A fast-paced tour through several centuries of Canadian history.
When Canada in the European Age, 1453-1919 was first published, it reversed traditional methodology by placing Canada's evolution in the context of the rise and fall of empires around the world, not just in the Americas. R.T. Naylor contends that the struggle for property (and political) rights in early nineteenth-century Newfoundland is incomprehensible without an understanding of events as distinct as the Afro-American slave trade or the Napoleonic Wars; the opening of the natural resource frontier of British Columbia makes sense only if seen as another manifestation of the same historical forces that fired the opening shots in the Opium wars in China; and the fate of Canada's native peoples may have been different in form but not in essence from that of the aboriginal inhabitants on almost every continent.
As Bruce Trigger explains in his preface, Canada in the European Age, 1453-1919 was the first history in which native peoples appeared as genuine actors in human dramas - mainly tragedies - instead of as part of the flora and fauna in the background. By stressing the interconnections between the grand events of the conquest and subjegation of the globe by European empire builders and the less dramatic events in Canada, Naylor's book led to a fundamental reinterpretation of Canadian social, economic, and political history.