Roaring Days: Rossland's Mines and the History of British Columbia

By Jeremy Mouat | Go to book overview

Social Relations in
Fin de Siècle Rossland

In Chapter 1, I suggested that many of the critical events described in this volume reflect how larger processes — notably the European occupation of western Canada — reverberated in the specific setting of Rossland. Only such recognition can explain the social composition of the community. The relationships that determined the nature of Rossland society stemmed from assumptions and attitudes that arrived with the European migrants. These people constituted the dominant group, producing the elite that fashioned the laws and controlled the wealth of the young town. Individual status, income, and even social well-being were determined in relation to this elite.

Few contemporary accounts from Rossland explore this topic directly and virtually all the surviving material was written by male Europeans. These authors frequently assume that the social structure reflected an obvious and natural logic, a comforting belief for those in positions of privilege. Despite the inherent bias in this evidence, critical analysis of the material can yield insights into the nature of the society, including the

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