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Montreal: The History of a North American City

by Dany Fougeres

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"Surrounded by water and located at the heart of a fertile plain, the Island of Montreal has been a crossroads for Indigenous peoples, European settlers, and today's citizens, and an inland port city for the movement of people and goods into and out of North America. Commemorating the city's 375th anniversary, Montreal: A History of a North American City, is the definitive, two-volume account of this fascinating metropolis and its storied hinterland. "Surrounded by water and located at the heart of a fertile plain, the Island of Montreal has been a crossroads for Indigenous peoples, European settlers, and today's citizens, and an inland port city for the movement of people and goods into and out of North America. Commemorating the city's 375th anniversary, Montreal: A History of a North American City, is the definitive, two-volume account of this fascinating metropolis and its storied hinterland. This comprehensive collection of essays, filled with hundreds of illustrations, photographs, and maps, draws on human geography and environmental history to show that while certain distinctive features remain unchanged--Mount Royal, the Lachine Rapids of the Saint Lawrence River--human intervention and urban evolution mean that over time Montrealers have had drastically different experiences and historical understandings. Significant issues such as religion, government, social conditions, the economy, labour, transportation, culture and entertainment, and scientific and technological innovation are treated thematically in innovative and diverse chapters to illuminate how people's lives changed along with the transformation of Montreal. This history of a city in motion presents an entire picture of the changes that have marked the region as it spread from the old city of Ville-Marie into parishes, autonomous towns, boroughs, and suburbs on and off the island. The first volume encompasses the city up to 1930, vividly depicting the lives of First Nations prior to the arrival of Europeans, the colonization by the French, and the beginning of British Rule. The crucial roles of waterways, portaging, paths, and trails as the primary means of travelling and trade are first examined before delving into the construction of canals, railways, and the first major roads. The nineteenth century was a period of near-total change in Montreal: the population grew from 20,000 to over one million and became Canada's leading industrial city. The second volume treats the history of Montreal since 1930, the year that the Jacques Cartier Bridge was opened and allowed for the outward expansion of a region, which before had been confined to the island. From the Great Depression and Montreal's role as a munitions manufacturing centre during the Second World War, to major cultural events like Expo 67, the twentieth century saw Montreal grow into one of the continent's largest cities, requiring stringent management of infrastructure, public utilities, and transportation. This volume also extensively studies the kinds of political debate with which the region and country still grapple regarding language, nationalism, federalism, and self-determination."--Publisher's website.… (more)
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"Surrounded by water and located at the heart of a fertile plain, the Island of Montreal has been a crossroads for Indigenous peoples, European settlers, and today's citizens, and an inland port city for the movement of people and goods into and out of North America. Commemorating the city's 375th anniversary, Montreal: A History of a North American City, is the definitive, two-volume account of this fascinating metropolis and its storied hinterland. "Surrounded by water and located at the heart of a fertile plain, the Island of Montreal has been a crossroads for Indigenous peoples, European settlers, and today's citizens, and an inland port city for the movement of people and goods into and out of North America. Commemorating the city's 375th anniversary, Montreal: A History of a North American City, is the definitive, two-volume account of this fascinating metropolis and its storied hinterland. This comprehensive collection of essays, filled with hundreds of illustrations, photographs, and maps, draws on human geography and environmental history to show that while certain distinctive features remain unchanged--Mount Royal, the Lachine Rapids of the Saint Lawrence River--human intervention and urban evolution mean that over time Montrealers have had drastically different experiences and historical understandings. Significant issues such as religion, government, social conditions, the economy, labour, transportation, culture and entertainment, and scientific and technological innovation are treated thematically in innovative and diverse chapters to illuminate how people's lives changed along with the transformation of Montreal. This history of a city in motion presents an entire picture of the changes that have marked the region as it spread from the old city of Ville-Marie into parishes, autonomous towns, boroughs, and suburbs on and off the island. The first volume encompasses the city up to 1930, vividly depicting the lives of First Nations prior to the arrival of Europeans, the colonization by the French, and the beginning of British Rule. The crucial roles of waterways, portaging, paths, and trails as the primary means of travelling and trade are first examined before delving into the construction of canals, railways, and the first major roads. The nineteenth century was a period of near-total change in Montreal: the population grew from 20,000 to over one million and became Canada's leading industrial city. The second volume treats the history of Montreal since 1930, the year that the Jacques Cartier Bridge was opened and allowed for the outward expansion of a region, which before had been confined to the island. From the Great Depression and Montreal's role as a munitions manufacturing centre during the Second World War, to major cultural events like Expo 67, the twentieth century saw Montreal grow into one of the continent's largest cities, requiring stringent management of infrastructure, public utilities, and transportation. This volume also extensively studies the kinds of political debate with which the region and country still grapple regarding language, nationalism, federalism, and self-determination."--Publisher's website.

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