Before the Second World War, Canada was a rural country. Unlike most industrializing countries, Canada s rural population grew throughout the century after 1871 even if it declined as a proportion of the total population. Rural Canadians also differed in their lives from rural populations elsewhere. In a country dominated by a harsh northern climate, a short growing season, isolated households and communities, and poor land, they typically relied on three ever-shifting pillars of support: the sale of cash crops, subsistence from the local environment, and wage work off the farm.
Canada s Rural Majority is an engaging and accessible history of this distinctive experience, including not only Canada s farmers, but also the hunters, gardeners, fishers, miners, loggers, and cannery workers who lived and worked in rural Canada. Focusing on the household, the environment, and the community, Canada s Rural Majority is a compelling classroom resource and an invaluable overview of this understudied aspect of Canadian history."