Originally published in 1937 as "The Commercial Empire of the St. Lawrence, 1760-1850" and re-issued in its present form in 1956, Donald Creighton's study of the St. Lawrence became an essential text in Canadian history courses. This, his first book, helped establish Creighton as the foremost English Canadian historian of his generation. In it, he examines the trading system that developed along the St. Lawrence River and he argues that the exploitation of key staple products by colonial merchants along the St. Lawrence River system was key to Canada's economic and national development. Creighton tells the story of the St. Lawrence empire largely from the perspective of these Canadian merchants, who, above all others, struggled to win the territorial empire of the St. Lawrence and to establish the Canadian commercial state.
Christopher H. Moore, historian and Governor General Award winner, has written a new introduction to this classic text.