Originally published in 2009, now reissued in The Canada 150 Collection.
Published to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Canada, Sean T. Cadigan has written the book that will surely become the definitive history of one of North America's most distinct and beautiful regions. The site of the first European settlement by Vikings one thousand years ago, a former colony of England, and known at various times as Terra Nova and Newfoundland until its official name change to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001, this easternmost point of the continent has had a fascinating history in part because of its long-held position as the gateway between North America and Europe. Examining the region from prehistoric times to the present, Newfoundland and Labrador is not only a comprehensive history of the province, but an illuminating portrait of the Atlantic world and European colonisation of the Americas.
Cadigan comprehensively details everything from the first European settlements, the displacement and extinction of the indigenous Beothuk by European settlers, the conflicts between settlers and imperial governance, to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment's near annihilation at the Battle of the Somme, the rise of Newfoundland nationalism, Joey Smallwood's case for confederation, and the modernization and economic disappointments instigated by joining Canada. Paying particular attention to the ways in which Newfoundland and Labrador's history has been shaped by its environment, this study considers how natural resources such as the Grand Banks, the disappearance of cod, and off-shore oil have affected the region and its inhabitants.
Richly detailed, compelling, and written in an engaging and accessible style, Newfoundland and Labrador: A History brings the rich and vibrant history of this remarkably interesting region to life.
Acknowledgments / vii
Maps / ix
Introduction: Scarce Environmental Leeway, Nationalism, and the Long Term in Newfoundland and Labrador / 3
The First Peoples by the Sea / 13
The European Encounter / 26
Migrants and Settlers: The Development of a Fishing Society,1610-1775 / 45
Not Quite a Colony, 1775-1824 / 72
A Colonial State, 1824-1855 / 98
Responsible Government and Landward Industrialization,1855-1895 / 125
Twilight of the National Policy, 1897-1908 / 154
The Politics of Hope and Demoralization, 1908-1934 / 176
Commission, Depression, and War, 1934-1945 / 209
The Land of Milk and Honey, 1946-1972 / 235
The Limits of Neo-nationalism, 1972-2003 / 260
Conclusion: Not a Nation / 287
Notes / 299
Bibliography / 321
Index / 345
Sean T. Cadigan is an associate professor in the Department of History at Memorial Universiy of Newfoundland.
"Newfoundland & Labrador is an excellent survey and provocative interpretation of the province's history [...] A remarkable book which deserves wide readership and discussion in the province and beyond."
– Duff Sutherland: Labour/leTravail, vol 67: Spring 2011
"This is a superb survey of the history of the region that became known as Newfoundland and Labrador, from the arrival of its first residents to the present. Sean T. Cadigan understands the enormous difficulties of surviving given the limited opportunities and fragile ecosystems available for humans in Newfoundland and Labrador and approaches the histories of the region's various peoples with profound respect. This book is, in its conception, style, and humility, a gift to the people who have made the history of Newfoundland and Labrador."
– Rusty Bittermann, Department of History, St Thomas University
"Cadigan's meticulous account of Newfoundland's struggles within the Canadian federation, from the calamitous land-based economic experiments to the demise of the iconic fishery, is both thorough and comprehensive. What is unique here is how Cadigan ties the modern history of Newfoundland to previous eras through the rise, in the 1970s."
– Jason Blake: Central European Journal of Canadian Studies; vol 8: 2011