Newfoundland in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Essays in InterpretationBook - 1980
The first comprehensive history of Newfoundland was published in 1793, but a centenary and a half passed before the first university course in the history of the island was offered there. During the past fifteen years there has been growing activity in the subject. This volume is the work of six scholars who have either studied or taught at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Some have done both.
The book has two broad aims. First, to point out the major themes of modern Newfoundland history currently being examined, and to offer a number of new interpretations of economic and political development in the last two centuries. Second, to supplement the standard works that are readily available to students. In some areas it provides additional details; in others, it bridges wide gaps.
The themes considered include: an introduction to the writing of Newfoundland history; the transition from the purely maritime economy of the nineteenth century to the mixed oceanic and inland resource economy of the twentieth, and the difficulties this involved; the decline of the traditional cod fishery in the nineteenth century; Newfoundland's rejection of confederation in 1896; the limitations imposed by the fisheries agreements Britain negotiated with France and the United States; the consequences of the decision to reject confederation and diversify the local economy; the growth of the Fisherman's Protective Union; the political atmosphere of the 1920s; the party politics in the post-confederation period; and, finally, the collapse of Newfoundland's oldest industry, the saltfish trade, and the province's integration into the North American economy.
This is a book intended for both regional specialists and general students of Canadian history. It provides a valuable resource about a province of rapidly growing importance.