By John McCallum
By the time of Confederation Ontario’s financial lead over Quebec have been good confirmed. John McCallum indicates that the origins of this lead had little to do with the conservatism of the habitants and the church in Quebec, little to do with any anti-industrial bias of the Montreal retailers, and not anything to do with Confederation. quite the origins lay within the wealth supplied through Ontario’s enhanced agricultural land.
During a lot of the 1st a part of the 19th century Ontario farmers have been extra really expert in wheat-growing than the twentieth-century farmers of Saskatchewan, and whilst the marketplace stipulations replaced within the 1860s the province was once capable of use the capital derived from wheat to shift to different traces of creation. The Quebec farmers, missing either the virgin land of Ontario and the growing to be markets of the northeastern usa, have been not able to discover ecocnomic substitutes for wheat. consequently, the money source of revenue of the typical Ontario farmer was once a minimum of triple that of his Quebec opposite numbers within the years earlier than Confederation, and this huge, immense distinction had profound results on financial improvement in different sectors of the economy.
In Ontario the expansion of cities, transportation amenities, and was once inextricably associated with the province’s robust agricultural base. In Quebec little improvement happened outdoors Montreal and Quebec urban. Montreal industrialists did have a number of benefits; but Quebec couldn't in all likelihood take in the province’s surplus farm inhabitants. Ontario’s wheat growth supplied the capital which approved Ontario to conform within the vintage style; certainly, Ontario wheat could be a infrequent example of a staple whose surplus used to be retained within the generating area.
John McCallum’s analytical and old account of financial styles that persist this present day makes a superior and unique contribution to Canadian fiscal history.
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Extra resources for Unequal Beginnings: Agriculture and Economic Development in Quebec and Ontario until 1870
Aoul Blanchard, Le centre du Canada francflis (Montreal 1947), 72-4, 81, L'ouest du Canada franqais (Montreal 1953), 91-2, 153-4, 157 27 Raoul Blanchard, L'est du Canada franqais, 2 vols. (Montreal 1935), I, 154. , 27-8, 41-7, 154, 307, 333, and Le centre du Canada franqais, 114, 143, 159. 28 The median percentage of acres under cultivation which was devoted to wheat was about 25 per cent for counties of the Montreal plain, as compared with 12 per cent for counties above Quebec on the north shore of the St Lawrence, 20 per cent for counties above Quebec on the south shore of the St Lawrence, 18 per cent for counties below Quebec, and about 8 per cent for the Eastern Townships.
Commodities such as oats, for which the highly volatile timber trade was the major market, were subject to large and sudden changes in price; but despite these unfavourable circumstances habitants brought their oats and barley to Montreal from distances as great as one hundred miles. Thus, in the case of crops other than wheat, the crisis was one of inadequate demand, not supply. It was in the area of livestock (other than horses) and livestock products that the habitants were unable or unwilling to compete with imports.
In both the United States and Ontario land availability was only one of the factors that encouraged soil-exhausting practices. ' Also, the fact that wheat was frequently the only saleable product was a serious impediment to crop rotation. 38 Furthermore, eastern wheat production in the United States declined despite the rapid growth in urban markets, which permitted the sale of crops complementary to intensive wheat production and the sale of dairy products which would have ensured a supply of manure.