DSpace Repository

Geopolitics, State-Formation and Economic Development in Quebec and Ontario

Geopolitics, State-Formation and Economic Development in Quebec and Ontario

Show full item record

Title: Geopolitics, State-Formation and Economic Development in Quebec and Ontario
Author: Gheller, Frantz
Abstract: This dissertation challenges the prevailing periodization of Quebec and Ontario’s economic development in Canadian historiography by contrasting the specificity of capitalist social relations with the non-capitalist forms of social reproduction belonging to French Canadian peasants and Upper Canadian farmers in the colonial period. With a few notable exceptions, existing historical interpretations assume that capitalism was there, at least in embryo, from the colony’s very beginning in the guise of the fur trade, manufacturing, or a local bourgeoisie. By contrast, this thesis brings together, through a comparative perspective, different pieces of the interconnected histories of France, Britain, the United States, Ontario, and Quebec in order to show that capitalism did not arrive on the shores of the St. Lawrence River with the first settlers. The dissertation also brings together pieces of the uneven intra-regional histories of these regions, and provides a general reflection on how to systematically integrate the geopolitical dimension of social change into historical sociology, political economy, and comparative politics. As such, the question with which the thesis is concerned is not exclusively that of the transition to capitalism in Quebec or in Ontario, but more broadly the interrelated questions of state-formation and ‘late development’ in north-eastern North America.
One of the main findings of the dissertation is that only with the development of industrial capitalism in the north-eastern United States were the conditions for the emergence of capital-intensive types of agriculture in rural areas of Quebec and Ontario put in place. American breakthroughs toward industrial capitalism irrevocably transformed the system-wide conditions under which subsequent agricultural evolution took place in neighbouring regions, generating a new geopolitical configuration in which customary peasant production continued to persist in Quebec alongside petty-commodity farmers in Upper Canada and the development of industrial capitalism in urban areas such as Montreal. These findings bring to the fore the need to directly address the ‘peasant question’ in order to understand the impact of the continued existence of a large peasantry on state-formation and the long-term economic development of Quebec during the period when industrial capitalism was emerging as a dominant feature of the North American economy.
Subject: Political Science
Canadian history
Agriculture economics
Keywords: Political science
International relations
Historical sociology
Agrarian political economy
Agrarian change
Peasant question
Agrarian question
Late development
Capitalism
Capitalist agriculture
Agriculture
Canadian politics
Canadian history
Agriculture economics
Transition to capitalism
Political Marxism
Social-property relations
Atlantic history
New World
Colonial state formation
Colonialism
State formation
Colony
North America
Quebec
Ontario
Farmers
Peasants
Comparison
Comparative perspective
Comparative methodology
Comparative sociology
State
Absolutism
Feudalism
Absolutist state
Capital-intensive
Petty commodity production
Petty commodity producers
Independent household production
Independent household producers
Staple
Fur trade
Wheat
Dairy
Capital
Upper Canada
Lower Canada
New France
French Canadians
St Lawrence River
St Lawrence Valley
Great Lakes
Canada
Capitalist social relations
Non-capitalist social relations
Socioeconomic development
Canadian historiography
Periodization
Settlers
Settlement
Land
Land tenure
Property
Rural areas
Countryside
Industrialization
Industrial capitalism
Agricultural revolution
Subsistence
Customs
Peasantry
North American economy
Mercantilism
Commercialization
Commerce
Culture
Strategy of reproduction
Strategies of reproduction
Territorialization
Frontier
Canadian provinces
Trade
Territory
Rebellions
American revolution
American capitalism
Uneven development
Uneven and combined development
Church
Catholic Church
Immigration
Rural exodus
Seigneuries
Seigneurial regime
Seigneurial system
Sociology
History
Politics
Class struggle
Social conflict
Resistance
Political institutions
State forms
Open-field system
Agrarian capitalism
Improvement
Market dependence
Market dependency
Market
Means of production
Labour
Offices
Ruling class
Familial reproduction
Division of labour
Transition debate
Geopolitics
Capitalist production
Merchants
Merchant capital
Peasant society
Improved farming
Sales system
Agricultural crisis
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/30006
Supervisor: Lacher, Hannes P.
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Political Science
Exam date: 2015-01-23
Publish on: 2015-08-28

Files in this item



This item appears in the following Collection(s)