A City Reborn: Patriotism in Saskatoon During the Second World War

by Kelly, Brendan

Abstract (Summary)
In the last decade historians have focused greater attention on the Canadian home front during the Second World War. This increased scrutiny has led to studies of not only the wars impact on the nation at large, but also on specific urban communities. A weakness in all of these urban accounts, however, is that patriotism is too often taken for granted. An examination of Saskatoon between 1939 and 1945 provides a case study for how patriotism was fostered in a community thousands of kilometers away from the battlefield. Of particular interest here were the ways in which Saskatoons collective imagination, stifled for nearly a decade by the Great Depression, nourished the citys patriotic zeal. Patriotism is considered from three main perspectives. The ways in which Saskatoon re-created at home the war over there are examined first. Instrumental to this endeavour were a deep and sympathetic interest in Englands weathering of the Nazi Blitz, a fear that the Germans might attack North America, and an idolization of the Canadian soldier, both abroad and in the citys own midst. Secondly, Saskatoons vicarious experience of the Second World War in turn energized the countless patriotic initiatives in the city. Saskatonians, from women to the smallest children, were encouraged to do their bit to contribute to the war effort on the home front. Finally, there was also a darker side to the patriotic imagination: a disturbing xenophobia dominated Saskatoon during the war years. People of German and Japanese ancestry, as well as those on the left of the political spectrum, were suspected of being fifth columnists. Using the Star-Phoenix newspaper as a mirror of the community, this thesis provides new insight into patriotism, Saskatoon, and the Second World War.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Cottrell, Michael; Miller, J.R.; Waiser, Bill; Calder, Robert L.

School:University of Saskatchewan

School Location:Canada - Saskatchewan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:home front second world war patriotism saskatoon


Date of Publication:04/22/2008

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