The Economy and Politics in Quebec, 1774-1791

Type of resource
The Economy and Politics in Quebec, 1774-1791
The author contends that If we accept that the British empire of the later eighteenth century was a mercantilist one, that there was in general a substantive connection between political and commercial matters, and that the ultimate authority in both spheres lay in the mother country, then it becomes clear that there are at least two major omissions in what has been written about Quebec during this period. The first, he notes, is that, on the whole, there has been insufficient examination of the relationship between commerce and politics in Quebec's development; and as a corollary to this there has been a tendency towards a too Canada-centred examination of her history, which ignores or skims over events in London. He notes that among British historians the imperial standpoint has been most popular. Professor Harlow has looked at Canada's place in the empire along traditionally political, legal and constitutional lines, while Professor Graham has investigated her position within the imperial mercantile system. But, the author argues, there has been no attempt to relate in detail imperial political and economic ideas and events with the struggle for commercial and constitutional change in Quebec itself. Canadian historians, he contends, have, on the other hand, largely ignored Quebec's wider imperial setting and concentrated on local events, treating political, legal and constitutional developments in isolation from economic matters. Symptomatic of this is the way in which general histories, such as those of Professors A.L. Burt and Hilda Neatby, while recognising the role played by merchants in Quebec politics, have avoided a detailed examination of them, and have indeed reserved separate chapters for their treatment of trade and commerce. On the other hand,the author points out, Fernand Ouellet has gone some way towards filling this gap with his joint study in the economic and social history of Quebec, in which he combines imperial perspectives with the local affairs which form the main body of his book.
PhD dissertation
University of Oxford
Oxford, England
# of Pages
Swan, Graham Richard. “The Economy and Politics in Quebec, 1774-1791.” PhD dissertation, University of Oxford, 1978.
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