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James Forbes

James Forbes

The CHA Journal Prize ( The best article from #1 and #2 issues)


James Forbes, ““A Deplorable Speech”: The Liberal Party vs. Anti-Catholicism during the Alexander Mackenzie Administration, 1873-1878”, Volume 28, Issue # 1, 2017.

This article discusses an important and underappreciated episode in the history of the Liberal party and Canadian political culture, detailing the evolution of the
Canadian Liberal party’s attitudes towards Catholicism and the separation of church and state in the 1870s. This is a thoughtful, well-informed, nuanced, polished, and admirably succinct reading that integrates a broad range of secondary and primary sources and advances a clearly formulated and sophisticated argument. Forbes does an excellent job of contextualizing what may seem at first blush to be a minor political incident and generalizing its significance.