Monday, March 12, 2012

(another) very short story;

A recent British documentary on the Battle of Quebec and the Plains of Abraham opens with tales of British might and French near-dominance of most of what is now Canada and the United States, and closes with the American colonies turning left, independently uniting. A humiliating defeat, the host says, for every battle he mentions. Apparently this what British schoolboys taught, a context larger than the one we were presented: the Battle of Quebec, with no mention of American Rebellion a generation later, skipping directly to the War of 1812. There was little between the British North America Act and Confederation in our curriculum. Nothing else happened in Canada. We were left with no connections, from the not-yet-Major-General James Wolfe’s experiences at the battles of Falkirk and Culloden, General George Washington pushing the French out of Virginia, or explorer James Cook traversing the St. Lawrence, producing the first intricate water-maps. The list of histories edited, picked over, simplified. Near the end of the documentary, the word “Quebec,” the host says, means “narrows.” What else don’t we know.

No comments: