The Canadian Commonwealth

The Canadian Commonwealth

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The Canadian Commonwealth by Agnes C. Laut

Published:

1915

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The Canadian Commonwealth

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Book Excerpt

British Columbians trusted to windjammers round the Horn. Of railroads binding East to West there was none. A canal system had been begun from the lakes and the Ottawa to the St. Lawrence, but this was a measure more of national defense than commerce. Crops were abundant, but where could they be sold? I have heard relatives tell how wheat in those days sold down to forty cents, and oats to twenty cents, and potatoes to fifteen cents, and fine cattle to forty dollars, and finest horses to fifty dollars and seventy-five dollars. Fathers of farmers who to-day clear their three thousand dollars and four thousand dollars a year could not clear one hundred dollars a year. Commerce was absolutely stagnant. Canada was a federation, but a federation of what? Poverty-stricken, isolated provinces. Not in bravado, not in flamboyant self-confidence, rebuffed of all chance to trade with the United States, the new Dominion humbly set herself to build the foundations of a nation. She did not know whether she could do what s

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