Rights, Justice, Power: Gendered Perspectives on Prohibition in Late Nineteenth-Century Canada


  • Dianne Hallman University of Saskatchewan


This paper places within a broad social context a debate on the merits of prohibition between two highly respected Victorian Canadians: Agnes Machar (1837-1927), an established author, and J. A. Allen (1814-1900), a retired cleric. The debate was published in 1877 as a series of formal exchanges in The Canadian Monthly and National Review (a journal devoted to promoting nationalism). The nature of, and basis for, gendered perspectives on rights, justice, and power are investigated through an analysis of gender in temperance/prohibition discourse in three ways: the articulation of rights and responsibilities, the conception of what constitutes justice, and the appeal to conventional imagery of women and men.

Author Biography

Dianne Hallman, University of Saskatchewan

Dianne M. Hallman (dianne.hallman@usask.ca) is Associate Professor of Educational Foundations, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on feminist history and women and education. Her doctoral work at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (now OISE/UT) focussed on a social/intellectual history of Canadian writer and reformer Agnes Maule Machar (1837-1927). She has published in the areas of social history, educational biography, and is currently working with a SSHRCC team on a study of teacher educators.