Taking a Look at Newfoundland

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Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, making it the most recent province to became part of the country. Some historians argue that the delay is diffcult to understand, since Newfoundland had the chance to enter into Canada in 1867. This paper explores why Newfoundland did not join Confederation in 1867 and remained an independent political entitiy. In was not in their best interest given the overarching political debacle which unfolded between the colony’s Conservatives and Liberals. The decision to remain an independent political entitiy or join the federal govenrment was hindered by opposing poltical views. Despite having two men, known today as the Fathers of Confederation, at the Quebec Conference who supported the idea of union, Newfoundland itself did not. A general election to decide the fate of the colony resulted in ongoing dissatisfaction with the idea of joining the new dominion. The question of higher taxation and terrifies that would hinder the success of the colony was a risk people were not yet ready to take. Most of Newfoundland’s core industries began to suffer and fall apart, while the colonies government continued to disagree, despite a concerted effort made by Canadian officials to have them join the larger nation.
Newfoundland, prior to the early nineteenth century, was a ‘chaotic backwater’ in which law and order were largely unknown. Its economic, political and social interests lied heavily in the cod fishery. The chaotic nature of Newfoundland, given that its society was made up of various European immigrants only added to the struggle they were facing in terms of reform and the establishment of self-government. The people who occupied the region all brought large aspects of European life to Newfoundland, wh...

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... the Dominion of Canada. By the results of the election, it was evident that the voters were not in favour of Confederation in Newfoundland at this time. You would imagine that merchants of the area would defiantly not see any future benefits to Confederation based on the underlined ways that the local economy was sustained at the time. Imaginably, they would have been worried about a higher taxation – which would only be used to benefit those who lived on the mainland and had constant easy connection – as well as having any tariffs only benefit the mainland and their means of production as well as industry. Over the coming years, all of Newfoundland’s core industries began to suffer and fall apart and “despite the rejection of 1869, Canadians authorities had, over the following two decades continued to make overtures to Newfoundland about joining confederation.”
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