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Eastern & Western Perspectives

Eastern & Western Perspectives: Papers from the Joint Atlantic Canada/Western Canadian Studs. Conference

Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 228
  • Book Info
    Eastern & Western Perspectives
    Book Description:

    In 1978 the Atlantic Canada and Western Canada Studies Conferences met jointly. These ten papers are selected from twenty-seven presented at the joint conference.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5684-0
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xi)
    D.J.B. and P.A.B.
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xii-2)
  5. The Franco-Canadian communities of western Canada since 1945
    (pp. 3-18)

    The organizers of this joint Western-Atlantic Studies Conference stipulated that this paper should deal with the ‘plight’ of French Canadians in western Canada and that it should be as general as possible. Disregarding the notion that the presence of anything French in the west is perhaps more a ‘blight,’ I propose to focus on the applicability of the concept of ‘plight’ to the francophone minority of western Canada. Assuming that this concept implies the condition or state of hopelessness, we may well ask ourselves in what ways and to what extent the status and position of the French fact in...

  6. The flowering of the Acadian renaissance
    (pp. 19-46)

    The Acadians are the French-speaking people of Canada whose forbears settled in what today is Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. They do not constitute a large segment of the Canadian population. But they have played a dramatic role in our history and, despite their small numbers, they will play a vital role in the future of the Canadian confederation. A stubborn, courageous, tenacious people, they have survived the vicissitudes of the past, and have overcome the hostility and indifference of the near-present, by their determination and their will to live. In many ways they are myth become...

  7. In search of a post-confederation Maritime historiography, 1900–1967
    (pp. 47-68)

    This paper began as a critical review from a Maritime perspective of Professor Carl Berger’sThe writing of Canadian history: aspects of English-Canadian historical writing,1900–1970 (Toronto 1976). I had initially envisioned it as contribution to a kind of Carl Berger ‘roast.’¹ The approach had its appeal. Had not his work received the highest award to which a Canadian historian might aspire? And had not the author supped with the gods, or at least the governor general? Obviously some good-natured raillery and honest criticism would help restore the author’s status as a fallible human being. To this end one...

  8. The writing of history in western Canada
    (pp. 69-84)

    Carl Berger’s admirable book.The writing of Canadian history, is an essay in Canadian intellectual history of the first importance.¹ But the student of western Canada might be excused if he came away with the feeling that Berger’s study does not do justice to the writing of western Canadian history. Berger does say that Arthur S. Morton’s major work ‘advanced no generalized interpretations of Canadian history’ but ‘underlined the independent origins of Western Canadian history.’² William L. Morton, to whom Berger devotes a chapter subtitled ‘The delicate balance of region and nation,’ he perceives as inheriting these traditions of ‘independence’...

  9. The great merchant and economic development in Saint John, 1820–1850
    (pp. 85-114)

    One of the liveliest debates in recent Canadian business history has centred on the role of the nineteenth-century merchant in promoting or retarding the development of a locally controlled British North American industrial base. Supporters of the retardation theory usually argue that the colonial merchant was nurtured in a system based upon the export of raw and semi-finished produce and the import of fully manufactured materials. Dominating the ports and the transportation systems of British North America, he became the principal defender of the economic status quo, viewing any substantial rearrangement of economic relations as a threat to his world....

  10. Patterns of prairie urban development 1871–1950
    (pp. 115-146)

    Urban development on the prairies in the period prior to 1950 can be divided into three eras. During the first, stretching from the 1870s to 1913, numerous urban communities were established and many enjoyed a decade or more of rapid growth and prosperity. The general urban pattern of the region was set in these crucial years, and by 1913 five cities had emerged as dominant urban centres. These cities – Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Edmonton – have remained the primary urban concentrations of the region. The second era, which lasted until the early 1940s, was a time of only moderate growth....

  11. An Atlantic region political culture: a chimera
    (pp. 147-168)

    In September 1977 Premier Alexander Campbell of Prince Edward Island told Atlantic Canada that it had not even yet made the decision to develop as a region. ‘We are four separate, competitive, jealous and parochial provinces. We fight each other for industrial development. We fight each other for subsidiaries and we bicker about energy and transportation. And too often, the lines of battle are drawn on purely political grounds or selfish local considerations.’ Turning more specifically to attitudes, the premier pointed out that the Atlantic provinces ‘do not have a regional identity; we do not have regional bonds ... Our...

  12. Political culture in the west
    (pp. 169-182)

    Political culture is an ambiguous concept. Like God and the Mafia, it seems to elude empirical testing and for this reason some social scientists suspect its properties border too closely on the metaphysical for the term to be employed with confidence. Ronald Rogowski, an American scholar, has described political culture as ‘couched in such a welter of “mays” and ‘perhapses” that a ... test of [the theory] is all but impossible.’¹ More recently the methodological problems surrounding the concept have been enlightened by the careful analysis of a Canadian political scientist, David V.J. Bell, of York University.² The questions he...

  13. Three generations of fiction: an introduction to prairie cultural history
    (pp. 183-196)

    Because one of Margaret Laurence’s characters had Memorybank Movies about a little Manitoba town, and Robert Stead undertook painstaking research into the operation of a threshing machine, and Ralph Connor drew careful maps of North End Winnipeg, the casual reader might be excused for concluding that time and place are important, even defining elements in prairie fiction. But that reader must also acknowledge the blunt denial of a skilled writer like George Bowering, who warned that the ‘content’ of a novelist’s work is ‘no reality – all content is made-up or referential.’¹ Moreover, he must recognize that at the heart of...

  14. Economic growth in the Atlantic region, 1880–1940
    (pp. 197-227)

    It has been customary for historians to treat the Maritimes and Newfoundland as two regions rather than one. This reflects, very probably, nothing more credible than an academic inertia about widening horizons. While there were profound differences in the level of economic activity and in the rate of growth of the two economies before World War II, Caves and Holton rightly pointed out nearly two decades ago that they shared a common economic niche.¹

    This essay has several purposes. The first is to encourage historians of the Atlantic region to make more efforts to bridge the Cabot Strait. This effort...

  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 228-228)