Between the Red and the Rockies
Canadian agriculture began in the East and moved westward at an irregular pace. In contrast to the western aborigines, who were a non-agricultural race, the eastern tribes of Indians cultivated a little land and grew several species of crops for the purpose of supplementing the wild meat in their diets. Similarly the first white agricultural settlements were on the Atlantic coast, and for three centuries the West was left to the fur traders. But once started, the western wheat fields extended at a rate which had no parallel in world history. All Canadian life was affected. In a very real sense, wheat built a nation.
In the years which followed Confederation, events west of Red River were of the greatest political significance to Canada. One has but to recount the uprisings of 1870 and 1885, the establishment of law and order by the mounted police, the formulation of Indian policies, the ambitious rail construction, the feverish expansion when immigration was at its peak, the wealth produced in the western grain fields, and the hardships and losses during the drought years. Indeed the record, imperfect as it may be, has much of practical value to offer. The best plans for agriculture's future in this land will not be drawn without an understanding of its past, the mistakes and the triumphs.
A review of western agriculture, with its ups and downs, should help farming people and others to strike a happier balance between the buoyant optimism of 1909 and the deathlike pessimism of 1937. The next fifty years may not witness such dramatic changes as the past half-century produced, but it is to be hoped that the changes will be along sound lines, with broader interest in diversification, a determination to conserve soil, and a new emphasis upon homes.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 312 pages
- Dimensions: 5.5in x 1.0in x 8.5in
"Mr. MacEwan provides a vivid and picturesque portrayal of the establishment of agriculture in the northern plains and of its development to the present day, and brings the early West to life in a wholly admirable fashion … As a whole the book is well designed to impart depth and personality to an important segment of western history."
Canadian Historical Review
"There is much of a racy, first-hand flavour in this book; taken all in all, it is a rich addition to the small but growing literature of the short-grass country and the park belt which surrounds it."
Winnipeg Free Press
"In this book, the colourful history and legend of an era of the west now rapidly vanishing is gathered up ... In it a fascinating story as told by Mr. MacEwan, filled with picturesque characters of the old west and wonderful tales of their exploits."
"This is in many ways an engaging book. Attractively produced with useful maps and pleasant line drawings, it is written with the verve and zest of one who loves the story he has to tell."
American Historical Review
Author InformationGRANT MACEWAN is a graduate of the Ontario Agricultural College and of Iowa State College. For eighteen years he was on the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan and for six years was Dean of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba. He is a regular contributor to various farm magazines and newspapers, and the author of twelve books.
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