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Disaster CitizenshipSurvivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era$
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Jacob A. C. Remes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039836

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039836.001.0001

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“A Desirable Measure of Responsibility”

“A Desirable Measure of Responsibility”

Halifax’s Churches and Unions Respond to the Progressive State

(p.132) 5 “A Desirable Measure of Responsibility”
Disaster Citizenship

Jacob A. C. Remes

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how the Halifax explosion changed local churches and unions, as well as the ways that membership in a church or union altered the individuals' and families' experiences of the disaster. In applying for and receiving disaster relief, disaster survivors were sorted by organizational membership—in churches, in clubs, and in other formal institutions. When Haligonians applied for aid from the Halifax and Dartmouth Relief Committees and their successor, the Halifax Relief Commission, they were asked, among other things, what organizations they belonged to, including their church, their union, and their fraternal societies. This chapter compares the Halifax Relief Commission's instrumental use of churches, which emphasized clerical authority, with the ways that lay congregants chose to use churches to come to terms with their grief. It also considers how unions responded to the considerable growth of the technocratic, interventionist, progressive state during World War I.

Keywords:   unions, Halifax explosion, churches, disaster relief, Halifax Relief Commission, progressive state, World War I, survivors

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