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Canada, The Great Divide, Continental Divide, landscape, boundaries, Rocky Mountains, height of land

Atkins, Sean

Supervisor and department: Dr. Gerhard Ens

Examining committee member and department: Munro, KennethJ. History and Classics Fletcher, Christopher Anthropology Ens, Gerhard History and Classics Irwin, Robert Scott Adjunct History, Macewan University Colpitts, George W. History, University of Calgary Mills, David C.L. History and Classics

Department: Department of History and Classics


Date accepted: 2011-07-12T18:34:16Z

Graduation date: 2011-11

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Degree level: Doctoral

Abstract: Heights of land are, in a North American context, geographical boundaries—defined by the division of waters and a certain degree of elevation that sets them apart from the immediate environs. Heights of land are also landscaped places. Indeed, the hegemonic narrative that frames the height of land idea—the intertwined processes of division, separation and opposite movements—is challenged when one applies a measure of literary criticism and the nature of political ecology to the landscape perception. Cultures and other living systems, move along, across or over the height of land as a matter of course. Heights of land are not simply primordial geographical entities but culturally conditioned ways of making sense of spaces.This study takes as its starting point the idea that the imposition of a specific Rocky Mountain height of land reading—-The Continental Divide-Great Divide-—was the medium by which social groups expressed relative power over others through spatial practice. The route that this narrative has taken since nationhood reflects the geographic meaning invested by the Canadian state into the process of nation building at the end of the 19th century. In the decades between 1840 and 1900, a specific landscape vision was gradually established and imposed over people who did not necessarily express a similar understanding of the importance of the height of land as a continental-wide boundary making system. The consequences of such an imposition were profound. The -Great Divide- interpretation of the Rocky Mountain height of land remained predominant through the Second World War, largely as a result of nation building and its attendant processes. The supposed universal consensus of -The Great Divide- established in the wake of this imposition began to fragment, however, as cultural and social groups from both within and outside the region began to challenge the -Great Divide- idea. Indeed, at the dawn of the 21st century -The Great Divide- idea remains a powerful icon of the Canadian Mountain West, but is now used as an identifiable frame of reference for groups pushing their own interests in ways markedly different from earlier times.

Language: English

DOI: doi:10.7939-R3RC8H

Rights: Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.

Autor: Atkins, Sean

Fuente: https://era.library.ualberta.ca/


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