The War on Weeds in the Prairie West


The War on Weeds in the Prairie West

Despite the fact that fighting weeds was of paramount importance to the agricultural development of Canada, there has scarcely been any research on understanding the origins and history of these lowly plants. Finally, historian Clint Evans gives weeds the attention they deserve. In this ground-breaking study, which spans four centuries of weed history, Evans focusses on the evolution of the relationship between people and weeds in the formative years of western Canada. This book documents the arrival of weeds with seed from England in the sixteenth century, how these foreign seeds survived and thrived on the plains of North America for centuries to come, and governmental perceptions and legislations against weeds. Highlighting topics such as weed biology and ecology, noxious weed legislation and "weed science," Evans considers the delicate connections between human culture and the natural world.

Energetic and accessible, The War on Weeds in the Prairie West:An Environmental History is the first full-blown environmental history of weeds in western Canada.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
The War on Weeds in the Prairie West 1
Contents 6
Preface 8
Introduction 10
1 Weeds and Culture 20
What is a Weed? 21
A Short History of Definitions 27
Weeds and Culture 33
2 Good Husbandry and the Relationship Between People and Weeds in Great Britain, 1500–1900 38
Weeds and Reformers 40
Conflict 45
Further Thoughts on Weeds 56
Conclusion 66
3 From Colony to Nation: The Transformation of Immigrant Culture in Ontario, 1800–1867 72
The "Rough Era," 1800–1865 73
Explaining Cultural Change 87
Conclusion 92
4 Dominion of the West, 1867–1905 96
Weeds and Weed Experts in Ontario, 1867–1900 97
A Colony of Ontario 105
Shaping a Western Identity 111
Conclusion 124
5 War on the Western Front, 1906–1945 128
Allies to the South 130
War-time Regulation, Bureaucracy, and Troop Education 141
In the Trenches 154
Conclusion 166
6 The Bomb and Aftermath 170
Herbicide Development and Use in Western Canada to 1945 171
2,4-D and the Dawning of the "Hormone Era," 1945–1950 177
Fallout 184
Conclusion 193
Conclusion 198
Appendix 1 The 1865 Canada Thistle Act of Upper Canada 210
Appendix 2 Line Drawings of the Leading Cast of Weeds 214
Appendix 3 Colour Plates 226
Notes 234
Bibliography 282
Index 306
A 306
B 307
C 308
D 311
E 312
F 313
G 314
H 314
I 316
L 317
K 317
J 317
M 318
N 319
O 320
P 320
Q 322
R 322
S 323
T 324
U 325
V 325
W 326
Y 328
Z 328