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Making Ontario: Agricultural Colonization and Landscape Re-Creation before the Railway Paperback – Sep 1 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgill-Queens University Press; Reprint edition (Sept. 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0773520481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0773520486
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 354 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #222,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"The strength of the book is its capacity to draw together the considerable body of diverse scholarly writing that has been produced over the past two decades and to set his into a framework that permits the reader to see Ontario's first generation ... of settlement for what it was." Peter Ennals, VP Academic and Research, Mount Allison University. "[Making Ontario] is a highly interesting synthesis of Ontario's colonization and of the implementation of the constituent elements that would lead to the province's socioeconomics ... [Wood's] significant synthesis, and approach of historical geography is a valued spatial contextualisation, illustrating the subtleties involved in Ontario's development during the first half of the 19th century." [translation] Jean-Claude Robert, Department of History, Université du Québec à Montréal.

About the Author

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world's largest association devoted to human resource management with more than 550 affiliated chapters and members in more than 100 countries.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0xa62e9120) out of 5 stars 1 review
HASH(0xa62de930) out of 5 stars Useful; 3.5 Stars May 7 2016
By R. Albin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A specialized and interesting book on the transformation of southern Ontario in the first half of the 19th century. The author is a historical geographer and the structure of the book reflects his disciplinary orientation in positive and negative ways. The positive features are that this book is based on a serious effort to quantify changes and nice use of graphics to present data. The negative feature is that the organization of book is largely thematic when a more narrative, chronological approach would have been more enlightening. Wood is a decent but not outstanding writer.

At the opening of the 19th century, the region known as Upper Canada had a population in the 10s of 1000s, mainly Loyalist emigres from the nascent American republic, and was still densely forested. By mid-century, Ontario had a population of approximately 1 million, was heavily agricultural, increasingly urbanized and connected to an international economy (both to the USA and Britain), and in terms of distribution of population and cities, and regional distribution of agriculture, had a similar pattern to that of modern Ontario. Wood makes the point strongly that this occurred without the railroad, often thought of as a primary vehicle of modernization. Wood discusses the process of transformation is a series of thematic chapters that cover population, agricultural changes, social changes, and patterns of urbanization. Much of the carefully compiled data and assessments are quite interesting but a bit disjointed and major themes emerge more implicitly than explicitly.

Major themes include the substantial impact of geographic features with settlement significantly limited by poor quality of soils in the Canadian Shield, the important of water routes, the slow but profound transformation of the countryside, the demographic impact of both intrinsic growth and immigration, increasing engagement with an international economy and export of primary products, and the importance of state actions in providing crucial physical and human infrastructure. As a source of information for how much of North America was transformed, this book is quite good.