Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Labour and Capital in Canada, 1650-1860

Document type Book
Editor Phillips, Paul
Author Pentland, H. Clare
Author Pentland, H. Clare (Harry Clare)
Publisher Lorimer; Toronto
Date 1981
ISBN 978-0-88862-378-2
Pages xliii, 280 pages


First published in 1981, H. Clare Pentland's Labour and Capital in Canada, 1650-1860 is a seminal work that analyzes the shaping of the Canadian working class and the evolution of capitalism in Canada. Pentland's work focuses on the relationship between the availability and nature of labour and the development of industry. From that idea flows an absorbing account that explores patterns of labour, patterns of immigration and the growth of industry. Pentland writes of the massive influx of immigrants to Canada in the 1800s--taciturn highland Scots who eked out a meagre living on subsistence farms; shrewd lowlanders who formed the basis of an emerging business class; skilled English artisans who brought their trades and their politics to the new land; Americans who took to farming; and Irish who came in droves, fleeing the poverty and savagery of an Ireland under the heel of Britain. Labour and Capital in Canada is a classic study of the peoples who built Canada in the first two centuries of European occupation. --Publisher's description