In this collection of essays, A.A. den Otter explores the meaning of the concepts "civilizing" and "wilderness" within an 1850s Euro-British North American context. At the time, den Otter argues, these concepts meant something quite different than they do today. Through careful readings and researches of a variety of lesser known individuals and events, den Otter teases out the striking dichotomy between "civilizing" and "wilderness," leading readers to a new understanding of the relationship between newcomers and Native peoples, and the very lands they inhabited. Historians and non-specialists with an interest in western Canadian native, settler, and environmental-economic history will be deeply rewarded by reading Civilizing the Wilderness.
A.A. den Otter (1941-2014) was Professor Emeritus of History at Memorial University, where he taught in the Department of History from 1972 to 2007 and served as department head from 1988 to 1994. His Civilizing the West: The Galts and the Development of Western Canada received the Canadian Historical Association, Regional History Certificate of Merit and his The Philosophy of Railways: The Transcontinental Railway Idea in British North America was awarded the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada's Harold Adams Innis Prize. He lived in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Introduction - America's First Nations; Discovery, Exploration and Colonisation; Revolution and Independence; The Young Republic; Jefferson and the Democratic Republic; The Age of Jackson; The West (Pre-Civil War); Sectional Conflict; Civil War and Reconstruction; The West (Post-Civil War); The Gilded Age and Imperial America; Populism, Progressivism and the Great War; Boom, Bust and the New Deal; World War II and the Origins of the Cold War; Post-war America: The Fifties and Sixties; Retrenchment: The Seventies and Eighties; Post-Cold War America: Cold War Ends, War on Terror Begins; Index.