Markets for Rebellions? The Rebellions of 1837-38 in Lower Canada

31 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2018

See all articles by Vincent Geloso

Vincent Geloso

Bates College

Vadim Kufenko

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics

Date Written: August 20, 2018

Abstract

In 1837-38, the British colonies of Upper and Lower Canada rebelled. The rebellion was most virulent in the latter of the two colonies. Historians have argued that economic consideration were marginal in explaining the causes of the rebellions. To make this claim, they argue that the areas that rebelled in Lower Canada were among the richest in the colony, and the least likely to be motivated by economic factors. In this paper, we use the census of 1831 and databases of rebellious events to question this claim. We argue that the rich areas were more prone to rebellion because they were where markets were most developed. These well-developed markets allowed for cheaper coordination of seditious elements while also increasing the wealth (i.e. the rent) over which to fight.

Keywords: Rebellions, Insurgency, Canadian Economic History, Quebec Economic History, Patriots, 1837 Rebellions

JEL Classification: N21, N41, D70, D74

Suggested Citation

Geloso, Vincent and Kufenko, Vadim, Markets for Rebellions? The Rebellions of 1837-38 in Lower Canada (August 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3235561 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3235561

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

Bates College ( email )

Department of Economics
Lewiston, ME
United States

Vadim Kufenko

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics ( email )

Schloss-Mittelhof (Ost)
70593 Stuttgart
Germany

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