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Can markets foster rebellion? The case of the 1837–38 rebellions in Lower Canada

Vincent Geloso and Vadim Kufenko ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2019, vol. 166, issue C, 263-287

Abstract: In 1837–38, the British colonies of Upper and Lower Canada rebelled. The rebellion was more virulent (and better organized) in Lower Canada. The rebellions were also concentrated in the richer areas of that colony. In this paper, we use the census of 1831 and databases of rebellious events to explain how the rebels managed to overcome the problem of collective action. We argue that the rich areas were more prone to rebellion because they were where markets were most developed. These well-developed markets allowed for cheaper coordination of seditious elements. We link our contribution to the literature on the collective action problem inherent to the organization of protests, uprisings and rebellions.

Keywords: Rebellions; Economic development; Canadian economic history; Collective action problem (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N21 N41 D70 D74 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.06.005

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:166:y:2019:i:c:p:263-287