In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Book Reviews 385 nearly always somehow Ontario's and Canada's average community.' It is also an institutional history that pays only token attention to such external influences as the rise of international exhibitions or the changing economic basis ofthe Peterborough community. Professional historians may be disappointed by the lack of context and of rigorous analysis. Most statements about the meaning of the fair are taken at face value. Terms like 'fair' are not adequately defined, while repetition makes it difficult to follow chronological developments. But a rigorously analytical and intellectual history of the fair would hardly do justice to it. Early organizers tried to make exhibitions intellectual, but financial considerations forced them to cater to popular taste by incorporating eclectic amusements. Winners not only describes but perpetuates within itself the complex, continuing dialogue between popular and professional culture. Jones's book successfully conveys both the benefits and the shortcomings of the conjunction of the popular, professional , and economic interests that resulted in the Peterborough fair. It also provides considerable insight into Ontario culture in the past and the present. E.A. HEAMAN Imperial College, London, England Divergent Paths: How Culture and Institutions Have Shaped North American Growth. MARC EGNAL. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press 1996. Pp. xvi, 300, $26.95 This is a daring work that tackles the daunting task of analysing the reasons for economic growth since 1750 in three major regions in two countries: Quebec and both the American Northeast and South. Today, few historians attempt to study economic growth, and scholars in any field rarely attempt regional comparisons among countries. From his specialized base of early America, Professor Egnal has presented an important comparative challenge to other scholars. Egnal sets out to show that culture (deep-seated beliefs or ideologies) and institutions (public and private) largely determined the path of growth in these regions. In 1750, residents in Quebec and in regions from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts and from Maryland to Georgia (including slaves) experienced similar material standards of wealth. Although the disparities in income in the South were great, the 'household economy' was delivering about 0.5 per cent economic growth per year. Between 1750 and 1850, the North pulled far ahead of the other regions, and the divergent paths persisted until about 1940. The North 386 The Canadian Historical Review industrialized, whereas the South did not. (After 1850 the Midwest, though not Ontario, in included with the North.) Although Englishspeaking Quebec followed the North's path, if more slowly, French Quebec largely failed to do so. Because of the differences in religion, mobility, education, entrepreneurial spirit; and labour and tenure relations already largely in place by 1750, the North forged ahead while the others lagged. The aggressive drive for money in the North was in contrast to the power of tradition in the others. After about 1940 the paths in all three areas converged substantially, as measured by income. In the North, industrialization slowed as businessmen became complacent, while in the South new enterprises appeared. The Quiet Revolution brought French-speaking Quebeckers improved standards along with control. Since 1975, paths have diverged somewhat again. The Northeast and some southern states gained, while Quebec's growth slowed, and other parts of the South still languished. The major region of mass production, the Midwest, slipped further. I offer the following criticisms ofthis book. First, conditions, natural and social, are largely ignored in favour ofvalues and organization. But conditions are just as important. Initially, the strong urge for making money, not tradition, created the fur trade in New France and the tobacco trade from the Chesapeake. These most commercial of commodities set a pattern that inhibited development. Merchants on the other side of the Atlantic organized trade in both goods. By contrast, merchants in northern cities (after 1750 Baltimore included) were relatively autonomous actors, setting the stage for northern industrial development based on British antecedents. Second, he separates French-speaking Quebec from English-speaking Quebec (and mostly ignores Ontario). This division denies that Quebec focused on its major urban centres as a region. Montreal and Quebec City could hardly be totally separate from rural Quebecois districts. It is not hard to agree that many (but not...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 385-387
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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