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Chapter 2

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Department
Economics
Course
ECON 2P19
Professor
Indra Hardeen
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 2 –The Atlantic Colonies to 1763 The Cod Fisheries • Economic history of Atlantic Canada to 1763 is tied inextricably to the cod fishery Resources and Techniques • Cod breed and survive best in the particular ocean temperature from Cape Cod in the south to Cape Race in the north • The habit if the cod supported the development of two distinct and independent fisheries • Offshore or Bank Fishery – fish for cod in the open oceans of the continental shelf • Fishermen left European ports in late January or February • Fish through May, return home with the catch • With luck and proper management, it was possible to make a second voyage, leaving Europe in May or June return with the catch before winter storms • The cod caught offshore were preserved for the long voyage to market by using a technique known as the wet or green cure preservation method • The fishing ships would carry huge quantities of salt with them on their voyage from Europe • Alternatively, the fish could be lightly salted and then laid out in the sun to dry • This dry cure techniques as it became known, required far less salt, which made it attractive to nations such as England where access to cheap salt was a problem • The product offered greater food value than the green cure method of preservation and thus fetched a better price in European markets • Inshore fishery required continuous contact with the land, especially when the fish were preserved using e dry-cure technique International Rivalries • John Cabot arrived back in Bristol from Newfoundland August 1497 • By 1502, there were reports of loads of Newfoundland cod arriving in England • Cabot had originally discovered the fishing grounds on behalf of the kind of England, it was the French and the Portuguese who were the first to exploit this new resource extensively • Rapid population growth in these years created a significant, occasionally desperate, need for plentiful supplies of cheap, high protein food • The cod industry was both a result of an increasing population in Europe and a means of sustaining that increase • The Portuguese fished primarily along the shores of the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland • The French fishery was based in western seaports such as La Rochelle, Rouen, St. Malo, Nantes, Le Havre, and other areas of Normandy and Brittany • The initial market was France, the centre of that market being Paris, as one of the largest cities in Europe, Paris had a tremendous demand for cheap, protein rich food • Cartier’s voyages in the 1530s opened up new areas along the shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence • The West Country fishermen and merchants who dominated the North Atlantic trade were closer to the region than were their French and Spanish counterparts • Most British fishermen were content to fish in the Iceland rather than face the competitive and dangerous rivalries in the waters around Newfoundland • The British Royal Navy’s presence and power were growing stronger, especially with the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 • The French were pushed out of the much of the Avalon Peninsula by the English Newfoundland The Migratory Fishery of the West of England • The English migratory fishery was centred in the southwest region of that country, in more than 40 ports located between Bristol and Southampton • Season began each year in January of February, ship-owners sent agents to the surrounding villages, seeking crews for the summer voyages • From march through may, supplies and crew were loaded onto ships of all sizes • Crews would go out into the coastal water early each morning in small fishing boats, returning to shore in the evening • Fish were gutted, beheaded, slit, and lightly salted and stacked • Weather permitting, the crews would fish through to September • Some of the vessels returned directly to the West Country ports • Newfoundland cod went to Spain, Portugal, and Italy, where it was exchanged for specie or salt, wine, and other such produce, which were then brought back to England • Concepts such as the laying off or risk, hedging against the unknown, and profit sharing would all become familiar to the modern corporate and financial sectors • Three types of costs were involved in the migratory fishery: • The capital cost of the ship, the cost of the provisions, and remuneration for the ship’s master and crew • Marine insurance was available at the time, but for various reasons, few ship- owners purchased it • A share system developed, whereby profits from voyages were divided among a number of parties • The first split was a three way one • One-third of any profits went to the ship owners, one third went to the provisioner, and one third went to the ship’s master and crew • The merchant would then arrange for provisions and crew, and the profits net of charter fees would share accordingly • Overtime, the share system proved less and less attractive to captains and sailors, and a combination of shares and wages gradually emerged • Those who were involved in the voyage did not themselves have the fund to invest • Involving lending money to those with shares in voyages • In the early 17 century, British merchants, often based in London, began sending vessels (sack ships) to Newfoundland to purchase the surplus catch • Byeboat keepers were merchants who were unable or unwilling to buy shares in fishing ships operating in Newfoundland • They would hire workers, known as servants and transport them as passengers on the fishing ships leaving for Newfoundland each spring • Once in Newfoundland, the servants would fish from shore using boats owned by the byeboat keepers in a similar manner to the crews of the fishing ships • Between 1675 and 1681, just over 4000 men arrived in Newfoundland each year on English fisher ships The Beginnings of Permanent European Settlement • A permanent European population did ultimately arise ou
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