Guarding the Gates
The Canadian Labour Movement and Immigration, 1872-1934
From the 1870s until the Great Depression, immigration was often the question of the hour in Canada. Politicians, the media, and an array of interest groups viewed it as essential to nation building, developing the economy, and shaping Canada’s social and cultural character. One of the groups most determined to influence public debate and government policy on the issue was organized labour, and unionists were often relentless critics of immigrant recruitment. Guarding the Gates is the first detailed study of Canadian labour leaders’ approach to immigration, a key battleground in struggles between different political factions within the labour movement.
Guarding the Gates provides new insights into labour, immigration, social, and political history. It will be valuable not only to readers interested in the internal politics of social movements, but to everyone concerned with long-standing debates about Canadian national identity, and gender, ethnic, and race relations.
This book will be valuable not only to readers interested in the internal politics of social movements, but to everyone concerned with long-standing debates about Canadian national identity, and gender, ethnic, and race relations.
David Goutor skilfully explores the meanings and consequences of organized labour’s opposition to wholesale recruitment of labour abroad and to different streams of immigration ... Goutor’s most significant contribution is to explore the relationship between labour’s attitudes to immigration and its ability to develop as an effective political force.
Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the history of racism and human rights in Canada. David Goutor perceptively analyses the racialization of various groups, in conjunction with the forging of certain forms of class and gender identities. His informative and sensitive book also sheds light on the history of labour politics, social reform, immigration policy, and the politics of nation-building.
Guarding the Gates provides intriguing historical insight into one of Canada’s most pressing contemporary social issues. Anyone interested in immigration, the labour market, multiculturalism, or racism will benefit from reading this thought-provoking book.
Part 1: Issues and Arguments
1 Guarding the Gates
2 Setting the Stage: Labour, Industry, and Immigration in Canada, 1872-1934
Part 2: Labour’s Anti-Asian Agitation
3 The Bounds of Unity: Opposition to Chinese Immigration, 1880-87
4 The “Old Time Question”: The Campaign for Exclusion, 1888-1934
Part 3: Labour and Atlantic Immigration
5 Superfluous People: Labour’s Construction of Immigrants from Europe and the British Isles
6 Importing Victims: The Assault on the Commerce of Immigration
Part 4: Immigration, Ideology, and Politics
7 Immigration, Joseph Arch, and the Producer Ideology, 1872-79
8 Imported Labour, the Tariff, and Land Reform, 1880-1902
9 Retreat, Corporatism, and Responsible Management, 1903-34
Notes; Bibliography; Index
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