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Historical Atlas of Canada: I: From the Beginning to 1800 [Hardcover]

R. Cole Harris

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Book Description

Sept. 1 1987 0802024955 978-0802024954 First Edition

A uniquely beautiful record of Canada's early development, this volume of the Historical Atlas of Canada explores the relationship between what is now Canada and its people, from the earliest evidence of human habitation to the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The early traces date back some 12000 years. From this starting point at the end of the late Wisconsinan glacial maximum, the atlas provides an unprecedented outline of Canadian prehistory and the early historic period. The first 18 remarkable maps describe the settlements, cultural development, agriculture, and economic systems of the Indian and Inuit peoples of Canada and their predecessors.

The volume goes on to illuminate the social and economic impact of European exploitation, trade, and settlements, looking in detail at relations between Europeans and native peoples. Richly detailed plates describe the movements of the new arrivals, the fisheries around Newfoundland and in the Gulf of St Lawrence, the French colonization in Acadia and the St Lawrence valley, the development of agriculture, the growth of towns, the expansion of the fur trade, and its impact on the various native nations and on the West generally.

Unlike most historical atlases, which focus on geopolitical events and their territorial consequences, this volume of the Historical Atlas of Canada and its two companion volumes emphasize the circumstances of ordinary life. Much attention is paid to the small agricultural settlements and early towns in which Canadians lived during this period. Large-scale maps show individual settlements; small-scale maps explain how the patterns of distribution and trade shaped the growth of these settlements and, in turn, of Canada.

An extraordinarily rich picture of our past emerges from the combination of text and graphic material in this volume, an illustration of Canada's early development that no other document has ever offered. With the other two volumes of the atlas, it presents a splendid visual record of the roots of our society and the evolution of the intensely regional, culturally diverse nation we know today.


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Review

'The sheer complexity of the undertaking, range of topics, depth of scholarship, revelation of detail, and ingenuity of presentation all continue to impress.'

(D.W. Meinig Canadian Historical Review )

'A beautifully designed book, this atlas is an essential contribution to North American history.'

(College & Research Libraries News )

'The text, the pictures, the diagrams and charts are welcome tools for teachers and should be part of every school library.'

(Al Jantzi Canadian Social Studies: The History and Science Teacher )

'An awesome achievement, a cartographic masterpiece in which one can easily get lost.'

(James Adams Edmonton Journal )

About the Author

R. Cole Harris is Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia.


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