Gough’s in colonial establishment of British Columbia, it was

Gough’s first section constitutes his examination of the effects of the environment on colonization, he claims that early on explorers recognized that environmental nature would determine the type of human occupation along the Northwest Coast. Stated in “European reconnaissance of British Columbia in the late eighteenth century revealed that the environment was generally devoid of level land suitable for agriculture.” Resource filled lands started international rivalry among Russia, Spain, Britain and United States and caused the present boundaries of British Columbia to be determined as early as 1846. The Oregon Boundary dispute underlined clash between the fur trade and settlement on the Pacific slope, it resulted in the Americans being left with area more suitable for agricultural settlement, and the British were left with a land rich with fur to the North. Lastly, Gough claims environmental factors forced the governments to place premiums on transportation, rivers and coasts had to be made safer to navigate through means such as land survey and area markers. River channels had to be made wider and cleared of all waste. These practices required large expenses and were often recovered through a toll system.  The second section argues that although environmental factors played a critical role in colonial establishment of British Columbia, it was not as important as the people who immigrated during the colonies early years and the type of government and authority which surfaced as a product. Gough states that “No sooner had the British government acquired sovereignty to Vancouver Island and continental territory north of the 49th parallel than it set about to establish means of countering the frontier tendencies of Americans.” This meant that early policies were intended to promote British immigration and protect the well-being of the Indians. Gough argues this may not have been as successful as they had hoped but it is important to “note here that from the very beginning of settlement, the patterns of land occupation were government-directed.” Eventually when Britain wanted to create settlement on Vancouver island the Hudson’s’ Bay Company opposed this goal resulting in the creation of a Crown Colony. Gough states that for the most part even miners from California although opposed to British rule were satisfied with this style of government, “Californians who were large majority of migrants came to respect British law on western frontier, populace had willingly submitted to the powers of the executive that were clearly and directly expressed.” The final section of Gough’s essay states the responsibility of the British Colombia Frontier and the legacies it represented. Gough argues the British Colombian frontier was a “counter frontier”. He states it was established “in response to influences and pressures from neighboring frontiers, particular from Oregon in the case of Vancouver Island and California in the case of British Colombia.” Many forces like the threat of American squatters, filibusters and lawlessness were fears which resulted in the creation of the British Colombia Frontier, which in turn “forced colonial and imperial governments to establish regulations, introduce judicial systems, and provide military aid in support of the civil power in order that similar developments could be avoided in British territory.” 

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