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Lecture 7

Lecture 7

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University of Toronto St. George
Ian Radforth

HIS312 – Lecture 7 – 11 October 2011 Colonizing the West Coast >> Britain tried to people the west coast with British citizens >> However did not happen over night >> Up to 1871 very few immigrants from Great Britain came >> Small colony >> Almost all colonists were men >> Hope was to get families Introduction >> British colonization on th Pacific coast too >> 5 – 6 month voyage from Britain to Pacific >> very few interested in travelling to the frontier >> Many commentators worried about what BC has becoming >> too male dominated >> too many ties to aboriginal population >> fragile >> outnumbered >> Immigrants helped a decline in aboriginal population >> 100k – 200k at time of European contact; 150 years later (1881) 27k >> European diseases >> Exploration and the fur trade >> Russians (1728); Spain (1774); British: Captain James Cook (1776) >> Hudson's Bay Company and colonial beginnings on Vancouver Island >> 1849 HBC assumes 10 year ownership of Vancouver Island >> Development of natural resources and farming as fur trade declined >> established a fort at Victoria = administrative centre for Vancouver Island >> Governor James Douglas, Company governor/governor of the colony at Victoria (1849) >> Colonization under Douglas and the HBC >> hopes for profits >> coal mining at Nanaimo >> to exploit resources immigrant workers came in >> skilled workers from Scotland >> local labour (aboriginals on hand) for wage labour >> people from Hawaii (Kanakas) >> Farming on the English Model >> farming by well-to-do gentlemen who would acquire estates from HBC >> would bring settlers to work the farms >> several British investors attracted to idea >> agricultural workers from GB >> Couldn't hold workers on the land >> Attractions of the gold fields of California (1849) >> BC Gold Rushes, 1858, 1860 >> California (1849) mirrored on the mainland opposite Vancouver Island >> about 1/3 the rush >> 30k newcomers in 1858 >> Victoria went from outpost to thriving metropolis over night >> Governor Douglas and the creation of British Columbia >> fears of American takeovers >> influence through the miners would come to claim the region >> Declared the mainland a formal British Colony in 1858 called BC >> two colonies; Vancouver Island and BC >> 1866: amalgamation of two colonies to form British Columbia >> 1871 colony of BC joins confederation as a province >> Newcomers mostly from played-out California gold fields >> diversity: white Americans; African Americans, Chinese, Jews, Germans, Italians, Spaniards >> Victoria transformed overnight >> Governor Douglas required miners to obtain license at Victoria >> Boomtown >> did not want to lose control >> Long treks inland, through the mountains >> Physically demanding >> Donkeys and steamboats/hiring aboriginal peoples >> Hardship and adventure >> thrill of going into the gold fields and in the upcountry >> Smaller towns sprung up in interior >> Selling high-priced supplies to miners >> Rowdy frontier, far from Victoria: government, the law >> Douglas tried to establish law & order >> a lot of violence on frontier >> Poor -men's camp >> panning for gold, crouched at the edge of a stream >> money came more from selling supplies to miners rather than the gold itself >> Colonial British Columbia 1849-1871 >> Unusual social relations >> small white population overall >> immigration was slow to agricultural and lumber regions >> overwhelmingly young men from the gold rush >> not a place for ladies >> guys being tough >> growing Asian population >> not large, but overwhelmingly male >> anxieties: racial and gender >> weakness of institutions >> considerable aboriginal presence >> didn't look like home = families/balance between men & women >> Homosocial Culture >> culture based around a predominant sex, not homosexual >> Households >> informal, grab-bag households of men >> mutual support and save money >> sharing chores >> advice literature/pamphlets >> sh
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