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Canadians often characterize their military history as a march toward nationhood, but in the first eighty years of Confederation they were fighting for the British Empire.
From 1867 to 1947, war or threat of war forced Canadians to define and redefine their relationship to Britain and to one another. As French Canadians, Indigenous peoples, and those with roots in Continental Europe and beyond mobilized in support of imperial war efforts, their participation challenged the imagined homogeneity of Canada as a British nation.
From soldiers overseas to workers on the home front – and from the cultural ties of imperial pageantry to the bonds of race and class – Fighting with the Empire examines the paradox of a national contribution to an imperial war effort. This insightful collection of connected case studies explores the middle ground between narratives that celebrate the emergence of a nation through warfare and those that equate Canadian nationalism with British imperialism.