The Poltical Stuggles Facing Newfoundland prior to Joining Canada, 1864-1949

The Poltical Stuggles Facing Newfoundland prior to Joining Canada, 1864-1949

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Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, making it the last and most recent province to become part of the country. Newfoundland had the opportunity to enter into Confederaton in 1867, when Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia first formed the dominion but decided to remain an independent political entity, under British control. This decision also reflected the opposing political views between the colony’s Conservative and Liberal parties. Over time, many of Newfoundland’s core industries began to suffer, while the colony’s government continued to disagree, even through Canada’s offer to have Newfoundland join the larger nation in 1895. This paper explores why Newfoundland did not join Confederation in 1867 and remained an independent political entity until 1949 by examining its early history, Confederation struggles, ‘the in between years’ as well as Joey Smallwoods impact on Newfoundland becoming apart of Canada.
Prior to the early nineteenth century, Newfoundland was known as a ‘chaotic backwater’ in which law and order were largely unknown according to scholar Jerry Bannister. The regions political, economic and social interests were heavily centered on the cod fishery. While, in part, the region’s demography of both original land inhabitants and various European immigrants contributed to the chaotic struggle they were facing. European influence challenged Newfoundland’s ability to an establish self-government and cohesive reform policies, given the conflicting views of Island natives. It seemed as though Newfoundland either “lacked an experienced group of [a high] caliber to demand the organization of local government [or that there were people who] vociferously oppose[d] its introduction” of self-government and col...


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Rawlky, George A. The Atlantic Provinces and The Problems of Confederation. St. John’s: Breakwater, 1979.

Sutherland, Duff. "Newfoundland and Labrador: A History." Labour no. 67 (Spring, 2011). http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.mta.ca/docview/868178116?accountid=12599 (accessed January 13, 2014).

Webb, Jeff, A. Responsible Government: 1855-1933. Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2001. http://www.heritage.nf.ca/law/responsible_gov.html (accessed January 13, 2014).

Wright, Miriam. "The Background to Change in the Newfoundland Cod Fishery at the Time of Confederation." Newfoundland and Labrador Studies [Online]. Volume 14 Number 2 (accessed January 13, 2014).

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The Poltical Stuggles Facing Newfoundland prior to Joining Canada, 1864-1949

- Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949, making it the last and most recent province to became part of the country. Newfoundland had the opportunity to enter into Canada in 1867, which makes the delay difficult to understand. Deciciding to remain an independent political entity, under British control, reflected the opposing political views between the colony’s Conservatives and Liberals. Unsurpisingly, many of Newfoundland’s core industries began to suffer, while the colony’s government continued to disagree, despite an ongoing concerted effort by Canadian officials to have them join the larger nation well before 1949....   [tags: Canadian provinces and regions]

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The Poltical Stuggles Facing Newfoundland prior to Joining Canada, 1864-1949

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