Upper Canada: The Formative Years, 1784-1841

Upper Canada: The Formative Years, 1784-1841

Upper Canada: The Formative Years, 1784-1841

Upper Canada: The Formative Years, 1784-1841

Excerpt

During its first half-century Upper Canada grew from a few scattered pioneer settlements into a relatively complex and mature community -- the base from which English-speaking civilization developed in central and western Canada. On this ground British and American settlers, ideas, and ways of doing things both clashed and joined, and the result eventually was a people who were Canadian with a Canadian point of view. Inevitably, it was a quarrelsome and tense process, highlighted by the dramatic events of 1812 and 1837. But the deeper and more lasting story is of the hard work done by many thousands of plain people to clear the land, to build farms and towns, to improve communications, to adapt political, religious, and educational institutions to their own needs, and to find satisfactory relationships with their American neighbours and with their fellow subjects in the mother country. On all these fronts notable advances had been made by 1841.

The work of research was lightened by kind and scholarly people at various libraries and archives, especially Dr G. W. Spragge, the Archivist of Ontario, and his staff at the Ontario Department of Public Records and Archives, Mr W. G. Ormsby at the Public Archives of Canada, and Miss Edith Firth at the Toronto Public Library. I am grateful to Major C. C. J. Bond who drew the maps and who also caught several mistakes in the manuscript. I wish to thank three of my colleagues at the University of Toronto, Professor D. G. Creighton, the Advisory Editor of the Series, and Professor J. M. S. Careless, who read through the entire manuscript, and Colonel C. P. Stacey, who read it in part. My thanks also go to Professor J. J. Talman, of the University of Western Ontario for a careful reading of the manuscript. My most profound and pervasive indebtedness is to that master-historian, Professor A. L. Burt, of the University of Minnesota, under whom I first began to study the history of Upper Canada, and who . . .

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