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Published: 19 September 2013

336 Pages | 3 b/w maps; 1 b/w figure


ISBN: 9780199009046

Bookseller Code (AE)

Upper Canada

The Formative Years, 1784-1841

(deceased) Gerald M. Craig and Introduction by Jeffrey L. McNairn

  • New introduction. Professor Jeffrey L. McNairn of Queen's University introduces the text for the contemporary reader.
  • Loyalist literature. A study of the influx of refugees to Canada following the Revolutionary War, the book details the fifty years of settlement and growth of transportation, communications, and governing infrastructure following the arrival of the United Empire Loyalists.
  • History of land distribution. The way land was distributed among Loyalists would alter the Ontario agricultural landscape, and the effect of this is still with us.
  • Culture clash. Roughly 40,000 moody Loyalists-Baptists, Quakers, Catholics, and Anglicans, among others-came to what is now Southern Ontario, requiring a whole new approach to maintaining authority and managing development. Land was transferred from the control of Aboriginal peoples to the newcomers, seeding future conflict.
  • Humanizes the formation of Ontario. Around 1784, the island-like region had seen little settlement by farmers of British descent. With the arrival of the Loyalists, land was transferred, cleared, and farmed with the consequent work of creating transportation, communications, and trade infrastructure. Craig poignantly emphasises the human labour of this often burdensome work.
  • Development of government. We learn the situation surrounding the creation of the Legislative Council, the Legislative Assembly, and the appointment of a Lieutenant Governor, all leading the way to the struggle for responsible government.
  • Key political and legislative topics in context. The book covers such landmarks as the Act against Slavery, the 1791 Constitutional Act (permanently establishing two national languages), the Family Compact, the War of 1812, and the Rebellion of 1837.
  • Social forces unite in the interest of progress. Includes the history of the Reform Movement, the growth of local newspapers, the Temperance Movement, and the Durham Report.
  • Clear, informative, readable style. Craig is able to keep together threads of narrative with vigorous language and engagingly written sentences.
  • Illustrated. Maps and figures help readers visualize the region's remarkable evolution in just fifty years.