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Historical Atlas of Canada

Historical Atlas of Canada: Volume I: From the Beginning to 1800

R. Cole Harris EDITOR
Copyright Date: 1987
Pages: 198
  • Book Info
    Historical Atlas of Canada
    Book Description:

    A uniquely beautiful record of Canada's early development, this volume of the Historical Atlas of Canada explores the relationship between what is now Canada and its people, from the earliest evidence of human habitation to the beginning of the nineteenth century.

    The early traces date back some 12000 years. From this starting point at the end of the late Wisconsinan glacial maximum, the atlas provides an unprecedented outline of Canadian prehistory and the early historic period. The first 18 remarkable maps describe the settlements, cultural development, agriculture, and economic systems of the Indian and Inuit peoples of Canada and their predecessors.

    The volume goes on to illuminate the social and economic impact of European exploitation, trade, and settlements, looking in detail at relations between Europeans and native peoples. Richly detailed plates describe the movements of the new arrivals, the fisheries around Newfoundland and in the Gulf of St Lawrence, the French colonization in Acadia and the St Lawrence valley, the development of agriculture, the growth of towns, the expansion of the fur trade, and its impact on the various native nations and on the West generally.

    Unlike most historical atlases, which focus on geopolitical events and their territorial consequences, this volume of the Historical Atlas of Canada and its two companion volumes emphasize the circumstances of ordinary life. Much attention is paid to the small agricultural settlements and early towns in which Canadians lived during this period. Large-scale maps show individual settlements; small-scale maps explain how the patterns of distribution and trade shaped the growth of these settlements and, in turn, of Canada.

    An extraordinarily rich picture of our past emerges from the combination of text and graphic material in this volume, an illustration of Canada's early development that no other document has ever offered. With the other two volumes of the atlas, it presents a splendid visual record of the roots of our society and the evolution of the intensely regional, culturally diverse nation we know today.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7574-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Wm G. Dean and Jean–Pierre Wallot

    For the past three decades there has been a vigorous and unprecedented production of national, regional, provincial, and thematic atlases in Canada. This activity parallels a worldwide proliferation of atlases (well over 8 500) in which a very wide range of topics has been mapped. The interest in the production of atlases, combined with the serial publication, beginning in the 1950s, of the Canadian Centenary Series, a nineteen-volume comprehensive history of the people and land of Canada, formed the environment in which the idea for theHistorical Atlas of Canadawas born.

    In 1970 a group of geographers and historians...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xv-xvii)
    Geoffrey J. Matthews and R. Cole Harris
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xviii-xviii)
  6. Prehistory
    (pp. 1-46)

    Slightly more than 50 years ago it was believed that human beings arrived in the New World about 2000 BC. Now there is clear evidence that there were people in much of North America by 10 000 BC, and disputed evidence of considerably earlier occupation. A cautious interpretation is that the first immigrants to the New World crossed into the unglaciated regions of Alaska and the Yukon some time before 12 000 BC on the land bridge connecting Asia and North America. These Asiatic hunters of big game possessed a stone-tool technology that included bifacially flaked knives and weapon tips...

  7. The Atlantic Realm
    (pp. 47-80)

    During the 16th century the Atlantic rim of what is now Canada was incorporated in the European economy as fishermen from many European ports came to catch and process cod. With them came fishing techniques worked out in the northeastern Atlantic during the middle ages, ships and navigational principles developed principally by Portuguese and Basques in the 15th century, and the organization of early-modern mercantile capitalism. Throughout the 16th century Europeans were in Canada only seasonally, but they came in their summer numbers year after year, and their iron, cloth, and arms were far beyond the capacity of native manufacture....

  8. Inland Expansion
    (pp. 83-114)

    Early in the 16th century the St Lawrence valley was occupied by two agricultural Iroquoian-speaking groups collectively known as the St Lawrence Iroquoians (pl 33). On the Island of Montréal the heavily fortified village of Hochelaga, with about 50 longhouses and perhaps 1500 people, controlled the resources of the St Lawrence from the mouth of the Ottawa River to the entrance of Lac Saint-Pierre. Downstream from Hochelaga, on the north side of the river between Portneuf and Cap Tourmente, were seven small, apparently unfortified villages, with a total population of about 3 000 people. Jacques Cartier called this area ‘the...

  9. The St Lawrence Settlements
    (pp. 113-142)

    Jacques Cartier, the European explorer of much of the Gulf of St Lawrence in 1534 and of the St Lawrence River in 1535, was sent by Francis I, king of France, ‘to discover certain islands and lands where it is said that a great quantity of gold and other precious things are to be found.’ Equally enticing was the prospect of a direct sea-route to China (pls 20, 33). Native tales of gold in the Kingdom of Saguenay drew Cartier back in 1541 with five ships and a large number of colonists. Within two years Cartier and his successors in...

  10. The Northwest
    (pp. 143-170)

    In the 17th century European influences began to reach beyond Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes well into the northwestern interior of North America. Before mid-century networks of native trade carried French goods obtained along the lower St Lawrence River as far as the Assiniboine and Cree west of Lake Superior. By 1670, when Charles II granted the Hudson’s Bay Company a charter for the lands and trade around Hudson Bay, French traders were active around Lake Michigan and Lake Superior and the English were trading at the southern end of James Bay. By 1685 French traders operated posts around...

  11. Canada in 1800
    (pp. 171-178)

    Early in the American Revolution American armies attacked Québec, as the British but largely French-speaking colony centred the St Lawrence River was then called, capturing Montréal and laying midwinter siege to the town of Québec. The siege failed and fleeing Americans were chased south of Lake Champlain (pl 44). Later the American delegation at the peace negotiations in Paris sensed that Britain, wishing to contain the influence of France, would seek a speedy settlement and the good will of her former colonies, and demanded the whole of Québec for the United States. By such terms Britain would retain in North...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 179-198)