Canadians in the Making: A Social History of Canada

By Arthur R. M. Lower | Go to book overview

1: France comes to America

THE COMPLETELY URBANIZED MAN, if such a man exists, will avoid his native earth: he will confine himself to those parts of it which are safely battened down under concrete. Urbanism, a term not to be confused with another, civilization, is a matter of pavements, buildings, books and gas fumes. But a history of Canada, any history, must have much to do with untamed nature and with the countryside. Cities will come into it, too, but late, though with emphasis. The first acts of the Canadian drama are played outdoors. Will the completely urbanized man avoid Canada and Canada's history? He may find the country big but boring: man makes civilization, he may say, mountains do not. He may, however, be a bit tired of his pavement, his gas fumes--and even of his books. If so, something simpler may attract him. If he is not intrigued with mere simplicity, he may still find in a young country and its story something of satisfaction, not only for his nerves, but also for his intellect.

What is that something? It is the element of vision. He who has imagination enough can catch the vision of new communities forming, of new men shaping new doctrines, the vision of what may be.

Those who live in twentieth-century Canada are fortunate enough to be able to see this making of a country still going on beneath their eyes. They can feel the thrill of accomplishment and know what hope the words 'new world' inspire. No Canadian needs go far to find again the peace of the wilderness. Happy people, perhaps, if they could stay in that position, heirs of perpetual youth!

Canadians, if they are men of the canoe and the portage, can well enough understand the distant days when all the continent was wilderness. If they are men of trade, they can remember that traders explored a continent. If they are men of books, there have been countrymen of theirs who could wield both axe and pen. Even if they know no history, they can under

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Canadians in the Making: A Social History of Canada
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xv
  • Part I: New France xxv
  • 1: France Comes to America 1
  • 2: the First Impact Of the Wilderness 10
  • 3: the Foundation Stones Of New France 18
  • 4: A Community Formed 27
  • 5: the Community Established 40
  • 6: New France And Roman Catholicism 56
  • 7: New France Reaches The Provincial Stage 71
  • 8: the Lilies Come Down! 81
  • Part II- British North America 93
  • 9: Aftermath of Conquest 95
  • 10: the First Attempt At Living Together 116
  • 11: the Private Quarrel Of the English 135
  • 12: the First Wave Of English Settlement 143
  • 113: the War of 1812, Constructive Conflict 173
  • 14: the Great Days of Settlement, 1820-1850 187
  • Notes to Chapter 15. 212
  • 16: Mid-Century 240
  • 17: the Height of Prosperity 259
  • 18: the Period of Confederation 273
  • Part Iii: Canada 287
  • 19: A Nation Begun 289
  • 20: the New Nation 299
  • 21: A Sturdy Yeomanry 327
  • 22: the Birth of Modern Canada 345
  • 23: the Transcontinental Country 358
  • 24: New Canadians 371
  • 25: the Immigrant Stocks In Canada 384
  • 27: Yesterday and To-Day 408
  • 28: New Gods for Old 423
  • Index *
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