Date of Award
Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)
Doctor John C. Weaver
This dissertation analyzes the dynamics of local government in six communities -- Brockville, Hamilton, Kingston, Ottawa, St. Catherines and Toronto. Traditional politico-constitutional histories were obsessed with tracing the steady growth of participatory democracy at the local level. In contrast, this study adopts a more critical perspective, documenting the manner in which local elites utilized municipal government to shape the development of the province's urban communities. Among the relevant issues examined are the incorporation of towns and cities, the regulation of the public market, the expansion of municipal services, the subsidization of internal improvement projects, and the struggle to preserve public order and morality. By means of quantitative analysis, the author considers the essential characteristics of the men elected to civic\ffice. Merchants and other businessmen who identified their interests with the community-at-large dominated the local councils. These individuals were committed to the growth of the towns and cities they represented, and they implemented measures designed to facilitate commercial expansion and urban development. At the same time, however, fearing the negative consequences of massive socio-economic change, they utilized municipal government as a means to ensure that order and stability prevailed in the changing urban environment.
Matthews, William Thomas, "By and For the Large Propertied Interests: The Dynamics of Local Government in Six Upper Canadian Towns During the Era of Commercial Capitalism, 1832-1860" (1985). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1279.