the advice but reading over the exchange on the subject upthread it appears that while there was agreement that many natives do in fact participate in historical re-enactments that doesn't actually answer my question re: native criticism of this re-enactment and if there has been any...

It's Me D

Caissa wrote:
My academic background is in history.

Thanks, that does explain how you see this event. What about everyone else though?

martin dufresne

I am ill at ease with attempts to bring natives into the picture merely to buttress one position or the other in the controversy among settlers. Even the Battlefields Commission claims to have consulted native groups ten days ago, probably in a similar cooptation spirit. (They said they had consulted but didn't reveal what they were told...)

ocsi

The event has been cancelled.  Good!

Unionist

That's a shame. I was hoping Harper and Ignatieff would personally re-enact the battle, using period weapons.

Webgear

I am not aware of any Native criticism on this event.

It is a shame if this event is in fact cancelled.

The Toronto star mentioned yesterday only the battle is cancelled however other events are going to take place.

"Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe has said he is fine with other events related to the anniversary, which include architectural digs, guided cruises and art exhibits."

I guess the Bloc was worried about not making any money off this event so they will allow other parts to continue.

http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/587473

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________ We are like cloaks, one thinks of us only when it rains.

-=+=-

Webgear wrote:

The Toronto star mentioned yesterday only the battle is cancelled however other events are going to take place.

"Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe has said he is fine with other events related to the anniversary, which include architectural digs, guided cruises and art exhibits."

 

I fail to see why art exhibits and cruises are ok, but the re-enactment itself is not.  Honestly, that just takes the fun and entertainment out of the event, and just leaves you with the "educational" portion.  I guess that's the typically Canadian conclusion.

 

But I like guns, and admire soldiers, so maybe I'm not part of the monolithic left on this issue. 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

-=+=- wrote:

But I like guns, and admire soldiers, so maybe I'm not part of the monolithic left on this issue. 

Good conclusion.

ocsi

-=+=- wrote:
Webgear wrote:

The Toronto star mentioned yesterday only the battle is cancelled however other events are going to take place.

"Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe has said he is fine with other events related to the anniversary, which include architectural digs, guided cruises and art exhibits."

 

I fail to see why art exhibits and cruises are ok, but the re-enactment itself is not.  Honestly, that just takes the fun and entertainment out of the event, and just leaves you with the "educational" portion.  I guess that's the typically Canadian conclusion.

 

But I like guns, and admire soldiers, so maybe I'm not part of the monolithic left on this issue. 

If the "left" was monolithic we'd probably be in power once in a while.

 

Fidel

[url=[/url]">http://www.tdsb.on.ca/students/canhistory/media/canhist.swf][img]http://...

In June 1813, Laura Secord overheard an American General scheming to attack the city of Drew Falls. Laura trekked 30 miles North to tell  Canadians of the Americans plan to attack. With the help of Mohawk warriors, Laura Secord was able to warn Fitzgibbon, and the American invasion of Canada was stopped.  

saga saga's picture

 

[url=Quebec">http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2009/02/14/Quebec_separatists_win_18th_centu... separatists win 18th century fight[/url]

 

Published: Feb. 14, 2009 at 10:52 PM


QUEBEC CITY, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Plans to re-enact the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec have been "modified," which may be a polite term for canceled, an official said Saturday.

 

The battle in 1759 ended French hopes of an empire in what is now Canada. Patrick Bourgeois, leader of Le Reseau de Resistance du Quebecois, a separatist group, had threatened to disrupt the re-enactment with thousands of protesters, the Montreal Gazette reported.

Alfred Juneau, head of the National Battlefields Commission, said at a news conference in Quebec that he would announce specific changes Tuesday. He said there would be a "modified program that will take into consideration the entirety of all the recriminations that we have received, and that will take into consideration ... certain threats."

Juneau said the resistance to a re-enactment as part of the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the battle was a shock. The battle has been restaged before, most recently in 2004, attracting thousands of tourists and few or no protests.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

more here ... but I liked the UPI headline

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=&ie=UTF-8&ncl=1304336123

 

 

remind remind's picture

has this thread not reached a 100 posts yet?

toddsschneider

Sovereignist goon squad shows violent threats work in Quebec

http://tinyurl.com/dcdbwr

... And the sovereignist cause might suffer if Quebecers associate it with the threats by a few of its radical supporters. While the mainstream sovereignist parties did not condone the threats, they were also slow to condemn them.

And on the weekend, elected representatives of the PQ and the Bloc Québécois attended a ceremony in Montreal held by another radical group, the Jeunes Patriotes du Québec. Martin Lemay, PQ member of the National Assembly, and Maria Mourani, Bloc member of Parliament, attended the ceremony honouring rebels hanged by the British in 1839.

The JPQ is essentially the youth wing of the mainstream Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal. It is also a "street sovereignist" goon squad notorious for trying to intimidate federalists and disrupt their meetings - and even a PQ nominating convention at the start of the recent provincial election campaign.  They're not the kind of people with whom you'd expect democrats to associate.

Webgear

Yesterday, I received several emails from the various eras of the Canadian re-enactment community, here are some interesting points from the emails. (These are no particular order)

1. There were going to be two battles, with both the French and English winning a battle.

2. The committee who organized the even, was more than three quarters Quebecois. Meetings were conducted in a complete mixture of French and English.

3. The event was cancelled because numerous verbal and physical threats (not reported in the media), the committee was worried about the safety of the English and French groups taking part.

4. Hundreds of Quebecois re-enactors were to be involved in the event - some re-enacting French forces, and some English -- believe it or not! Many have still pledged to come when the event is staged elsewhere.

5. This event was not ill-conceived or insensitively handled event. Thousands of hours of worry, debate, work, re-working, planning, negotiation, and management went into it.

6. The event is likely to take place in a new location.

7. Past events on national battlefield sites have had bilingual announcements during events.

8. The Commission did the only thing that they could do to safeguard all of the persons, participants and spectators alike -- unhappy as that decision may be for many concerned. What happens next is the key thing, to my mind -- will those responsible for the threats be prosecuted, and will someone (anyone?) wake up the media to the plight of the Quebec tourist industry as a result of the actions of these people?

9. A number of self-proclaimed separatists who are also re-enactors have come forward in the French press to indicate that they fully intended to take part in the event to honour their forbears. It is far from a united front, even among the separatist politicians, party members, and sympathizers.

10. Those whose livelihood depended upon the tourism business in Quebec City, should be up un arms about the fact that millions of dollars have literally just been ripped out of their hands.

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________________________ We are like cloaks, one thinks of us only when it rains.

saga saga's picture

I heard lots of Brits had bought tickets.

I wonder how many anglo-Canadians had, other than the 'Monarchist League' types.

I think we should skip the wars, and re-enact the all the treaties instead, and mean it this time.

 

Slumberjack

I tend to see historical re-enactors and organizers of colonial battles as the same sort who would find amusement in playing with Napoleon era sand table miniatures, complete with tiny smoke popping cannons.  Just as the Catholics of Drumcree would see the annual Battle of Boyne Orange march through their neighbourhood as a poke in the eye, with no other purpose but to humiliate the current generation by dredging out of obscurity the event of their defeat, the unfurling of banners and pennants of the oppressive English monarch from the period, to celebrate the English defeat of the French on the Plains of Abraham would understandably have the same effect, not only on Quebecers of French origin, but anyone really, who can see this as an unnecessary slap in the face.  The organizers of this insulting skit should have damn well known better.  I personally believe they did, but went ahead anyway.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Quote:
complete with tiny smoke popping cannons.

Do these actually exist? If so, where can I place my order?

Stockholm

There are frequent re-enactments of the Battle of Waterloo where Napoleon was defeated and no one in France seems to care. I don't see any southerners in the US protesting re-enactments of Gettysberg either.

I don't really care one way or the other whether this re-enactment takes place, but I think it speaks volumes about how the Quebec nationalist movement is desparately grasping at straws trying to find something to protest when this is the best they can come up with. Last year their big "issue" was protesting the horror that if you phone any Quebec government office, you are allowed to press "9" to get instructions in English - oh the humiliation!!

But, one interesting thing about the whole Plains of Abraham issue is whether or not francophone Quebecers are actually better off as a result of the British imperialist royalists defeating the French imperialist royalists. Is there such a yearning to have continued to be ruled by Louis XV and his absolutist mercantile system? For that matter, chances are that if Montcalm had won the battle, a few years later France would have sold New France to the US along with Louisiana in order to finance the Napoleonic wars and Quebec would be totally assimilated into the US today.Or alternately, Quebec would have had to fight a bloody guerilla war for independence like what happened in Algeria. "Responsible government" was very, very, very late in being introduced in France's colonial empire compared to Britain's.

 This article makes some interesting points.

"So what's the problem? Are the Montcalmites sorry they missed their date with Robespierre and Madame Guillotine? Do they wish they had stood with Napoléon at Waterloo, and Napoléon III at Sedan? Quebec nationalists didn't exactly rush to the colours when France was threatened in 1914 or needed rescuing after 1940. What's wrong with British self-government, suppression of the slave trade and defeat of Hitler that you'd rather be part of, say, Vichy France?

The past isn't about competing narratives equally valid for various ethnic groups. It's about truth. The truth is that Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War. And in the process self-government vanquished absolutism on the Plains of Abraham, leaving everyone including Quebecers far better off."

 

It's Me D

Stockholm: I don't know what article you're quoting from, if there's a link in your post I missed it. As for whether Quebecers are better off, from your post I expect you also hold that African Americans are better off now, having been brought to America as slaves and then freed; does this make slavery a positive thing? The only ones who should decide if Quebecers are better off is Quebecers. Besides all that your arguement seems to boil down to: there's no good reason not to renact this battle, so thats all the reason we need to do it; which is a pretty shitty justification for doing anything in my opinion. Regarding historical "truth," it sure works out conviently for the winners no? Good thing that the truth always favours western imperialism; well, good thing for you anyway.

David-Marc

On the question of Quebeckers, and French Canadians in general, (I think there could be no question as to the Acadians, what with the ethnic cleansing policy) were better off being part of the British Empire then the French Empire:

While the Liberals in the 1830s looked to both the US and France for example, the Clericonationalist who became the dominant ideology after the failed revolutions, certainly thought they were better off. After all, the only France they looked up to was the Ancien Regime. That may explain why they didn't feel the need to save France in 1914 and 1940... it wasn't THEIR France. And many actually did support Vichy France. Pierre Trudeau, for one.

The "Conquest" was seen as "devine providence" saving the French Catholic nation in the new world from the republicanism and secularism that cursed France with the revolutions.

I think its rather silly to argue about what situation would be better off in such a hypothetical. Without the loss of the colonies, Half of North America would be French Empire, and the revolution itself might not have happened, nor that of the United States. Or not until much latter, in both cases, or differently. There are too many variables to play this what if game.

EDIT: and by that last bit, I mean, who know how anything could have ended up. And I'm not going to defend British imperialism because it is arguebly less evil then French imperialism. Where does that even get us?

Stockholm

A lot of historians think that France was quite eager to give the British New France because at the time they regarded it as a worthless moneypit and beaver pelt hats were starting to go out of style. The French thought they were getting the better end of the deal in the Treaty of Paris because they got Haiti, Guadeloupe and Maryinique with their sugar plantations and St. Pierre and Miquelon with their cod stocks.

Regardless of the outcome of the battle at the Plains of Abraham - France had already decided that New France was more trouble than it was worth and it was destined to be bargained away in the Treaty of Paris.

David-Marc

That's true. As Voltaire said it Canada is but a few arpents of snow.  And that probably is what most in French society thought of Canada. But I'm not the one who brought up the possibility of French maintaining possession of Canada. The loss of Canada changed the history of North America and French imperialism, and had it not happened, who knows what the state of North America would have been, or what the state of French imperialism would have been. To argue that the French Canadian and/or Quebecois nations have been better off by being colonised by the British is hard to explain, and the argument sounds almost like the moving force of all imperialist ventures, done, "of course", to make the indigenous peoples "better off". I will admit, of course, that the French Canadian situation is obviously complicated by the fact that  they were on both sides of colonialism, and have to deal with both simultaneously.

-=+=-

Slumberjack wrote:

I tend to see historical re-enactors and organizers of colonial battles as the same sort who would find amusement in playing with Napoleon era sand table miniatures, complete with tiny smoke popping cannons. 

 

Fuck off.

 

Honestly, be a man.  You don't like someone's hobby, fine.  You don't like military gamers, D & D players, geeks/nerds of all kinds -- that's okay too.  Just keep your bias to yourself.

 

I've met many re-enactors, and they're far better people than you'll ever be.  They're also probably more valuable to their community than you are.  Most are involved in volunteer organizations, teaching, local history, tourism and so on.  Even amateur theatre -- but maybe that's sissy/immature too?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

When I was a very young kid, my parents kept giving me Dinky military toys. I have no idea why, because I had no interest in the military whatsoever - although I remember around age 7 or 8 saving up a cache of firecrackers and scraping the black powder out of them, and putting it all into a long metal pipe, then lighting a fuse and running for cover in our back yard (this is about 1957). Someone phoned the cops to report an explosion. I guess that was my first experience as an anarchist. Innocent 

Webgear

Waterloo 200

Looks like France does not mind this event taking place.

  

______________________________________________________________________________________________ We are like cloaks, one thinks of us only when it rains.

Webgear

Waterloo 200

Looks like France does not mind this event taking place.

  

______________________________________________________________________________________________ We are like cloaks, one thinks of us only when it rains.

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