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Lecture

Maritime Colonies to Confederation.doc


Department
History
Course Code
HIS 2201E
Professor
Prof

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Loyalism, Economy and Society in the Maritime Colonies, 1760s-1860s: Did
this “conservative” region have a “golden age”?
INTRODUCTION: The lecture will focus on the region now known as the
Maritime Provinces (excluding Newfoundland) during the century before
Confederation. It will consider two common historical perceptions of the
Maritime colonies in this century: i) that it was a more conservative region
than the rest of BNA; and ii) that it had a “golden age” of pride and
prosperity in the pre-Confederation decades of the 19th century linked to
the heyday of shipping and shipbuilding. Much of this lecture will deal with
the reality, and the myth, of the Maritimes’ “golden age.”
THE MARITIME COLONIES TO THE END OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: a
brief look back, and the issue of why Nova Scotia didn’t become the
fourteenth colony to rebel against British rule
WAVES OF SETTLERS TO THE MID-19TH CENTURY: Planters; Loyalists, incl
Black Loyalists; returning Acadians; immigrants from Britain; in total,
approx 500, 000 people by the mid-19th century
WHAT DID PEOPLE DO FOR A LIVING? Subsistence activities, espec farming;
production for export markets, and resulting commerce – in agriculture,
fishery, timber, shipping and shipbuilding
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO MARITIME PROSPERITY IN THE “GOLDEN AGE”:
the existence of a protected market for primary resources; the War of
1812-14; the Reciprocity Treaty with the US, 1854-64; stimulus from
railway construction
THE INADEQUACY OF THESE FACTORS FOR LONG-TERM AND WIDESPREAD
PROSPERITY: problems created by Britain’s adoption of free trade from
1840s, and, in 1864, the end of Reciprocity with US; the limits of railway
building as an economic stimulus; emerging competition for shipbuilders
from steamships built elsewhere; PEI’s special problem of absentee
landlords
POLITICS: FROM REPRESENTATIVE TO RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT:
Comparisons with the Canadas
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