Thursday, January 15, 2015

"French-Canadian Invasion!": What if 'The McLaughlin Group' Existed in the 1890s?

In the 1880-1900 period hundreds of thousands of French-speakers from Canada flooded into the Northeastern USA. They were considered by the mainstream American press to be the “problematic” cross-border immigrants of their day.

A conspiracy theory, repeatedly expressed in media of the day, claimed that the Québec Catholic hierarchy had hatched a plot to seize New England and annex it to a revived New France which was to include Québec, New England, and parts of Ontario, New York and the Maritime Provinces of Canada.

What if they had the news media then that they had today? This parody of a popular American news talk show demonstrates the tenor of the dialogue around these immigrants in this period.

For more information:
“Fears of Franco-American Conspiracy: Immigration and Paranoia”

“19th c. Québec Messianism and Franco-Americans”

“The French-Canadian 'Alien In Our Midst': Nativism vs. Nationality in 20th c. America”

“Assimilation Is No Accident: 19th c. Yankee Attitudes Toward Franco-Americans”