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Historical geography and early Canada: a life and an interpretation

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The first section of this two‐part paper describes my historical geographical career, particularly the topics and issues I have pursued and the changing intellectual environment in which they have been situated. The second section offers a summary interpretation of the emerging human geography of early‐modern Canada followed by some reflections on its contemporary implications. This interpretation stresses the extent to which boundaries and discontinuities marked early Canada, and contrasts a pinched Canadian experience with the land with a far more expansive American one. It shows how deeply difference was constructed and ingrained in the Canadian past, and suggests some challenges and opportunities that follow from this inheritance.

French
La première partie de cet article dé;crit ma carrière de gé;ographe historique, en pré;sentant les sujets et les enjeux que j'ai approfondis et le contexte intellectuel changeant dans lequel ils furent abordé;s. La deuxième partie offre une interpré;tation sommaire de la gé;ographie humaine du Canada avant la Confé;dé;ration, suivie de quelques ré;flexions sur ses implications actuelles. Cette interpré;tation dé;montre à quel point les frontières et les discontinuité;s ont marqué; les dé;buts du Canada, opposant un rapport à la terre plein de ré;serve, pour ne pas dire coïncé;, en comparaison avec celui des é;tats‐Unis. Elle montre combien la diffé;rence fut construite et enraciné;e dans le passé; canadien, et dé;crit certains des dé;fis et occasions que cet hé;ritage fait naître aujourd'hui.
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Keywords: Innis; boundaries; citizenship; cognitive spaces; historical geography; migration patterns; pre‐confederation Canada; settler colonialism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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