Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



My dissertation explores the theoretical foundations of what I refer to as the Canadian liberal ethos. Taking the British parliamentary revolution of 1688 as pivotal event I examine the development of political liberty in its English incarnations and trace its development as it was expressed in colonial British North America. This dissertation hopes to provide an explanatory analysis the of the liberal ethos that can: (a) contribute to understanding the pre-suppositions of liberty in a liberal democratic order, (b) contribute to an understanding of diversity and competing philosophical principles that informed the settlement of British North America and the institutionalization of the liberal ethos and, (c) consider the role that 1688-89 had on the development of political thought and the exercise of political power in British North America. This dissertation contributes to the growing literature that examines Canadian political foundations and the principles that informed it. By approaching the topic from a British perspective I hope that the theoretical and philosophical currents that emerged in 17th century Britain can be understood as they were applied to colonization of British North America.



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Committee Chair

Sandoz, Ellis