This chapter considers how French-Canadian novelists addressed community formation in the 1860s, and then how English-Canadian novelists of the later-nineteenth century responded to the consequences of industrialization. In both French and English Canada, the question of national progress depended on a context-specific understanding of modernization. The chapter explores the work of better understanding the chronotopic use of the historical novel; more specifically, through the juxtaposition of French and English Canada, as well as earlier and later periods within the Canadian context. It further explores the impact of cultural specificity on the integration of modern practices, as well as the ethical limits of the historical novel as it was used to investigate the social consequences of modernization. Self-education is central to Gerin-Lajoie's depiction of French-Canadian independence; the lessons required, are of modernity as experienced across the Western world. Throughout the nineteenth century, the historical novel was used to describe problem-solutions of relevance to Canadian readers situated by the consequences of modernity.