The Countryside of the Two Canadas
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Canada at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century
The Countryside of the Two Canadas
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The Countryside of the Two Canadas

Between 1810 and 1830 the majority of British immigrants settled in Upper Canada.
In the 1830s, Canadian pioneers appealed to the government to improve services such as roads. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
In the 1830s, Canadian pioneers appealed to the government to improve services such as roads. (As portrayed in Canada: A People's History)
In 1831, the colony already had 260, 000 inhabitants and its population growth was the most rapid in British North America. But Upper Canada wasn't ready for such large numbers.

In order to reach Lake Huron the new settlers had to cross great forests and follow difficult roads:

"Much as I had seen and heard of the badness of the roads in Canada," recounted Catharine Parr Traill, "I was not prepared for such a one as we traveled along this day: indeed, it hardly deserved the name of a road (...) - sometimes I laughed because I would not cry."

A string of villages, farms and inns linked Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe but some settlers felt isolated and forsaken in this vast country.
Receiving no help from the government, pioneers like Robert Davis were forced to build their own roads and bridges, clear the land and educate their children in early 1800s Upper Canada. (As portrayed by Andrew Simms in Canada: A People's History)
Receiving no help from the government, pioneers like Robert Davis were forced to build their own roads and bridges, clear the land and educate their children in early 1800s Upper Canada. (As portrayed by Andrew Simms in Canada: A People's History)
Robert Davis, a farmer of Irish origin, was disappointed:

"He had in most instances to make his own roads and bridges, clear his own farm, educate himself and his children. He had his bones broken by the fall of trees, his feet lacerated by the axe, and suffered almost everything except death. He waited year after year in hope of better days, expecting that the government would care less for themselves and more for the people. But every year he was disappointed."

Lower Canada remained the most populated colony. Settled now for more than two hundred years along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, its population now had around four hundred thousand inhabitants. The population growth made for a network of prosperous villages.
Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The county of Two Mountains, to the north of Montreal, and the Richelieu valley to the southeast, were good examples of this prosperity:

"Its banks, wrote Joseph Bouchette, the surveyor general of Lower Canada, "are diversified on each side by many farms and extensive settlements, in a very high state of improvement; some neat, populous, and flourishing villages, handsome churches, numerous mills of various kinds, good roads in all directions, with every other characteristic of a country inhabited by an industrious population."

The parish of Saint-Denis on the Richelieu now had three thousand inhabitants. Charles Saint-Germain owned the biggest hatmaking business in the colony.
Lower Canada
Lower Canada
François Gadbois sold his horse-drawn carriages in Quebec City, Montreal and even in Upper Canada. But not everyone was as prosperous.

In the surrounding countryside, peasants cultivated land that was not their own. They lived under the seigneurial regime. Year after year they had to turn over a substantial portion of their harvest to the landlord. During the 1870s and 1830s, land became more and more difficult to obtain and the rents became more and more expensive

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