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The Alchemy of Day Historical Context

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When Hébert wrote "The Alchemy of Day," a poem about transformation and new life, Canada was going through its own transformation, much of which centered around Hébert's home territory of Quebec. To understand the tension in 1960, however, it helps to examine Canada's history over the last two centuries. For much of the nineteenth century, during its frontier days, Canada was still referred to as British North America—a collection of colonial provinces that was under British sovereignty. It was not until the 1860s, and the Confederation movement, that Canada became one, united political region. In 1867, Britain, wishing to rid itself of its expensive colonies, passed the British North American Act, which officially severed the country's control of British North America and created the Dominion of Canada, a political entity that was only loosely affiliated with Britain.

Still, while Canada was united in theory, in...

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This section contains 429 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Alchemy of Day Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Alchemy of Day from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.