Planting the province: the economic history of Upper Canada, 1784-1870

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University of Toronto Press, Mar 1, 1993 - Business & Economics - 446 pages

Canadians have generally thought of their country's economic development as a process driven by the export of resource-based commodities such as wheat and forest products. Douglas McCalla argues, however, that focusing on this aspect has resulted in an inaccurate understanding of the growth of the Upper Canadian economy.

McCalla's analysis is based on extensive archival research. Detailed statistical tables and notes present the data on which his argument depends. He provides a comprehensive account of the way in which a small group of settlements on the margin of the North Atlantic world became a prosperous society in a process that was balanced and relatively self-sustaining. No single factor or set of factors such as resource exports was the primary catalyst in this process. And he concludes, "If the provincial economy must be summarize in terms of a single pre-eminent product, the farms themselves were its chief accomplishment."

McCalla sets the economic history of Upper Canada in the context of the dynamic economy of the North Atlantic world. He draws useful comparisons of other parts of that world, particularly states such as Michigan and Ohio which were developing along similar lines.

Planting the Province is essential, in content and approach, to an understanding of Ontario's economic history. Together with The Prosperous Years: The Economic History of Ontario, 1939-1975 by K.J. Rea and Progress without Planning: The Economic History of Ontario from Confederation to the Second World War by Ian M. Drummond, it completes a three-volume economic history of Ontario.

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The Loyalist Economy 17841805
The War Economy and After 180622
Forest Products and Upper Canadian Development 182246

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