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Conspicuous by their Absence: French Canadians and the Settlement of the Canadian West

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  • GREEN, ALAN
  • MACKINNON, MARY
  • MINNS, CHRIS

Abstract

The failure of French Canadians to settle the Canadian west before 1900, when substantial numbers of anglophones and Europeans were migrating, is a long-standing puzzle. Historians have relied mainly on cultural explanations. Using new data, we demonstrate that anglophones and francophones had very different personal characteristics, so that movement to the west was rarely economically attractive for francophones. However, large-scale migration into New England fitted French Canadians demographic and human capital profile. Even if the United States had imposed immigration restrictions by the 1880s, this would not likely have diverted many French Canadians westward.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 65 (2005)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
Pages: 822-849

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:65:y:2005:i:03:p:822-849_00

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Cited by:
  1. Mary MacKinnon & Daniel Parent, 2005. "Resisting the Melting Pot: the Long Term Impact of Maintaining Identity for Franco-Americans in New England," Cahiers de recherche 0517, CIRPEE.
  2. Kris Inwood & Mary MacKinnon & Chris Minns, 2010. "Labour market dynamics in Canada, 1891-1911: a first look from new census samples," Economic History Working Papers 30016, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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