Canadian State Trials, Volume III: Political Trials and Security Measures, 1840-1914

Edited by Barry Wright and Susan Binnie

© 2009

The third volume in the Canadian State Trials series examines Canadian legal responses to real or perceived threats to the safety and security of the state from 1840 to 1914, a period of extensive challenges associated with fundamental political and socio-economic change. Trials for treason and related political offences, suspensions of habeas corpus, and other public order and security-related measures, supported by new institutions such as secret policing, are studied in essays by leading scholars in the field.

The book is divided into four parts: trials and related proceedings arising from the Fenian invasions; attempts to regulate large-scale manifestations of public disorder; trials following the North-West Rebellions of 1870 and 1885, including the Riel trial; and the modernization and enforcement of Canada's national security laws. Building upon the established scholarship of the series, the essays place these legal responses in context, shedding light on the complex and changing relationship between law and politics in Canadian history.

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Product Details

  • Series: Canadian State Trials
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 672 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.8in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

The third volume in the Canadian State Trials series examines Canadian legal responses to real or perceived threats to the safety and security of the state from 1840 to 1914, a period of extensive challenges associated with fundamental political and socio-economic change.

Canadian State Trials, Volume III: Political Trials and Security Measures, 1840-1914

Edited by Barry Wright and Susan Binnie

© 2009

The third volume in the Canadian State Trials series examines Canadian legal responses to real or perceived threats to the safety and security of the state from 1840 to 1914, a period of extensive challenges associated with fundamental political and socio-economic change. Trials for treason and related political offences, suspensions of habeas corpus, and other public order and security-related measures, supported by new institutions such as secret policing, are studied in essays by leading scholars in the field.

The book is divided into four parts: trials and related proceedings arising from the Fenian invasions; attempts to regulate large-scale manifestations of public disorder; trials following the North-West Rebellions of 1870 and 1885, including the Riel trial; and the modernization and enforcement of Canada's national security laws. Building upon the established scholarship of the series, the essays place these legal responses in context, shedding light on the complex and changing relationship between law and politics in Canadian history.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Canadian State Trials
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 672 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.8in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    This book offers a fascinating window onto a broader legal and political culture in the process of being forged in the decades before and after Confederation.
    Robert Diab, Canadian Journal of Law & Society, vol 25:02:10

    ‘Binnie & Wright have produced a book that provides much needed background to the current situation in Canada, and one that will prove to be an excellent resource for scholars of modern legal responses to security threats… This volume highlights the importance of this series to our understanding of both Canadian legal history and the development of the Canadian state.’
    Sarah E. Hamil
    Labour/Le Travail vol 66: Fall 2010
  • Author Information

    Barry Wright is a professor in the Departments of Law and History, Director of Kroeger College, and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University.



    Susan Binnie has taught criminology and legal history at the University of Toronto, York University, and the University of Ottawa. She is a former legal historian at the Law Society of Upper Canada.
  • Table of contents

    Foreword
    Acknowledgments
    Contributors
    Abbreviations

    Introduction: From State Trials to National Security Measures
    Susan Binnie and Barry Wright

    Part One: Fenians

    1 ‘Stars and Shamrocks Will be Sown’: The Fenian State Trials, 1866–7
    R. Blake Brown

    2 The D’Arcy McGee Affair and the Suspension of Habeas Corpus
    David A. Wilson

    Part Two: Managing Collective Disorder

    3 The Tenant League and the Law, 1864–7
    Ian Ross Robertson

    4 The Trials and Tribulations of Riot Prosecutions: Collective Violence, State Authority, and Criminal Justice in Quebec, 1841–92
    Donald Fyson

    5 Maintaining Order on the Pacifi c Railway: The Peace Preservation Act, 1869–85
    Susan Binnie

    6 Street Railway Strikes, Collective Violence, and the Canadian State, 1886–1914
    Eric Tucker

    Part Three: The North-West Rebellions

    7 Treasonous Murder: The Trial of Ambroise L├ępine, 1874
    Louis A. Knafl A

    8 Summary and Incompetent Justice: Legal Responses to the 1885 Crisis
    Bob Beal And Barry Wright

    9 Another Look at the Riel Trial for Treason
    J.M. Bumsted

    10 The White Man Governs: The 1885 Indian Trials
    Bill Waiser

    Part Four: Securing the Dominion

    11 ‘High-handed, Impolite, and Empire-breaking Actions’: Radicalism, Anti-Imperialism, and Political Policing in Canada, 1860–1914
    Andrew Parnaby and Gregory S. Kealey with Kirk Niergarth

    12 Codification, Public Order, and the Security Provisions of the Canadian Criminal Code, 1892
    Desmond H. Brown and Barry Wright

    Appendices: Archival Research and Supporting Documents

    A. The Sir John A. Macdonald Fonds: Research Strategies and Methodological Issues for Archival Research
    Judi Cumming

    B. Archival Sources in Canada for Riel’s Rebellion
    Gilles Lesage

    C. Supporting Documents

    Index

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