The North British Society of Halifax, Nova Scotia And the Social Dominance of Imperial Scottishness
Over the course of the 19th century, Nova Scotia established a Scottish identity that was unique among the British Empire. Its Scottishness can be traced back to 1621, with the Royal Charter given to Sir William Alexander to establish a Scotch colony there. However, the region did not actually see a significant number of Scottish people until the early 19th century. The North British Society, established in 1768 in Halifax, worked to establish identifiable Scottish links that did not necessarily rely on ethnic connection with Scotland. This paper examines the role of the North British Society in Halifax during the latter half of the 19th century as an agent of imperial consolidation in the province. During the mid-Victorian era, when the percentage of ethnic Scots in Halifax lessened, the North British Society was active to promote the Scottish character of the city in a way that simultaneously reflected imperial loyalty. Thereby, the Society reflected a specific pan-imperial culture rooted in a mythic Scottishness.
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