A Short History of the State in Canada

A Short History of the State in Canada

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By E.A. Heaman
Themes in Canadian History
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015
World Rights
296 Pages
ISBN 9781442628687
Published Oct 2015
Online discount: 15%
 $32.95    $28.01
ISBN 9781442637078
Published Oct 2015
Online discount: 25%
 $70.00    $52.50
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442624535
Published Nov 2015
Online discount: 15%
Full purchase $32.95

A concise, elegant survey of a complex aspect of Canadian history, A Short History of the State in Canada examines the theory and reality of governance within Canada’s distinctive political heritage: a combination of Indigenous, French, and British traditions, American statism and anti-statism, and diverse, practical experiments and experiences.

E.A. Heaman takes the reader through the development of the state in both principle and practice, examining Indigenous forms of government before European contact; the interplay of French and British colonial institutions before and after the Conquest of New France; the creation of the nineteenth-century liberal state; and, finally, the rise and reconstitution of the modern social welfare state. Moving beyond the history of institutions to include the development of political cultures and social politics, A Short History of the State in Canada is a valuable introduction to the topic for political scientists, historians, and anyone interested in Canada’s past and present.

E.A. Heaman is an associate professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University.


Chapter 1: In the Absence of the State

Chapter 2: The Ancien-Régime State

Chapter 3: The Liberal State in the Nineteenth Century

Chapter 4: The People’s State in the Twentieth Century


“E.A. Heaman’s book is a jewel: real authority, absolute elegance of style, and interesting sociological points about the state, civil society, liberalism, and much more. I admire the book profoundly.”

John A. Hall, James McGill Professor of Comparative Historical Sociology, Department of Sociology, McGill University

A Short History of the State in Canada extends and reinvents a field as much as it summarizes it."

Jeffrey L. McNairn, Department of History, Queen's University

‘Heaman has written a useful, lucid history of Canadian governance that gives full weight to the First Nations, the French and English regimes, and modernization.’

J.L. Granatstein, Choice Magazine vol 53:08:2016

‘For Canadian historians, this is an important book…. It is conceptually brilliant, interpreting the material in ways that are always stimulating and often novel… It opens up its subject like never before and for that it is a most welcome volume.’

Ian Radforth, Canadian Historical Review, vol 97:03:2016