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the atlantic colonies: society, politics, and economies to the 1840s

Course Code
Mc Kim/ Penfold

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The Atlantic Colonies to the Mid-Nineteenth Century
I. The Maritime Colonies
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and P.E.I
Agriculture: Fertile regions became occupied by Loyalists in Nova Scotia.
Difficult to make a living on infertile land. So difficult was their existence, that
many moved west into New Brunswick, and south to New England
Economic growth
Stable fueled economies: Timber, Banking, Railways, codfish, coal, etc.
Economic development differed depending on region
Timber: plentiful in New Brunswick; wood to build ships for Britain. Becomes known as
‘Britian’s lumberyard, as the Brits heavily relied on New Brunswick. By 1860’s forest
products, made up 2/3 of New Brunswick’s exports.
There are implications for the entire regions economy. Shipbuilding
emerges as an important manufacturing industry. It was necessary to transport
these trees overseas to GB. Timber merchants realized that they could limit their
costs, thus maximizing their profits by building their own ships. These vessels are
made cheaply in comparison to iron steamers.
Production iron steamers increase dramatically as a result of an
‘econommy of scale – decrease of wood ships
Banking: Financial needs of people involved in the timber industry lead to a banking
industry – Bank of Nova Scotia: function is to accumulate capital, which is given to
entrepreneurs to invest that money in the timber industry
Saint John, New Brunswick: key centre for the timber industry; becomes most
economic and vibrant center within this region
Its growth and prosperity are intimately linked to its connection in the timber
It benefits in its close physical proximity to the timber yards.
Seasonal nature of economy. People often found themselves unemployed, due to seasonal
fluctuations. As a result, economic hardship were commonplace.
There is no systematic welfare state (elaborate bundle of government run
institutions and programs that are designed to alleviate poverty and suffering). As
a result, welfare ends up being the responsibility of private citizens and
Railways: Railway Boom – mid 19th C
Major railway development arises as an economic cultural development
Entrepreneurs envision the maritime region as having a much grander economic
future and destine
They envisioned their region to being the entry point for Europeans imports. With
the railway, they could transport these good through the St. Lawrence system with
a railway
Come to by known as: ‘gods of progress’: intimately linked to the economic
ambitions of the region
Costly! In order to be profitable, they need to be concentrated in densely
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