'Union is Strength'

'Union is Strength' : W.L. Mackenzie, The Children of Peace and the Emergence of Joint Stock Democracy in Upper Canada

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Nineteenth-century Canada experienced two other revolutions apart from those of W.L. Mackenzie and Louis Riel: the transition to capitalism, and to responsible government. Union Is Strength argues that these major socio-political changes happened in Ontario without a revolutionary moment because of the intertwined relationship of reformers with capitalists. Examining a small, utopian socialist group named the Children of Peace, Albert Schrauwers traces the emergence of a vibrant democratic culture in the province from the decade before the Rebellions of 1837. Schrauwers shows how the overlapping boards of unincorporated joint stock companies managed by both Toronto reformers and the Children of Peace produced a culture of deliberative democracy in competition with the "gentlemanly capitalism" of chartered corporations. Noting the ways in which Ontario's capitalist and democratic revolutions were linked through cooperative joint stock operations, he also situates these revolutions in an international context and links them to the development of Owenite socialism and Chartism in the United Kingdom.
Union Is Strength is an insightful study of both nineteenth century Canada and the ways in which regional political cultures arise.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 160 x 239 x 25mm | 640g
  • Toronto, Canada
  • English
  • 0802099270
  • 9780802099273

Review quote

This book is brimming with ideas and intelligence. It assumes an ambitious agenda to explain the emergence of a democratic culture in Upper Canada during the first half of the nineteenth century. Schrauwers skillfully demonstrates how Upper Canadians fought to maintain their independence from debt. -- Michael S. Cross, The Canadian Historical Review, vol 91:03:10 'Albert Schrauwer has written an important book that changes our understanding of the coming of democracy in Upper Canada. Many academics and graduate students will find this book extremely useful.' -- Andrew Smith Labour/Le Travail vol66: Fall2010
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About Albert Schrauwers

Albert Schrauwers is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University.
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