This essay focuses on historical and contemporary Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec – three Maritime provinces in scenic eastern Canada. It is written for the participants on Stanford Travel/Study’s cruise, The Canadian Maritimes, September 18-30, 2017.
To provide historical context, I review the rise and fall of the British Empire, focusing on how British imperialism began with slave-based sugar production in Barbados, why Britain gave the Hudson’s Bay Company a monopoly on fur-trading in Canada, and how India became the Jewel of the Crown. I next examine the role of Scotland in British imperialism and show why Scottish migrants formed a third of the Canadian business elite. The heart of this essay is concerned with political and economic transitions in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec during the past four centuries – aboriginal cultures, French and British conquest and settlement, formation of the Dominion of Canada (1867), economic evolution from agriculture to industry and information technology, and movements for francophone separatism. I append a time line, a bibliography, and a description of sites that I visited in the Maritimes.
Ship-based Aboard the Pearl Mist, Portland, Maine, Rockland, Bar Harbor, and Acadia National Park, Maine, Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Halifax, Louisburg on Cape Breton Island, Museum of the Atlantic, Pictou, Nova Scotia, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Îles de la Madeleine, Gaspé and La Baie, Quebec City,