Some 7,500 years ago, the continental ice sheet retreated from the landscape we now know as Quebec. This cold, unique, and beautiful land has continued to shift with the movement of peoples and their often troubled interactions.
The retreating ice marks the beginning of this
fascinating and richly illustrated history. Peter Gossage and Jack Little recount the history of Quebec from the earliest days to the present in concise and elegant prose. By around 1000 BCE the Iroquois of the St Lawrence Valley were making pottery and cultivating crops, with evidence of trade as
far as the Gulf of Mexico. Of course European contact changed this world forever, from the introduction of metal to the introduction of Christianity. Early settlements became a militarized colony; Wolfe defeated Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham; and control of the colony's commerce slipped into the
hands of English-speaking merchants, setting the stage for political conflict in the early nineteenth century. At the same time, the Industrial Revolution brought increased tension between tradition and modernity - two forces that even today can be difficult to reconcile. Quebec, in its often uneasy
union with the rest of Canada (not to mention its own Aboriginal peoples), continues to evolve as its population becomes ever more diverse.
Detailed chapters on modern Quebec evaluate the political turmoil of recent years, from constitutional wrangles, to the Oka crisis, to sovereignty
discussions, and the debate about cultural accommodation. Quebec remains a "curious and fascinating political space," a beacon of French-language culture in North America, and an extraordinary nation within a nation.
Rarely seen illustrations are accompanied by in-depth captions, opening
a world of visual narrative to the history of this complex society.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Tradition and Modernity
1. The Fur Trade Colony
2. The Settlement Colony
3. The Military Colony
4. Political Conflict and Rebellion
5. The Liberal State
6. The Nationalist Reaction
7. An Industrial
8. Cities and Towns
9. Nationalists and Liberals
10. A Great Darkness?
11. Le Début d'un Temps Nouveau
12. Sovereignty in Question
13. Contemporary Quebec
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Peter Gossage is a professor in the Department of History at Concordia University. He is the author of Families in Transition: Industry and Population in Nineteenth-Century Saint-Hyacinthe (McGill-Queen's, 1999) and co-author, with Danielle Gauvreau and Diane Gervais, of La Fécondité des
Québécoises, 1870-1970: D'une exception à l'autre (Boréal, 2007). He is also co-director, with John Lutz and Ruth Sandwell, of the prize-winning educational website Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History (www.canadianmysteries.ca).
Jack Little, FRSC, is a professor in the Department
of History at Simon Fraser University. His publications include Loyalties in Conflict: A Canadian Borderland in War and Rebellion, 1812-1840 (University of Toronto Press, 2008), The Other Quebec: Microhistorical Essays on Nineteenth-Century Religion and Society (University of Toronto Press, 2006),
and Borderland Religion: The Emergence of an English-Canadian Identity (University of Toronto Press, 2004).
A Little History of Canada
- H. V. NellesA History of Canadian Culture
- Jonathan F. VanceFrench Canada in Transition
- Everett Hughes
Introduction by Lorne Tepperman and Foreword by Nathan KeyfitzQuebec Questions
- Stephan Gervais, Christopher Kirkey and Jarrett RudyThe Illustrated History of Canada: British Columbia
- Patricia Roy and John ThompsonTrue North
- William R. Morrison