So Far and Yet so Close

So Far and Yet So Close provides a comparative study of frontier cattle ranching in two societies on opposite ends of the globe. It is also an environmental history that at the same time centres on both the natural and frontier environments. There are many points at which the western Canadian and northern Australian cattle frontiers evoke comparisons. Most obviously they came to life at about the same time: late 1870s-early 1880s. In both cases corporations were heavy investors and utilized an open range system in which tens of thousands of cattle roamed over thousands of square acres. Ranchers shared similar problems such as predators, disease, and weather, as well as markets. Ultimately, a nearly indistinguishable "country" culture developed in these geographically disparate and distant lands, which is still apparent today. Many similarities were in one way or another a reflection of frontier environmental conditions that is, conditions associated with the very "newness" of society. They included a lack of infrastructure (ie. fences), institutions (ie. police), and population (ie. consumers). However, the ranching people in these two societies had their differences too. In the end, the natural environment pushed agricultural development in these two regions along very different paths.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Half Title Page 2
Full Title Page 4
Copyright Page 5
Dedication 6
Table of Contents 8
PREFACE 10
1 - INTRODUCTION 12
2 - THE SHORT HISTORYOF THE TEXAS SYSTEMIN WESTERN CANADA 18
3 - THE SHORTER HISTORY OF THE TEXAS SYSTEM IN NORTHERN AUSTRALIA 36
4 - THE OUTBACK FRONTIER 50
5 - THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT 72
6 - PRODUCING “FATS”:THE CANADIAN WEST 100
7 - PRODUCING “FATS”:THE NORTHERN TERRITORY 122
8 - THE HORSE TRADE 134
9 - DIVERSIFICATION IN WESTERN CANADA: THE TRIUMPH OF THEFAMILY RANCH/FARM 154
10 - THE TEXAS SYSTEM AT HOME IN NORTHERN AUSTRALIA 176
11 - CONCLUSION:THE FRONTIER LEGACY 202
APPENDIX A - COWBOY POETRY 222
APPENDIX B - OFFICIALLY DECLARED DROUGHTS ON THE AUSTRALIAN CONTINENT 230
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 234
NOTES 250
INDEX 312
Campus Alberta Collection Series Page 331
Back Cover 332