Michel Ducharme

Associate Professor

Research Classification

Social Organization and Political Systems
Political Ideologies

Research Interests

Canadian History before Confederation
Quebec History
Liberalism and Nationalism in Canada and Quebec
Canada and the Atlantic World

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters



Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round

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Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

The government is seeking a mandate: the Liberal Party of Canada's use of democratic rhetoric in the interwar years, 1919-1940 (2021)

This dissertation seeks to explain how and why the political concepts Canadians value differ substantially from the foundational ideals of the British North America Act 1867. It seeks to answer this question by examining democratic discourses propagated by national political parties during the key years of 1919–1940. In particular, it focuses on the role of the Liberal Party of Canada and its leader William Lyon Mackenzie King in advancing a certain set of democratic discourses as a means of responding to specific challenges the party faced during these years. Ultimately, it argues the Liberals used discourses based on the concept of popular sovereignty to justify centralizing political power in the person of the Prime Minister and creating a centralized political party designed to support the legislative agenda of their leader. While the Liberals were not the only party to employ democratic discourses as a means of advancing their political fortunes, their particular articulation of how Canada should function was uniquely successful in appealing to the popular imagination. Other parties, from the Progressive Party of the early 1920s, who advocated group governance, proportional representation and multi–member constituencies, to the Conservatives, who steadfastly defended British constitutional norms, all were either unable or unwilling to create an effective counter–narrative and so remained in the minority within the House of Commons, leading to a prolonged period of Liberal rule.

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Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Bishop's gambit: the transatlantic brokering of Father Alexander Macdonell (2020)

This thesis examines the transatlantic life and journey of Father Alexander Macdonell within the context of his role as a broker in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While serving as a leader for the Glengarry Highlanders throughout the British Isles and Upper Canada, Macdonell acted as a middleman, often brokering negotiations between his fellow Highlanders and the British and Upper Canadian governments. This relationship saw Macdonell and the Glengarry Highlanders travel to Glasgow, Guernsey, and Ireland, working as both manufacturers and soldiers before they eventually settled in Glengarry County, Upper Canada. Once established in Upper Canada, Macdonell continued to act as a broker, which notably led to the participation of the Glengarry Highlanders in the colony’s defence during the War of 1812. Over time, Macdonell’s role as a broker aided him to progressively grow in reputation. Furthermore, it helped him rise through the religious and political ranks of the Roman Catholic Church and Upper Canada politics, ultimately resulting in his appointment as the Bishop of Regiopolis and a member of the colony’s Legislative Council. From his new positions, Macdonell attempted to implement his vision of a Highland future for Upper Canada, rooted in Roman Catholicism, loyalism, and Scottish tradition.

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There is every place for the state in the barrooms of the nation : the temperance movement and freedom in Canada, 1872-1898 (2012)

This paper examines how the temperance movement within Canada during the years 1872-1898 sought to justify its political program of prohibition using the concept of freedom. By examining the rhetoric employed by the temperance movement and the popular concepts to which it appealed, I hope to convey the importance of freedom within nineteenth century Canadian political culture, and to better understand how such a principle was employed in political debates. This paper engages with Ian McKay's Liberal Order Framework by contesting his conception of the primacy of the individual in the implementation of liberal values, as well as exploring the role of Christianity within the creation of a liberal order. To do so, this paper draws upon the writings of prominent English-speaking Central Canadian temperance advocates and organizations.

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