A History of Canadian Economic Thought (Routledge History of by Robin Neill

By Robin Neill

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His mid-nineteenth-century analysis of the New Brunswick economy represented the highest fashion in continental North American and European economic thought. In the course of his analysis Gesner outlined the benefits of tariff protection. Carey in the United States, Frederick List in Germany or even Isaac Buchanan in Canada. Gesner was not alone. The protectionist doctrine carried the day in the economics of continental development throughout the latenineteenth-century Euro-American world. By the end of the century even Britain was slipping back into explicitly protectionist policies.

By 1969, when a whole complex of federal economic initiatives was absorbed into a new Department of Regional Economic Expansion, professional economists had already produced several sub-regional development plans. Much of the literature produced in the context of these research, planning and development initiatives was sophisticated, quantitative description, but a small portion of it was theoretical, making the exercise something of a repeat of the early-nineteenth-century Intellectual Awakening.

27 In the late 1840s Howe was elected at the head of a reform government on a platform of economic development that was to link Halifax with the other centres of Nova Scotia for the sake of mutually beneficial exchange. 28 Like a contemporary developer in Montreal, John Young (see chapter 7), Howe wanted free trade and government development strategies at the same time. Carmichael Smythe (see chapters 1 and 30 A history of Canadian economic thought 5),29 and began a campaign for a publicly owned intercolonial railway to be built with the aid of Imperial loans.

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