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   Ontario, Canada   
(Upper Canada, Canada West)
Concerns more than one County

More Canadian Resources | More Ontario Resources




BOOK - The Irish in Ontario: A Study in Rural History
By Donald Harman Akenson

Hailed as one of the most important books on social sciences of the last fifty years by the Social Sciences Federation of Canada.

For most of the nineteenth century, the Irish formed the largest non-French ethnic group in central Canada and their presence was particularly significant in Ontario. This study presents a general discussion of the Irish in Ontario during the nineteenth century and a close analysis of the process of settlement and adaptation by the Irish in Leeds and Lansdowne township.

Akenson argues that, despite the popular conception of the Irish as a city people, those who settled in Ontario were primarily rural and small-town dwellers. Though it is often claimed that the experience of the Irish in their homeland precluded their successful settlement on the frontier in North America, Akenson's research proves that the Irish migrants to Ontario not only chose to live chiefly in the hinterlands but that they did so with marked success. Akenson also suggests that by using Ontario as an "historical laboratory" it is possible to make valid assessments of the real differences between Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics, characteristics which he contends are much more precisely measurable in the neutral environment of central Canada than in the turbulent Irish homeland.

While Akenson is careful not to over-generalize his findings, he contends that the case of Ontario seriously calls into question conventional beliefs about the cultural limitations of the Irish Catholics not only in Canada but throughout North America.

About the author:
    Donald Harman Akenson is Douglas Professor of Canadian and Colonial History at Queen's. He was Beamish Research Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool from 1997-2004 and was named the 1995 Canada Council Molson Laureate in the social sciences and humanities. His book, God's People, won the world's richest non-fiction prize, the Grawemeyer Award, in the category of improving humanity. He is also a past recipient of the Trillium Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
448 Pages
6 x 9"Softcover
Published by McGill Queens Press, Toronto, 1999
ISBN 9780773520295

Softcover......$34.95
(Canadian Dollars)
Check price in your currency




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