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A Short History of Canada for Americans

A Short History of Canada for Americans

Copyright Date: 1944
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 376
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    A Short History of Canada for Americans
    Book Description:

    The original 1942 catalog copy: Here is a timely and much needed book. How important Canada is to us and how closely Canada is bound to us are revealed in this fast-moving narrative. Materials never befoer available in book form sheds new light on Canadian-American relations through 400 years. The leading historian of Canada presents a fresh and penetrating interpretation of events and provides the background essential for an understanding of present-day problems. He describes his country’s struggle for national unity and the ups and downs of her political and social development. He tells the colorful stories of her great men, her explorers, her fur traders, her mounted police, and her empire builders. Professor Burt’s new book is not only popular with inquiring laymen but has been adopted as a text by many colleges and universities.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3634-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
  3. CHAPTER 1 Comparisons and Contrasts
    (pp. 3-9)

    American geographies have long shown maps of the United States in full color with a blank white space north of the Great Lakes and the forty-ninth parallel. Nearly as blank were the minds of some twelve hundred high school seniors in the United States when, not so long ago, their knowledge of Canada was tested. Their ignorance, said President Hauck of the University of Maine, who conducted the inquiry, was appalling. One of these students confessed, “I am terribly ignorant in regard to Canada, and all I think of is fish, snow, cold, ice.” And another, “Canada is so close...

  4. CHAPTER 2 The Establishment of New France
    (pp. 10-20)

    It was no accident that Canada was cradled in the St. Lawrence or that the founders of New France rejected the land that became New England. The explanation lies in the French conception of an empire in America, which was so different from any English notion that it is important to understand it right away. The French end was there in the beginning. The man who discovered Canada was sent forth by the French king in the hope that he would discover for France a navigable passage through North America to the waters of the Pacific, which Balboa had seen...

  5. CHAPTER 3 Life in New France
    (pp. 21-33)

    Two centuries and more ago a traveler sailing up the St. Lawrence might easily have imagined that he was sliding along the broad street of the longest village in the world. Though roads were built or being built along the banks, and were more and more used, the river was the one great highway of the country, in summer and winter alike; and across this broad highway two rows of houses faced each other. They began some miles below the little town of Quebec and continued, with here and there a church and a mill, to the wilderness just above...

  6. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  7. CHAPTER 4 The French Empire in America: Its Rise and Fall
    (pp. 34-56)

    French place names appear scattered all over the map of the United States between the Allegheny Mountains and the Rockies.* These names, such as Detroit, St. Louis, Vincennes, and Louisiana, are a reminder that the French Empire once covered the greater part of this continent. A Canadian child who had recently moved to the United States once came home from school after a lesson on this early period of American history saying, “That’sCanadianhistory!” It is true that the early histories of the two countries overlap, but what is common to both is not equally appreciated by both. The...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Liberty to be Themselves
    (pp. 57-71)

    In the Upper Town of Quebec, overlooking the river, stands a monument for which it would be difficult to find a parallel in any other country in the world. On one side is engraved the name of Wolfe and on the other that of Montcalm. One pile of stone erected to honor these two opposing generals who fell fighting against each other! But the incongruity is apparent only to strangers. In Canada Wolfe and Montcalm are both Canadian heroes, though neither was a Canadian. Their single monument is a perpetual reminder that the country has a dual nationality, and both...

  9. CHAPTER 6 Canada and the American Revolution
    (pp. 72-93)

    The British conquest of Canada precipitated the American Revolution. The fall of the French Empire on this continent had a tremendous psychological effect upon the thirteen colonies, for it banished the fear that had held them loyal to their mother country. Though growing to maturity, they had continued to cling to her as long as the great power of France threatened them. Now that this menace was gone, the conscious need for dependence on Britain was gone too. The outcome of the war thus gave them a new spirit of independence that prepared them for the revolution. Then they were...

  10. CHAPTER 7 Bad Neighbors: The War of 1812
    (pp. 94-112)

    Though the United States and Canada have set an example for the rest of the world by living side by side in peace and growing friendship for more than a century, for many years after the recognition of American independence they were bad neighbors. We are all familiar with the tragic fact that the most serious damage war inflicts is the suspicion and hate it leaves in people’s minds and hearts. The American Revolutionary War was no exception. As soon as Britain and the United States signed the peace treaty, both violated it. Each side entered upon this unhappy course...

  11. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  12. CHAPTER 8 Furs and the Great West
    (pp. 113-129)

    The fur trade, to which we have thus far given too little attention, was one of the greatest determining factors in Canadian history. Americans are apt to miss this fact because furs have played a relatively small part in the history of the United States. It was the fur trade that extended the British Empire over the vast region between Hudson Bay and the Pacific Ocean, thereby laying the foundation of the broader Canada of today. Incidentally it was also the fur trade that became the villain in a grim tragedy enacted on the banks of the Red River of...

  13. CHAPTER 9 A Half Century of Growth
    (pp. 130-146)

    The general growth of British North America in the first half of the nineteenth century presents some interesting contrasts to the growth of the United States in this period, though of course there are many similarities. The population increased in about the same proportion but, being much smaller, it expanded over a correspondingly smaller space. During this period the mighty march of the pioneers doubled the settled area of the United States, pushing the western frontier line out to Minnesota in the North and Texas in the South. It was a gigantic movement. North of the border, however, there were...

  14. CHAPTER 10 The British North American Revolution
    (pp. 147-165)

    As the middle of the century drew near, the most interesting development in British North America was a revolution in government. In the history of the British Empire it stands only second in importance to the American Revolution, with which it is more closely connected than most people realize. In the long run the United States was greatly, though unconsciously, responsible for emancipating the colonies that stayed in the empire. Contrary to this ultimate effect, however, the immediate result of the American Revolution was to make British colonial policy more reactionary rather than more liberal, and this policy prevailed for...

  15. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  16. CHAPTER 11 Dominion from Sea to Sea
    (pp. 166-185)

    The American Revolution sowed the seed that the American Civil War brought to fruition in the formation of the Dominion of Canada. The idea appeared on the morrow of the Revolution when the British government sent Dorchester out to salvage what had been left of the imperial wreck. Though he failed to draw the fragments together, the idea never quite died. Every now and then some prominent individual in one colony or another came forward with a proposal to realize it, and when Durham visited Canada he too became a convert. Here it is well to remember something that is...

  17. CHAPTER 12 How Canada Is Governed
    (pp. 186-198)

    The members of the Quebec Conference of 1864, which was Canada’s constitutional convention, were more or less familiar with the American proceedings of 1787 and with the subsequent history of the Constitution drawn up in Philadelphia. Some of the leaders at Quebec, particularly Macdonald, were close students of the American Constitution, and their minds were quite clear on what they would copy, what they would alter and how, and what they would reject for something else. The other model before these “fathers of confederation,” as they are called, was of course the British constitution. So a broad analysis of these...

  18. CHAPTER 13 Uniting the Nation
    (pp. 199-219)

    Although the new Dominion stretched from sea to sea in the early 1870’s, it was yet a disjointed country, depending on the United States for connection between its parts. The regular route for passengers and mail between the Maritime Provinces and Quebec was through Portland, Maine. The only communication between Ontario and Manitoba was through Chicago and St. Paul, and it took ten days for a letter to reach Winnipeg from Toronto. The journey from Central Canada to the capital of British Columbia required three weeks, and the way was over American railroads to the Pacific and then up the...

  19. CHAPTER 14 Filling Out
    (pp. 220-239)

    From the time of federation down to the outbreak of war in 1914, the Dominion was filling out, at first slowly and then rapidly. The greatest change came on the prairie. The land of buffaloes and Indians, as it had been for countless ages, became a country of farmers and towns, the home of a large white population. Phenomenal as this development may seem to Canadians who look back, their grandfathers were surprised that it was so slow in coming. The Dominion acquired the West to get room for growth, and straightway the government set about preparing for it. The...

  20. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  21. CHAPTER 15 Coming of Age
    (pp. 240-251)

    The war that shook the world in 1914 burst upon Canada like a thunderclap from a blue sky. Few Canadians had believed it was possible. Most of them were chiefly interested in the material development of their own country and were looking to the West, where the mainspring of this development lay. The war drew their interest across the sea and kept it there until after the fighting ceased.

    As part of the British Empire, Canada found herself automatically at war on August 4, 1914. This did not mean that the country had to take an active part in the...

  22. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  23. CHAPTER 16 Boom and Depression
    (pp. 252-277)

    The First World War shook the foundations of Canadian economic life, though its full effect was not realized until the approaching shadow of the next World War began to lengthen over the land. From the beginning of the century Canada’s prosperity had rested chiefly on the rapid development of the Prairie Provinces, and this in turn was based upon the willingness of industrial Europe to pay a profitable price for all the wheat that Western Canada could supply.

    Here was a condition that could not last because other countries were also extending their wheat lands and the world’s production of...

  24. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  25. CHAPTER 17 Foreign Affairs
    (pp. 278-293)

    On coming of age the Dominion adopted a negative foreign policy. It was the avoidance of foreign entanglements, which was substantially the same as the isolationist policy of the United States. But the Canadian policy was not copied from the American, any more than the American was copied from the nineteenth-century British policy of “splendid isolation.” They were all three the product of similar conditions. As a matter of fact, the Canadian prime minister, Sir Robert Borden, attacked Article X of the Covenant before the chorus against it arose in the United States. Being a good American, in the continental...

  26. Selected Reading List
    (pp. 294-296)
  27. Index
    (pp. 297-308)
  28. Back Matter
    (pp. 309-309)