Maritime Issues: Review of Essays and Articles

Isabelle Knockwood, Excerpts from out of the Depths

This article begins with a SIRS enrollment form at the first paragraph. It indicates that the school system is under strict surveillance by the department of Indian affairs in Ottawa. The paper also shows that Indians in the school are given special attention because they were guarded by the principal and the parents made a commitment to that. The principal is also a guardian for the children at school. The SIRS form gives them absolute power over children at school. Religion is also an important element for the school system as one is required to fill in his/her religious requirements. The school system also requires the admission of children with good moral character.

Families whose children went to school under the guardianship of Father Mackey resisted the SIRS through various mechanisms. First, they wrote letters to the Indian Affairs in Ottawa to complain about the school system in which their children were left in full custody of the principal even during the summer holiday; or even when they are extremely ill and needed special attention and parental concern. They also wrote to other authorities including the bureaucrats. The power of writing was stronger than that of words. Some families and relatives also helped students who did not want to go back to school by keeping them at home, contrary to the requirements of SIRS. The pupils also resisted the system by running away to live with other relatives different from their regular parents and guardians when the principal sends the police to take them back to school. Parents engaged in time consuming battles to get their children out of the school.

This resistance was successful. Some children managed to run away and never went back to the school. As a result, they were free of the strict system of the school that never allowed them to enjoy any freedom. Those who resisted and succeeded to be free managed to live in a god environment, wear good clothes, good health, and enjoy their lives.

The thesis of this article is that the absolute power of Father Mackey and the nuns over the Indian children at school received a great resistance from children and their parents. This thesis has been demonstrated through examples of situations in which the father restricted pupils from receiving attention from their parents, and treating them inappropriately at school. It also gives examples of how the children and their relatives resisted the school system, e.g. by running away from school and writing letters of complaints to authorities.

The authors were successful in writing the article because they addressed the school system and the resistance of parents adequately using evidence from primary sources (views of former pupils of the school). This approach is important for research work and has led to the success of the paper. The reading is important because it explains important aspects of resistance by Indian societies. It empowers people who are under oppressive leadership to resist unfair treatment through appropriate mechanisms.

The article contributes to the larger themes and issues considered in the lectures by providing a real life example of how to solve injustices and social problems of the Maritimes region. In the lectures, resistance has been seen as one of the ways through which people of the Maritimes region can resolve unfair school systems and unjust political systems. Therefore, this article contributes to the issues considered in lectures by illustrating the application of such issues in real life. The paper also connects with other readings by demonstrating the fact that the Indian communities of Canada faced significant problems; which supports the propositions of other readings.

Ernest R. Forbes, Consolidating Disparity: The Maritimes and the Industrialization of Canada during the Second World War

The thesis of this journal article is that the policies of the politicians and Bureaucrats who directed Canada’s development from the Second World War including Howe were detrimental to the maritime industries and Canada’s war effort. The author of this article demonstrates this thesis by explaining how the events of the Second World War created regional disparity in the Maritimes provinces of Canada. He uses two perspectives and the data from the Second World War to explain this. The Orthodox scholars claim that the regional disparity resulted from the forces of the marketplace while the liberal revisionist and neo-Marxian scholars attributed the disparity to political and social factors. The paper contends that the link of the disparity to invisible natural laws was an illusion, but the government played a significant role in causing the disparity.

The author is successful in his study because he explains his course using relevant data from the Second World War to support his thesis. For instance, the paper found out from its data that the senior bureaucrats of Canada prepared a memorandum recommending against transportation subsidies for Maritime and Western coal. This policy by the political class is strong evidence that the disparities in Canada’s Maritime regions resulted from the political system, not the natural forces of demand and supply in the market. Another demonstration from data of the 1940s is the long delay in opening the plate mill at Sydney which contributed to severe shortages in ship’s plate in the country in 1941 and 1942. This affected the war negatively.

This reading is important because it explains the causes of the Maritime disparity and failure in Maritime war. This will enable the policy implementers in Canada to find solutions to the problems. It provides an historical view to the failure of Canada in the Second World War and the events and reasons that led to the disparity in the Maritime regions. This is an important aspect of history for Canada to draw some lessons for the future.

This reading contributes to the larger themes and issues and connects with other readings by supporting theories and models that link Maritime’s regional disparity to political reasons; and oppose readings that attribute the disparity to marketplace causes. For instance, Belanger (2001) suggests that the political union of the British North America led Maritime regions to forfeit their autonomy. This agrees with the finding of the article that the political actors caused the disparity in the maritime region. The paper also agrees with the lecture notes by ascertaining that the social problems faced by people of the Maritime regions are caused by factors including the poor policies of the federal government which did not work for Maritime Provinces. This is the position of the lectures; and by demonstrating its thesis using real life, this paper contributes to the larger theme of disparity in the maritime area as contained in the lectures. The lectures suggest that the disparity is an inherent part of the poverty and economic problems caused by the poor policy implementations by the central government.

David Frank and Nolan Reilly, the Emergence of the Socialist Movement in the Maritimes

The thesis of this article is that the emergence of the socialist movement in the Maritimes was caused by the collectivist responses to industrialization, the radicalism in Canada and the nationwide following and support by the Maritimers. The authors of the article support this thesis by demonstrating the link between the Socialist Movement and various political, social and economic issues that occurred in early 20th century. For instance, the growth of the coal industry in Cape Breton caused trade-union movements that motivated the emergence of the socialist movement. The political classes resisted various unions, hence causing radicalisms and resistance from the public. As a result, this led to Socialist Movements.

The authors are successful in their proposition because they clearly support their thesis with occurrences from the socialist history of Canada. One way that the paper succeeded to support its assertions is by using the pattern of the middle-class concern in 1890s when industrial capitalism awakened intellectual concerns. The thesis of the paper also agrees with theories of socialism. For instance, the paper argues that rise of the first socialist organisation was as a result of a turn towards Marxist socialism.

The reading is important because it sets a platform on which social studies can gain knowledge from the socialism movement. It can be used to teach the causes of socialism and illustrate how socialist movements can occur in the contemporary society.

The reading also contributes to larger themes and issues considered in lectures by linking the causes of socialist movement to the general theories of socialism that are explained in the lectures. It demonstrates that socialist movements rise due to the negative effects of the capitalist systems of government and industrialization. This is a position that is supported by the lectures which suggest that from a socialist point of view, socialism rise from a failed capitalist system; where people oppose a capitalist political system or government. The paper suggests that socialist movements of the early 20th century resulted due to the radicalism against the oppressive political systems. This is in line with the general themes of socialism that are explained in the lectures and other readings.

E.R. Forbes, Cutting the Pie into Smaller Pieces: Matching Grants and Relief in the Maritime Provinces during the 1930s

This article suggests that the federal government ironically became an agent of regional disparity through the inequality of its matching grants and relief formula.  This was mainly made worse by the limited economic resources of the Maritime Provinces and the inability of the provinces to participate effectively in the relief programs of the federal government. It resulted to the move by the Maritime Provinces to divide the small grants into smaller pieces to support the key aspects of the economy including the health and lives of its citizens. This thesis is demonstrated using documents from the Maritimes in 1930s to explain the repressiveness of the Canadian system in which the government was slow to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. The author argues that the government’s matching grants and relief formula which did not allow the Maritime Provinces to participate in the policies of the federal government contributed to the disparity of the regions.

The author is successful because he explained the cause of regional disparity in Maritime region the best way he could, using evidence from documents of Maritimes in 1930s. The purpose of demonstrating the causes of the Maritime disparity was successfully met through submissions supported by other literature. For instance, Rusty et al (1993) suggest that the control over policy by the federal government of Canada caused poverty and disparity in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. This is in line with the assertions in this article, which means the paper is successful in its purpose.

This reading is important because it explains the historical causes of disparity in Maritime region. This history can be used to avoid future problems that could result in disparity. The reading can also be used in studies about the Maritimes as a learning material that enables learners to understand the historical causes of disparity in Maritime Provinces of Canada.

This reading also contributes to the larger themes and issues by increasing the knowledge of disparity in Maritime Provinces and how the Maritime Provinces reacted to the inequality. The lectures argue that there was a great disparity in the economic conditions of Maritime Provinces of Canada, especially during the post-confederation era. This paper supports these lectures by demonstrating the same proposition even in its thesis. It also connects with other articles by giving the same propositions as other articles which argued similarly that the disparity of the Maritime Provinces was caused by the federal government’s policies. An example of the readings that explained the same position is the article by Forbes E.R. that has been discussed earlier in this paper.

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