Category Archives: Environment

Early Globalization: Exploring British Imports 1856-1906

By Jim Clifford [The visualizations in this post do not render very well on a small screen.] The British were at the centre of the globalizing economy in the second half of the nineteenth century. British cities and their industrial economies were growing fast and the country increasingly relied on trade to supply food and raw materials. During the past… Read more »

Canada Docks and Quebec Pond

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By Jim Clifford [This post was originally published on the Network in Canadian History & Environment site.] Canada Water is a small lake and wildlife refuge in the heart of Rotherhithe in South London. It is one of the few remaining parts of the once extensive Surrey Commercial Docks that covered much of the Rotherhithe Peninsula during the nineteenth century…. Read more »

Colonialism, Maple Syrup, and Ways of Knowing

Krista McCracken [1] Visit any Canadian tourist shop and you will likely find shelves filled with maple syrup, often branded with red maple leaves in an attempt to invoke feelings of national pride. Canada makes over 71% of the world’s maple syrup and there are more than 8,600 producers of maple syrup across the country. Given these stats it is hardly… Read more »

Repurposing a Map of Greater London’s Industry (1893-5)

A few years ago, I worked with some students to develop a database of all the factories we could find on very detailed 5 feet to the mile maps of London from the second half of the nineteenth century. This database is central to my academic research on the environmental history of industrialization in Greater London. I created maps using… Read more »

Culpability and Canada’s Anthropocene: A Response

NiCHE ran a series on “Canada’s Anthropocene,” with posts and a roundtable by Pamela Banting, Ashlee Cunsolo, Alan MacEachern, and Joshua MacFadyen. Last week Sean Kheraj’s responded to the series, and specifically MacEachern’s post “The Alanthropocene.” We are reposting Kheraj’s response and MacEachern’s response to the response. We hope this will lead ActiveHistory.ca readers to discover the original series on the NiCHE website. Alan MacEachern is not… Read more »

“The great climate silence” and Historians

By Jim Clifford The great climate silence: we are on the edge of the abyss but we ignore it | Clive Hamilton https://t.co/QYjeWzpjyh — Clive Hamilton (@CliveCHamilton) May 5, 2017 Are historians contributing to downplaying the dangers of climate change by our silence? Clive Hamilton published a provocative extract from his new book in the Guardian titled “The great climate silence:… Read more »

More than a Few Acres of Snow

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By Elizabeth Jewett and Andrew Nurse This past weekend, Mount Allison University hosted Quelques Arpents de Neige for the first time. Arpents is a conference that takes a workshop-like feel. Its goal is to bring people together to discuss different trends in Canadian environmental history. And, in so doing, it provides an opportunity to think about the development and direction… Read more »

Let’s Not Underestimate the Victorians: Interpreting the Evolution of Animal Welfare and Rights

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of posts from contributors to Animal Metropolis: Histories of Human-Animal Relations in Urban Canada (University of Calgary Press, 2017). In each entry, the contributors use their own chapters as the basis for wider discussions about contemporary developments that highlight the complex interactions between humans and animals. The editors of ActiveHistory.ca are pleased to publish… Read more »

Rediscovering the “Oracle of Wheat”

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By Anne Dance E. Cora Hind, first-wave feminist and famed agricultural journalist, was never one to back down from a fight. In the 1930s, the septuagenarian recommended reforms to a federal cabinet minister. The Canadian politician quickly dismissed Hind’s suggestions, much to her disgust. “This merely shows his colossal ignorance of the whole situation,” Hind later wrote in one of her… Read more »

Dusting off the history of drought on the Canadian Prairies in the 1930s

By George Colpitts, Shannon Stunden Bower and Bill Waiser [Editors note: this post was prepared for both our website and NiCHE-Canada.org where it was published on Monday, November 28, 2016]. The dustbowl years on the Canadian prairies live on in the imaginations and landscapes of Western Canadians. Elderly survivors might still leave teacups upside down on saucers, as they did… Read more »