This comprehensive two-volume history of Canadian business is a detailed account of the development of commerce and industry in the formative period from Confederation to the First World War.
Most of author Tom Naylor's information, gathered from contemporary sources and particularly the business press, is recorded here for the first time. This research has led him to offer a fundamental reinterpretaion of Canadian business and economic history which is bound to generate worldwide controversy.
In Volume I on the banks and finance capital, the story of the growth of the Canadian chartered banking system is told in detail. Included is an analysis of the many bank failures, and an explanation of the techniques used successfully by the largest chartered banks to dominate banking and finance in the new confederation. Several chapters deal with hitherto unrecorded facets of the development of the financial system of Canada, the major financial institutions and the types of operations they financed.
Volume II deals mainly with the development of manufacturing and industry. The rapid growth of foreign branch plants which followed the National Policy is examined in detail, as are business assistance measures like patent laws, tariffs, government subsidies and municipal `bonusing`. Nayloroffers detailed accounts of the rise of big business through the formation of cartels and mergers assembled out of smaller independent operations.
These two volumes offer a completely new perspective on the development of the Canadian economy. They cast important new light on the historical forces which lie behind many pressing currrent economic and political issues.