Through the last half of the nineteenth century, numbers of Canadians began to regard the West as a land of ideal opportuniy for large-scale agricultural settlement. This belief, in turn, led Canada to insist on ownership of the region and on immediate development.
Underlying the expansionist movement was the assumption that the West was to be a hinterland to central Canada, both in its economic relationship and in its cultural development. But settlers who accepted the extravagant promises of expanionism found it increasingly difficult to reconcile the assumption of easstern dominance with their own perception of the needs of the West and of Canada.
Doug Owram analyses the various phases of this development, examining in particular the writings - historical, scientific, journalistic, and promotional - that illuminate one of the most significant movements in the history of nineteenth-century Canada.
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