The notion of improvement permeated social and political discourse in colonial Canadian society. From agriculture to building roads and mills to defining correct habits and behaviour, Nova Scotia's improvers embraced the ideals of innovation and progress and promoted modern programs of government.
Daniel Samson moves Nova Scotia and rural Canada from the colonial margins to the heart of a modernizing society, showing how the countryside functioned as a centre of change and innovation. He connects a fascinating spectrum of sites, actors, and strategies and links settlement, farm-building, rural market formation, and early industrialization to the heterogeneous strategies of families and state actors, the rural poor, and rural elites.
The Spirit of Industry and Improvement presents the first-ever overview of rural colonial Nova Scotia and provides compelling insights into the formation of modern liberal practices of government and self-government in British North America.