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Recipes For Society In Atlantic Canada

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RECIPES FOR SOCIETY IN ATLANTIC CANADA While Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia) has often been characterized as the "step-child of French colonial policy,"1 Newfoundland could probably be characterized in a similar manner, except that it was Britain's step-child. In their early days, control of each province was tossed back and forth between France and Britain, much like a juggling act. The appeal of Acadia was that it was ideal to establish a settlement there for the benefits of a harbour for trade and naval strength. Newfoundland's main appeal lay in its fishery. As Keith Matthews points out in his article "The Nature and the Framework of Newfoundland History", Newfoundland was "rather different from the English mainland colonies."2 Likewise, Naomi Griffiths, in her article "The Golden Age: Acadian Life, 1713 - 1748", tells us that the Acadians had a "life of considerable distinctiveness."3 The acknowledgment of the uniqueness of each province when compared to the mainland North American colonies (whether French or British) is one of two main similarities between these two articles. The point of my essay is to point out what each of the two authors regard as the key ingredient (or ingredients) ...read more.


Like Nova Scotia, the power of Newfoundland changed hands and boundaries for the different countries' areas were fluid. But, a mutual respect for fellow fishermen conquered the obsessive, power-hungry desires of the mother countries to solely control the island and its fishery. The most marked contrast between the articles was found in the exploration of the history itself. Although the view is somewhat narrow, arguably, Matthews' approach is extremely viable -- there was little else in the lives of Newfoundland's settlers besides the fishery. These first settlers realised that they "must go a-fishing if they wanted to make a living", because the option of agriculture or any other industry at the time was out of the question.7 When he goes on, in the second half of the article, to describe the seven periods of Newfoundland's history, each period is based on a specific period of the fishery. Even his seventh and last period of their history, which he called the "era of Newfoundland's emergence as an independent community," is described in terms relating to the fishery: "extinction of every fishing competitor ... created one of the greatest booms that Newfoundland had ever known."8 And, as he sums it all up with amazing precision in ...read more.


While Matthews' view is mainly of the economic historian, in the glimpses we get of the other parts of their lives, we see that their economy dominates those as well, and any other view of Newfoundland's history during this time might not give us much more information. Griffiths' broad view of Acadian life proves that the Maritime colonies were (and are) different from one another, and should not simply be lumped into one category -- their differences are just as profound as the differences between the other colonies. ENDNOTES 1. Program 3, Canada to 1867: The Founding Societies (Toronto: CJRT-FM Open College, yr?) 2. Keith Matthews, "The Nature and the Framework of Newfoundland History", Readings in Canadian History: Pre-Confederation, eds. R. Douglas Francis and Donald B. Smith (Toronto: Harcourt Canada, 1998), 121. (from here on, Matthews) 3. Naomi Griffiths, "The Golden Age: Acadian Life, 1713 - 1748", Readings in Canadian History: Pre-Confederation, eds. R. Douglas Francis and Donald B. Smith (Toronto: Harcourt Canada, 1998), 135. (from here on, Griffiths) 4. Griffiths, 127 5. Griffiths, 128 6. Matthews, 123 7. Matthews, 121 8. Matthews, 125 - 126 9. Matthews, 122 10. Griffiths, 128 11. Griffiths, 130 12. Griffiths, 133 13. Griffiths, 135 14. Griffiths, 130 15. Griffiths, 135 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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