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Canadian History: a Reader's Guide

Canadian History: a Reader's Guide: Volume 1: Beginnings to Confederation

Copyright Date: 1994
Pages: 506
  • Book Info
    Canadian History: a Reader's Guide
    Book Description:

    The guides provide quick and easy access to essential material in any subject area for students or for readers seeking direction for broadening their understanding of particular periods, themes, or topics.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7223-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-2)
  5. Beginnings to 1600
    (pp. 3-32)

    The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief bibliographic guide to the Native peoples of Canada on the brink of European contact, the environments within which those First Nations lived, the expansion of Europeans into North America, and the history of Native-European relations in the sixteenth century. Since the study of peoples who did not leave written records requires going beyond historical literature, this chapter draws upon the disciplines of linguistics, anthropology, and, especially, archaeology. Accordingly, an attempt has also been made to explain the methodological problems inherent in interdisciplinary studies of this sort.

    Archaeology is a branch...

  6. Canada and the Pays d’en haut, 1600–1760
    (pp. 33-75)

    This chapter surveys historical work on the inhabitants of the seigneurial zone of the St Lawrence Valley, the lands to the north and south, and thepays d’en hautin the Great Lakes region.¹ It covers the years when Canada, as the eastern part of the valley was known, was a colony of France. Two populations, the one composed largely of French immigrants and their descendants, and the other of Native peoples whose ancestors had arrived much earlier, co-existed in this enlarged drainage basin between 1600 and 1760. The region can thus be said to have two distinct, albeit interconnected,...

  7. Acadia and Old Nova Scotia to 1784
    (pp. 76-111)

    During the past twenty years there has been a renaissance in interest in the history of the Maritime provinces before 1784. Historians have re-examined some of the old issues and arrived at exciting new conclusions, while some previously unexplored topics have begun to receive the attention that they deserve. New approaches to the past have also been tried, with archaeologists and those interested in material culture shedding new light on this period.

    Beginnings have been made toward a better understanding of the history of the Native peoples, as well as their relations with the incoming Europeans. Interest in, and understanding...

  8. Quebec/Lower Canada
    (pp. 112-183)

    Historical writing is not about absolutes; it reflects the personal biases of the historians who undertake it and the collective perceptions and preoccupations of their times. Similarly, those who read history expect to find in it some link with their own experience of life. This questioning of the past in terms of the present gives meaning to historical writing and explains in part why more recent works tend to replace older ones. Thus, while historical writing improves as methodology is refined, recent works also seem better because they speak more directly to contemporary concerns. Those works from the past that...

  9. Upper Canada
    (pp. 184-236)

    For many on the so-called edges of our country the term ‘Upper Canada’ is synonymous with Ontario, a designation that conjures up images of privilege and power. It is the site of central Canada, another term weighted down with meaning: more than a geographical expression of location, the centre is also the place of decision-making and ultimate economic and political clout. In the 1990s, however, Ontario is less and less the concentrated locus of advantage and authority. As the traditional economic foundations of central Canadian affluence and might crumble in plant closings, job losses, and recession, its electoral political representatives...

  10. The Maritime Colonies, 1784 to Confederation
    (pp. 237-279)

    The two major concerns for historians interested in the Maritimes have been the production of historical literature on the region and its integration into ‘national’ histories. For a lengthy period there was a lack of material on the Maritimes. In a convocation address delivered in Fredericton at the University of New Brunswick in 1943, Daniel Cobb Harvey, the most distinguished Maritime historian of his generation, said:

    Hardly a day goes by without some complaint that our histories of Canada ignore the Maritime Provinces, or give inaccurate accounts of them, or treat them as a mere appendix to the history of...

  11. Newfoundland and the International Fishery
    (pp. 280-324)

    Newfoundland has long prided itself on being the first colony of the British Empire, a claim based only in part on John Cabot’s voyage of discovery in 1497. By the time Acadia and Quebec were established early in the seventeenth century, Newfoundland had been the annual destination for thousands of European fishermen for nearly a century. In a strictly Eurocentric sense, Newfoundland has an older history than any other part of Canada, a point reinforced by the recent confirmation that the Norse preceded Cabot to Newfoundland by five centuries. Clearly, history has been important in defining and shaping Newfoundland, and...

  12. The Northwest and the North
    (pp. 325-355)

    While most people probably think of the history of the western interior of Canada in terms of the period of immigration and agricultural settlement at the end of the nineteenth century, the history of the region before it became a part of Canada is complex and fascinating. The exploits of northern adventurer-explorers and fur traders have attracted the attention of writers and their audiences for many years; the Northwest has been romanticized in the best nineteenth-century traditions. While elements of that mystical fascination remain, contemporary historians are more interested in explaining the processes of interaction between the First Nations and...

  13. The Pacific Coast
    (pp. 356-393)

    ‘The History of British Columbia is brief,’ observed British traveller and author William Adolph Baillie-Grohmann at the turn of the century. ‘Gold made it and gold unmade it.’¹ Despite the fact he overlooked the millennia-old presence of Native peoples, this visitor’s pithy comment does capture two fundamental realities of life in the area that became British Columbia. The first is the centrality of primary resource extraction in shaping the region’s economy, society, and politics. Whether we consider the Native peoples of the Northwest Coast, whose complex cultures were built on the twin staples of cedar and salmon, or the European...

  14. British North America in Its Imperial and International Context
    (pp. 394-448)

    As all students of Canadian history should quickly learn to appreciate, history is as much subject to fashions and fads as any other cultural endeavour. Once upon a time in Canada, certainly within the lifetime of more than a few of its seniors, this dominion was an integral part of the ‘British Empi-ah’ and its citizens were British subjects, whether they liked it or not. The decline of this state of affairs is to a considerable extent inextricably interwoven within the story of Canada, and the process of Canadianization has been a slow, gradual, and relatively recent one. Canada’s place...

  15. Contributors
    (pp. 449-452)
  16. Author Index
    (pp. 453-488)
  17. Subject Index
    (pp. 489-506)