Innis staple thesis

This raises the notion of linkages, largely overlooked by Innis, but critical to later refinements of staple theory. Innis also tried to show the commercial effects of mass circulation newspapers, made possible by expanded newsprint production, and of the new medium of radio, which "threatens to circumvent the walls imposed by tariffs and to reach across boundaries frequently denied to other media of communication".

McLuhan praised Innis for his "mosaic" writing technique designed to reveal patterns. Innis realized that he would not only need to search out archival documents to understand the history of the fur trade, but would also have to travel the country himself gathering masses of firsthand information and accumulating what he called "dirt" experience.

Then, universities could muster the courage to attack the monopolies that always imperil civilization.

Staple Thesis

For example, they related Atlantic Canada to the fishing industry, particularly the harvest of cod. The Writing of Canadian History: That structure shaped the course of westward progress; it facilitated or hindered the connection of the frontier with the older settlements and with Europe; it selected to Innis staple thesis extent its own settlers; and together with other factors it determined the trend of industrial production.

The initial fact to be noted is that for several reasons, structural and climatic, North America faces Europe. At the time, the Baptist Church was an important part of life in rural areas. As a young English professor, McLuhan was flattered when he learned that Innis had put his book The Mechanical Bride on the reading list of the fourth-year economics course.

Yale University Press, McLuan are uniquely Canadian intellectual contributions. The balance required for cultural survival had been upset by what Innis saw as "mechanized" communications media used to transmit information quickly over long distances.

Easterbrook and Melvin H. For Innis, the interplay between knowledge and power was always a crucial factor in understanding empire.

Staples and Staple Theory

The result was The Cod Fisheries: He kept in mind a remark made by history lecturer W. His biographer, John Watson, notes the physical wound took seven years to heal, but the psychological damage lasted a lifetime. The era of the "Dirty Thirties" with its mass unemployment, poverty and despair gave rise to new Canadian political movements.

Harold Innis : biography

Time-binding media are durable. The development of powerful communications media such as mass-circulation newspapers had shifted the balance decisively in favour of space and power, over time, continuity and knowledge. Thesis[ edit ] The thesis explains Canadian economic development as a lateral, east-west conception of trade.

These words seem too confining. There is, in fact, a strong hint of geographic determinism in it, as the following passage suggests: Unlike many historians who see Canadian history as beginning with the arrival of Europeans, Innis emphasizes the cultural and economic contributions of First Nations peoples.

Moreover, narrow staple economies that fail to develop linked and related residentiary industries become subject to relatively substantial and independently determined volatility determined by the ebbs and flows of the demand for staple products. Their products were not dissimilar to those of Europe, and the markets were small and uncertain.

Without their skilled hunting techniques, knowledge of the territory and advanced tools such as snowshoes, toboggans and birch-bark canoes, the fur trade would not have existed. Staple exports can be important to the growth process through their direct and indirect linkage effects on the economy, even if staple exports themselves constitute a small percentage of GDP.Staples thesis.

Harold Innis is considered the leading founder of a Canadian school of economic thought known as the staples theory. It holds that Canada's culture, political history and economy have been decisively shaped by the exploitation and export of a series of "staples" such as fur, fish, wood, wheat, mined metals and fossil fuels.

In his “staples thesis,” he argued that Canada’s exports of fur, timber, fish, fossil fuels and other commodities shaped its cultural and political development.

Innis was the first to point out that Canada’s economic reliance on producing raw materials made it vulnerable to the whims of Britain, the U.S.

and other manufacturing nations. Intellectual contribution of the staples thesis.

The Staples Thesis

1. Harold Innis began to see technology creating social patterns. Paper, papyrus and radio all shaped societies in different ways. 2. Marshall McLuan was a student of Harold Innis and other staples economic historians.

Harold Innis

Harold Innis completed a Master of Arts at McMaster, graduating in April His thesis, called The Returned Soldier, "was a detailed description of the public policy measures that were necessary, not only to provide a supportive milieu to help veterans get over the effects of the war, but also to move on with national reconstruction".

When developing his staples thesis, for example, Easterbrook explained, Innis was testing the limitations of the economics mainstream—and he quoted Innis to that effect (Easterbrook, b).

Staples thesis

That being said, I must point out that Innis had much more in mind than just testing for bias in developing his staples thesis. Staple Thesis Furthermore, different staples (fur, fish, timber, grain, oil, etc) have differing impacts on rates of settlement, federal-provincial conflicts, etc. The thesis was formulated in the s by economic historians Harold A.

INNIS and W.A. MACKINTOSH.

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