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Creating a Modern Countryside

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Creating a Modern Countryside

Liberalism and Land Resettlement in British Columbia


Paperback / softback

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Creating a Modern Countryside by James Murton
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In the early 1900s, British Columbia embarked on a brief but intenseeffort to manufacture a modern countryside. The government wished toreward veterans of the Great War with new lives: soliders and othersettlers would benefit from living in a rural community, considered amore healthy and moral alternative to urban life. But the fundamentalreason for the land resettlement project was the rise of progressive or"new liberal" thinking, as reformers advocated an expandedrole for the state in guaranteeing the prosperity and economic securityof its citizens. This ideological shift pushed the government to intervene directlyin the management of not only society but also the natural environment.As most arable, accessible land in British Columbia was already beingfarmed by 1919, the state had to undertake environmental engineeringprojects on a scale not yet attempted in the province. Creating aModern Countryside examines how this process unfolded, identifiesits successes and failures, and demonstrates how the human-environmentrelationship of the early twentieth century shaped the province asit is today.

Author Biography

James Murton is an associate professor of history atNipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.
Release date Australia
January 1st, 2008
Country of Publication
17 b&w photos, 5 maps
University of British Columbia Press
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