Why Did We Choose to Industrialize?
Montreal, 1819-1849Book - 2015
Montreal was the first colonial city to industrialize. Its overlapping French and English legal traditions mean that people's actions were exceptionally well documented for a North American city. Robert Sweeny’s novel reading of sources like city directories, ordinance surveys, monetary protests, and apprenticeship contracts leads him to develop important critiques of both mainstream and progressive historiography. He shows how the choice to industrialize was tied to the development of completely new ways of thinking about the world on three inter-related levels: how should we relate to each other, to property, and to nature? In Montreal, as in all the other early industrializing societies, thought preceded action. Sweeny illuminates the personal and familial decisions that tens of thousands of people made by the mid-nineteenth century which already prefigured much of what industrialized Montreal would look like in 1880.
Publisher: Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2015
Characteristics: xvii, 436 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm
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