Chapter 1 Reading.docx - Chapter 1 Canada as an example of international development and globalization Lauchlan T Munro Version 2 19 June 2014 Executive

Chapter 1 Reading.docx - Chapter 1 Canada as an example of...

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Chapter 1 : Canada as an example of international development and globalization Lauchlan T. Munro Version 2, 19 June 2014 Executive Summary Canada is today a wealthy, stable and democratic country. But things were not always like that. A century or two ago, Canada was a lot poorer, our government was a lot less democratic and a lot more unstable and Canadians lived much shorter lives than they do today. Our social and political values were very different back then, as for example when governments enforced conformity with the religious beliefs and practices of the dominant groups in society. Yet Canada evolved, some would say “developed”, into the country we know today. That process of social, economic and political change was highly disruptive, often contested and sometimes even violent. So, if Canada can undergo such a long-term transformation, can other countries do the same? And, if so, how? What is the best way to understand Canada’s development and how it relates to the rest of the world? These are the questions that this chapter begins to address. Key Learning Objectives for the Chapter By the end of this chapter, students should be able to: - Understand Canada as a former colony of two great powers, Britain and France. - Describe in what ways Canada used to resemble today’s “developing countries”. - Describe in what ways Canada still resembles today’s “developing countries”. - Describe in broad terms how Canada has developed socially, politically and economically over the past two-three centuries. Introduction: A Family’s History The new country in which the immigrant family arrived had a troubled past and an uncertain future. Less than two decades earlier, there had been a nasty war with the new republic to the south in which both capital cities had been burned to the ground. Six years after the immigrant family arrived in the new country, open rebellions broke out as people demanded a more representative form of government. The rebellions were suppressed with violence, though the government did eventually concede to some of the rebels’ demands. A decade later, the parliament building was burned down by a mob during a politically inspired riot. 1
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The immigrant family was not destitute when they arrived in the new country, but they were not rich either. It is not clear why they left their old country. They had been farmers in their old country, tenants on a large estate. Maybe the prospect of owning their own land in the new country enticed them to move; maybe they were unsure of their long-term prospects in the old country. For in the old country they had been members of an ethnic, linguistic and religious minority, albeit a relatively privileged one. Their ancestors in turn had come to that old country from their country of origin 140 years earlier, as part of a government plan to stabilize a restive colony. As the immigrant family arrived in the new country, they still felt strong ties of
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