British Journal of Canadian Studies

For Purity or Prosperity: Competing Nationalist Visions and Canadian Immigration Policy, 1919–30

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2010), 23, (1), 1–23.

Abstract

This study examines how Canada's immigration policy became the site of competing nationalist visions in the post-First World War period, when Canadians struggled with a changed sense of the nation's identity and purpose. It focuses on two groups, divided largely along gender lines: female civil servants new to Ottawa's immigration department, and Canada's leading industrialists. At the crux of the immigration debate in this period, as now, was whether cultural or economic interests should take precedence in policy. Exploring the debate in an historical context reveals immigration policy formulation to be an enterprise that responds to constantly changing social and economic systems, and relations of gender and power.

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Author details

Mancuso, Rebecca