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By Eric Ross

As in his renowned previous publication past the River and the Bay, the majority of the tale is instructed by means of a personality of Ross' invention, Ian Alexander Bell Robertson. Robertson, an Edinburgh gentleman born on the finish of the Scottish enlightenment, obtained a deep sympathy for the displaced crofters and agricultural labourers of the Scottish Highlands. He lived in Quebec urban among 1840 to 1842 to arrange a research of the Canadas meant both as a consultant for the immigrant or, as Ross feels much more likely, a checklist of the colonies for the time being they united and launched into a promising destiny jointly. whereas Ross himself units the paintings in ancient context and explains using a fictitious writer, it truly is Robertson, a prepared observer, who describes intimately a number of facets of Canadian existence in 1841: transportation, communications, social associations and customs, lifestyles at the new farms, and the connection among the French and English citizens of the colonies -- a dating which in lots of methods resembles that of this present day. in the course of the publication, Ross has interspersed snippets of data and representation to complement Robertson's writings. Scrupulously researched and simply available, packed with wish and Promise will curiosity a person wishing to grasp extra approximately lifestyle in top and reduce Canada on the time of the 1841 Union.

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Extra resources for Full of Hope and Promise: The Canadas in 1841

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There is a nice irony in the fact that the very soldiers who have been sent out at enormous expense to discourage an invasion from the south have actually become an enticement. Everywhere brother Jonathan and his family can be seen hurrying from the steamboats to the parade squares and the various military emplacements, including the Citadel at Quebec. Military exercises such as those carried out on the Plains of Abraham are very popular. On one such occasion the American ladies were described by one of the officers as being "well dressed ...

Many of their skills, in fields such as engineering and medicine, have directly benefited the country through the construction of roads and canals, through geological exploration, and in providing aid during epidemics. They have also given their time to many charities and organizations ranging from friendly societies 30 TWO PEOPLES, ONE COUNTRY to literary and historical organizations. The content of the papers presented by the officers to the latter organizations shows that many of them have been caught up in the "improving spirit" that is now sweeping the British Isles and the United States.

Yet in 1841 the Canadian middle class remains small and, to a large extent, those possessing entrepreneurial skills are largely drawn from the United States. " While these qualities evoke a furtive admiration on the part of the British, there is also a fear that Jonathan might introduce among the other settlers "that extreme spirit of democracy," which can not fail but be attended with unpleasant consequences. To the newly arrived Englishmen, attuned to a land where a man's speech immediately revealed his rank and locality of origin, Canada is a confusing place: not only is he never certain whether a person is an English Canadian or an American, but he also has difficulty in assigning a precise degree of social rank.

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