Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Successful Pioneers: Irish Catholic Settlers in the Township of Hibbert, Ontario, 1845-1887. The study of Irish Catholic immigrants is interesting as a part of the wider issue that has consumed Canada since its inception - immigration and immigrant communities. By testing the assumptions of historical literature, we can see how different stories have been told about the Irish Catholic immigrant experience in Canada and the variety of reasons given for the communities' relative successes or failures. The Township of Hibbert affords an opportunity to study Irish Catholic Immigrants in somewhat uniquely promising socioeconomic, dernographic and geographic circumstances. The settlers developed into a strong and confident rural community. And though many of the articles and monographs published in the past twenty years have discredited the assumptions of the earlier cultural deterministic models of Irish Canadian studies, the literature concerning the nineteenth century rural experience continues to place Irish Catholics on the periphery. This despite the fact that most Irish Catholics in Canada during this era lived in rural communities. The central thesis of this paper is that the Irish Catholic community in the Township of Hibbert were not as downtrodden as the historical literature ,concerning the subject of Irish Catholics usually suggests. The Irish Catholics, of the Township of Hibbert were economically, politically and socially more secure than any other community discussed in the Canadian historical literature. They found it was neither necessary nor desirable to publicly demand recognition, as an ethnic or cultural group, from their local society and therefore expressed moderation concerning the issues of Irish nationalism and religious rights. It is this story that this paper will attempt to discuss.
Tucker, Derek, "Successful Pioneers: Irish Catholic Settlers in the Township of Hibbert, Ontario, 1845-1887" (2001). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6938.
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