Nationalism, Capitalism, and Colonization in Nineteenth-Century Quebec: The Upper St. Francis District

Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1989

  • Finalist, Canada Prize, CFHSS (1991)

In the late 1830s the governments of Britain and Lower Canada, the Catholic Church, and a number of capitalist enterprises began to play a role in the settlement and exploitation of the economically marginal Upper St Francis district of Southern Quebec. British attempts to encourage immigration were largely unsuccessful but by mid-century the building of roads attracted a flood of French Canadians from the south-shore seigneuries.

The settlements, economically based on lumber alone, were locked into poverty and dependency by Anglophone-monopoly control of the spruce forests. J.I. Little examines the ultimate failure of the British and Quebec settlement projects and argues that the stranglehold of the monopolies was broken only by the belated extension of the rail network into the Upper St Francis district.

Canadians have only recently begun to question their model of company-leased Crown forest reserves and to become interested in the more efficient Scandinavian model of small-scale, privately owned woodlots. This book is one of the first to explore the ideological contradictions and social costs which followed from the entrenchment of large-scale lumber companies in a settled zone.

View Nationalism, Capitalism, and Colonization in Nineteeth Century Quebec in the McGill-Queen's catalogue.