ECONOMIC CAUSES OF BRITISH ASCENDENCY
THE Anglo-Canadians who discuss--those that do-- their relative place in the Dominion seldom hesitate to affirm their individual and national superiority over French Canadians. Uttered or unuttered, that thought ever asserts itself, either in their talk or by their silence. Some of these men hint, others declare openly, that their fellow French subjects stand in a hopeless inferiority to them. Now, is it not worth while to enquire into the principal cause of the preponderance of which Anglo-Canadians are so proud? Is it the result of their ethnological capacities, or do the great opportunities vouchsafed to them, their political favours, the munificent gifts of the motherland, explain their achievements? Do not the peculiar character of the Conquest, and, for a long time, the rule of the British, for the British, largely account for their signal position?
When English colonists arrived, on the morrow of the Conquest, much pioneer work had been done. Food could be had easily. Fuel was available, homes of a better sort were within the reach of the new settlers. For a long time French axmen and toilers did the hard and often the dangerous work for the common life. The new-comers had all possible advantages. They were provided with tools of all sorts for the work they wished to do.1 As compared with the natives, they had plenty of capital, all the instincts of a commercial people, the prestige, as well as the support,____________________