Daniel Samson, historian, rural history
Daniel Samson teaches colonial Canadian history at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. His research focuses on 18th and 19th century rural Nova Scotia and Canada. A 2008 monograph, The Spirit of Industry and Improvement, examines rural politics and culture between 1790 and 1860, in particular the contestation of power that was “improvement”. An earlier collection of essays, Contested Countryside, explores rural workers and the making of modern society in Atlantic Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries. His current research, under the working title Victorian Countrymen: British North American Elites and Agrarian Patriotism, explores the cultural preconditions for the advancement and consolidation of liberal rule in the first half of the 19th century. His interest in Loyalists stems from what he sees as the maintenance of an 18th-century agrarian patriotic ideal in Canada, one which continued to shape British North American politics and society well into the 19th century. An early essay from this research can be seen in “Les élites britanniques d’Amérique du Nord et les améliorations agricoles, 1789–1860”, in Nadine Vivier, ed., Élites et progress dans l’agriculture, 16ème-20ème siècles (Le Mans, presses universitaires de Rennes, 2009).