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Carving the past in stone : le Monument aux Patriotes


Carving the past in stone : le Monument aux Patriotes

O'Flaherty, Rosemary (2004) Carving the past in stone : le Monument aux Patriotes. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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In 1858 the Institut Canadien raised Le Monument aux Patriotes in Montreal's Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery purportedly to honour those individuals victimized by the rebellions of 1837 and 1838. From the outset, it was a contested memorial. Throughout the two decades following the rebellions, the liberals of the Institut were increasingly at loggerheads with the conservative, ultramontane clergy. Both groups sought to contextualize the rebellions in terms of their respective ideologies in an attempt to define French Canadian identity. The situation climaxed in 1858 when the Bishop of Montreal, Ignace Bourget, unequivocally denounced the Institut. By raising the Monument, the Institut hoped to create an origin legend for the emerging French Canadian nation, based on the liberal principles inherent in the rebellions, as an enlightened people, complete with a cult of heroes. Locating the Monument in a cemetery, however, spoke to the ambiguity of the Institut's intentions. This rural setting, on consecrated ground, suggests the Institut's need to soften the idiom of liberalism by assuaging ultramontane sensibilities. Similarly, the Monument's puzzling inscriptions beg the question as to what exactly the Institut was trying to commemorate. In the final analysis, the Monument remains today, a contested site of memory.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:O'Flaherty, Rosemary
Pagination:vi, 89 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Rudin, Ronald
ID Code:8364
Deposited By: Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 18:23
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 18:23
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