STAPLES THESIS HAROLD INNIS

Staple theory is meant to facilitate an explanation of successful and failed staple-related development by determining the extent to which staple exports were able realize their growth potential for an economy. Like Frederick Jackson Turner in the U. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Retrieved May 20, from Encyclopedia. He also was an inveterate traveler who traveled to all parts of Canada sometimes by canoe and to major universities abroad to glean insights from field and academy.

Innis’s staple theory narrative, fleshed out in the s and s, is deeply imbedded in a detailed discourse of Canadian economic history, wherein Canadian economic evolution and development is explained through highly detailed historical analyses of the development of key commodities such as cod, furs, timber, and the transportation infrastructure which allowed for and facilitated the export of such products. However, the importance of fur as a staple product also resulted in the northern half of the continent remaining dependent on Britain for trade and thus essentially British for so much of its history. Staple Thesis, a theory asserting that the export of natural resources, or staples, from Canada to more advanced economies has a pervasive impact on the economy as well as on the social and political systems. That province’s economic structure exemplifies the “core-periphery” structure of intra-regional relationships. Fundamentally the civilization of North America is the civilization of Europe and the interest of this volume is primarily in the effects of a vast new land area on European civilization. Perhaps the main idea that historians took over from Innis was the belief that Canada developed not in spite of geography but because of it, that there was a naturalness and solidity to the very structure of the country that lay far deeper than political arrangements. This industry was very decentralized, but also very co-operative.

In western Canada the central staple was wheat. The British Columbian Quarterly Vancouver’s changing relationships with British Columbia’s staple economy. It is not too much to say that European civilization left its impress on North America through its demand for staple products. Of the various extensions and amendments to the staple theory, of particular importance has been the explicit introduction of linkages into analytical framework although Mackintosh himself highlighted in the s what has come to be referred to as linkages.

Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. The staple theory was first articulated prior in by Queen’s University Canada economist W. The economic history of Canada has been dominated by the discrepancy between the centre and the margin of western civilization. Staples and Staple Theory The staple theory of economic growth is most closely linked with the name of Harold Innis —a University of Toronto economist who argued that current theories failed to explain the economic evolution of countries such as Canada, which has a relative abundance of land and other natural resources.

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Canada remained British in spite of free trade and chiefly because she continued as an exporter of staples to a progressively industrialized mother country. The history of the northeastern maritime region of North America has been dominated by the fishing industry, but it is significant that the cod Gadus callarias Linnaeusthe staple fish, has secured recognition only grudgingly as the basis of economic development.

However, success requires tjesis important supply-side decisions are made within staple economies such that linkages at every level are maximized, a point made some time ago by Innis, Mackintosh, and North.

staples thesis harold innis

This supply-side issue resides in the hands of the staple producers, and Innis pays particular attention to transportation costs as an important cost variable which staple producers can significantly affect to make their staples cost competitive, thus spurring a region’s capacity to develop through staple exports. Retrieved May 20, from Encyclopedia. Another page that explains staples theory can be found in Canada’s Digital Collections.

Perhaps the main idea that historians took over from Innis was the belief that Canada developed not in spite of geography staplew because of it, that there was a naturalness and solidity to the very structure of the country that lay far deeper than political arrangements. New countries, Innis insisted, develop in relation to old countries.

Staple Thesis | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Canada, the United StatesAustralia, and New Zealand are nations where staples appear to have played a positive role in fostering economic development. Contemporary proponents of the thesis argue that Innis’s version more accurately describes the Canadian situation to the present. North also finds that staple production and the economic linkages that they generate can give rise to the growth of nodal centers that are home to staple and related industries.

Melvin Watkins argued that key to staple theory is the extent to which staple production links positively with the rest of the economy. Thus, exports and trade expansion are the “handmaidens” of growth, not the true engines of the export-led growth process. The economic history of the regions adjacent to the submerged areas extending to the northeast of America’s north Atlantic seaboard is in striking contrast to that of the continental regions.

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This industry was very decentralized, but also very co-operative. Routledge History of Economic Thought Series. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. It prompted the political economist to give Canadians a new vision of their country.

staples thesis harold innis

Mackintosh —who argued that explaining a nation’s economic evolution requires incorporating economic and geographical factors into one’s analysis, going beyond a narrative which relies largely upon individuals and politics as the main or only causal variables.

These nodal centers can themselves become export centers thdsis simply or even largely of staples, but of nonstaple outputs, wherein theis latter’s base is the staple sector. Western Canada has paid for the development of Canadian nationality, and it would appear that it must continue to pay.

Staples and Staple Theory

The thesis may be the most important single contribution to scholarship by Canadian social scientists and historians; it has also had some influence internationally, notably in the analysis of a comparable country such as Australia. You are commenting using your Twitter account. Most recent empirical work by Reynolds and by Rodriguez and Rodrik reiterates the importance of the supply side to the export-led growth process—causality runs from supply-side improvement to exports, not vice versa.

staples thesis harold innis

In time, a theis nonstaple sector may become delinked from the staple sector, fostering economic growth on its own. However, the importance of fur as a staple product also resulted in the northern half of the continent remaining dependent on Britain for trade and thus essentially British for so much of its history.