of English settlement
TO GO FROM FRENCH CANADA to English-speaking British North America, is to plunge into complexities unknown earlier. New provinces--Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Upper Canada --come into view. New peoples appear; the racial and linguistic variations of the British Isles, Germans of several types, Dutch, some Negroes, and those drawn from the new amalgam to the south. New communities grow up, with their focal city points, each with its character. And these are scattered from Cape Race to the Strait of Detroit, and, with a jump, to midcontinent on the banks of the Red River. All this within a single lifetime.1 To compress the details of the process into a few thousand words is a task the historian can accomplish only if he attempts to paint, not the literal, crowded canvas of a Brueghel, but the impressionistic picture of a Corot.
New groups of settlers must be followed to their clearings in the northern forests, and there surrounded with their means of livelihood, their daily habits and the appurtenances of their daily life. More intricate than these, their institutional environment--their churches, their schools, their laws, their government--demands explanation. Most subtle of all, their sentiments and their allegiances must be discovered. In such tasks, the observer is faced with the individualism of the Anglo- Saxon, the apparent anarchy of Protestantism. And all of these, geographical dispersion, racial particularism, sectarian atomization, work themselves out against a counterpoint of old-world conceptions of law, order and privilege. As one contemplates the scene, he falls to wondering at the marvel by which it was all gradually transposed to the more or less integrated national community which is Canada to-day, especially when he sees every decade adding to the geographical complexities and to the allurements of the establishment next door.