image of the book cover of Permeable Border: The Great Lakes Basin as Transnational Region, 1650-1990

Permeable Border: The Great Lakes Basin as Transnational Region, 1650-1990

John J. Bukowczyk, , Nora Faires, , David R. Smith, and, Randy W. Widdis

$39.95 CAD / $39.95 USD

312 pages, 31 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

Hardback: 978-1-55238-216-5

Hardback: 1552382168

Library PDF: 978-1-55238-427-5

September 2005

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Winner of the Albert B. Corey Prize for Candian-American Relations and shortlisted for the Association of Borderlands Studies book award, Permeable Border is a much-needed history of the economic development of the Great Lakes Basin.

From the colonial era of waterborne transport, through nineteenth-century changes in transportation and communication, to globalization, the history of the Great Lakes Basin has been shaped by the people, goods, and capital crossing and recrossing the U.S.-Canadian border.

During the past three centuries, the region has been buffeted by efforts to benefit from or defeat economic and political integration and by the politics of imposing, tightening, or relaxing the bisecting international border. Where tariff policy was used in the early national period to open the border for agricultural goods, growing protectionism in both countries transformed the border into a bulwark against foreign competition after the 1860s. In the twentieth century, labour migration, followed by multinational corporations, fundamentally altered the customary pairing of capital and nation to that of capital versus nation, challenging the concept of international borders as key factors in national development.

In tracing the economic development of the Great Lakes Basin as borderland and as transnational region, the authors of Permeable Borderhave provided a regional history that transcends national borders and makes vital connections between two national histories that are too often studied as wholly separate.

About the Author

John J. Bukowczyk is professor of history and director of the Canadian Studies Program at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Nora Faires is associate professor of history and women’s studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

David R. Smith is a history instructor and academic advisor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Priase for Permiable Border

A well-researched effort on the part of the four authors. It is a needed addition to the professional literature on this subject. They are able to weave together a discussion of the economic, political and social aspects of developments in the Great Lakes region for a long period of time. Moreover, they are able to fit the situation existing in the Great Lakes area into a broader historical context for both Canada and the United States.

—Jerome Laurent,

Four authors have shared the daunting task of describing the development of a region that seems to defy recognition and cohesion . . . Valuable to readers interested in North American trade history, or the relationship between the United States and Canada.

—Mel Prewitt, The Annals of Iowa

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Chapter 1: The Production of History, the Becoming of Place
John J. Bukowczyk

Chapter 2: Trade War, Migration, and Empire in the Great Lakes Basin, 1650-1815
John J. Bukowczyk

Chapter 3: Migration, Transportation, Capital and the State in the Great Lakes Basin, 1815-1890
John J. Bukowczyk

Chapter 4: Leaving the "Land of the Second Chance:" Migration from Ontario to the Upper Midwest in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
Nora Faires

Chapter 5: Structuring the Permeable Border: Channeling and Regulating Cross-Border Traffic in Labour, Capital, and Goods
David R. Smith

Chapter 6: Migration, Borderlands, and National Identity: Directions for Research
Randy William Widdis

Chapter 7: Region, Border, and Nation
John J. Bukowczyk

Appendix: Primary Sources in Migration Studies
Randy William Widdis

Further Reading
Select Bibliography

WINNER, CHA/AHA Albert B. Corey Prize in Canadian-American Relations | 2008

SHORTLISTED, Association of Borderlands Studies Book Award | 2008