Article ID: CBB371192457

“Une plus brillante moisson de citoyens sains et robustes”: Eugenic Discourses in French Canada (1902–10) (2020)


The Association des médecins de langue française d’Amérique du Nord (AMLFAN) was founded in Québec at the turn of the twentieth century. The physicians who convened at the Association between 1902 and 1910 shared a concern for the degeneration of the French-Canadian “race” under the effects of alcoholism, tuberculosis, and syphilis. For hygienists such as Arthur Rousseau and Charles-Narcisse Valin, this state of degeneration called for hygienic measures that would help regenerate and improve the French-Canadian race. While their suggestion that marriages be matched scientifically in order to prevent the transmission of hereditary and acquired defects from parent to offspring may be reminiscent of eugenics, French-Canadian physicians seemed to have no knowledge of Sir Francis Galton – eugenics’ “founding father” – and his work on the topic. This article compares French-Canadian eugenic discourses with Galtonian eugenics in order to shed light on the particularities of the French-Canadian case.

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Authors & Contributors
Snelders, Stephen
Richardson, Angelique
Pieters, Toine
Barnett, Richard
Godin, Benoît
Gaumer, Benoît
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Social Studies of Science
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Oxford University Press
University of California, Santa Barbara
St. John's University (New York)
Wipf & Stock
University of Nebraska Press
Galton, Francis
Rüdin, Ernst
Wells, Herbert George
Lankester, Edwin Ray
Cattell, James McKeen
Gesell, Arnold Lucius
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
Great Britain
United States
Québec (Canada)

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