This new era of urbanization was fed by immigration and rural abandonment and

This new era of urbanization was fed by immigration

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This new era of urbanization was fed by immigration and rural abandonment and was fired by coal and steam. The ideal member of society, which was held to be the independent landowner and the yeoman farmer, was being overtaken by events and a new society. This chapter considers some of the major social changes taking place in the middle of the 19th century. This period — the dawn of the age of steam — was also the proving ground for 20th century modernity. Cities, working-class neighbourhoods, labour organizations, gender issues, environmental decay, and public health and welfare were all topics of conversation and concern, especially as the 1860s approached. This chapter offers an introduction to some of the concerns of social historians looking at the 19th century. It also introduces some of the approaches taken in scholarly histories.
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Learning Objectives Identify the underlying economic and human factors driving social change in the pe- riod 1818-1860. Describe the main social classes and their relationship to one another. Outline the main cities of British North America in the 19th century and why they were growing. Sketch the ways in which gender roles and the experiences of children were changing. Attributions Figure 10.1 The Port of Halifax (1830 – 1840) by Tetraktys is in the public domain .
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Chapter 82 10.2 Demographics Detailed records pertaining to population characteristics and behaviour were kept under the ancien régime, but it was during the 19th century that the bureaucratic machinery neces- sary to running a regular census appeared. Aggregate totals generated in these years (as to- day) reflect the ability and competence of the census takers and the registration machinery. Births and deaths were often registered only at the parish level, census takers had to do their work on foot and were not always welcomed by local residents (for fear that being surveyed meant being taxed), and people sometimes just lied. Broadly speaking, however, we know that between the 1820s and the early 1850s the pop- ulation of every colony except those on the West Coast rose significantly. Newfoundland’s and Lower Canada’s doubled; Nova Scotia’s did slightly better than that. New Brunswick and PEI posted a trebling and Upper Canada (Canada West) grew sixfold. Within each of these colonies there were more men than women living in areas of resource extraction, but other- wise the sex ratio was relatively even. (This was not the case in British Columbia from 1858 on, when the gold rush transformed demographics.) See Table 10.1 for details of the earliest census counts, by region. Table 10.1 Census counts, by region, 1820s-1850s. 182 [Sk ip Ta- ble] *** Re- gio n Firs t Ce n- sus Sec ond Ce n- sus Thi rd Ce n- sus Fou rth Ce n- sus Up- per Ca nad a 150 ,06 6 (18 24) 213 ,15 6 (18 30) 432 ,15 9 (18 40) 952 ,00 4 ( 185 1) Lo wer Ca 427 ,46 5 553 ,13 4 650 ,00 0 890 ,26 1 182Statistics Canada, "The 1800s ( 1806-1871)," - eng.htm#part1, accessed 15 December 2014; F.H.Leacy, ed., Historical Statistics of Canada, 2nd edition (Ot- tawa: Statistics Canada, 1983) Series A2-14, Population of Canada, by province, census dates, 1851 to 1976.
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