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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
The Missionary

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In the middle of the 19th century new ideas changed the intellectual, social and cultural life in both Europe and Canada. The French Revolution and the Civil War in the United States of America both reflected and informed new thoughts about society and its structure. New applications of science fuelled the industrial revolution and the watershed of technologies which characterizes the mechanized lifestyle of the 20th century. The opportunity to move and produce with greater technical sophistication helped drive expectations towards greater efficiency, both in terms of production and of institutional organization.

In addition, the fur trade in Canada began to slow significantly following the sale of Rupert's Land by the The Hudson's Bay Company to the Canadian government in 1869. Following the sale, the government quickly began encouraging eastern Canadians to include the west in their visions.

Vital differences exist between the Methodist Missionary world of the pre-1870 years and those of the post 1870 years. Instead of being directed from a Wesleyan society based out of England, the Methodist missionaries were now directed by a Methodist Church of Canada. In what ways did the role of the Methodist Missionaries change in the Post-1870 period?

These pages explore the effect of developments in thought and technical possibilities on Canada's national vision and social structure and their consequences as they pertained to the Methodist missions on the western prairies.


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