By W. H. New (auth.)

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3. Conflict Government rivalries served to counterpoint those involving religion and trade, taking place sometimes on Canadian territory, sometimes elsewhere. Cartier's attempt to make translators out of Chief Donnaconna's (d. ) two sons, by kidnapping them on board ship, earned the French the subsequent enmity of the Iroquois when the two young men died; the French, Dutch and English then came to blows in Canada, drawing on different tribal alliances for local support. Most often, the colonies in North America were mere pawns in the give-and-take of European power games.

Compared with native Indian religions, which identified the human with the natural world, it drew boundary lines that the Indians did not at once comprehend. In attitudes to land, in other words, lay a confrontation between systems of belief as well as between structures of ownership. 21 There is a danger of romanticising Indian and denigrating European culture. The two systems do not divide into the good and the bad. Indian societies did set land apart for particular uses, did recognise zones of territorial influence, did (like Europeans) sometimes act cruelly and go to war, and did possess a kinetic rather than a static culture.

In the term that began in 1848 (with Lord Elgin, 1811-63, Durham's son-in-law, as the new Governor-General), this administration passed the Rebellion Losses Bill, compensating people on both sides of the 1837 dispute for property losses; passed the Amnesty Act, allowing the activist reformers back in the colony; secularised King's College (Halifax) and brought the state into public education, creating both the University of Toronto and the U niversite Laval; and passed laws that reformed judicial and economic policy.

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A History of Canadian Literature by W. H. New (auth.)
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