Modernization theory is a theory which describes how the Maritimers emerged from the traditional societies to modern societies. Modernization theory explains the evolution of societies from traditional practices to modern lifestyles through industrialization, manufacturing, Christianity, and improvement of people’s lifestyles. Modernization involves the change of things from what is simple to a complex one. During the early days of maritime history in 1860s, labor was engaged in intensive activities such farming, wrestling and seafaring. Later, labor changed to be more efficient, especially after the great depression of 1930s (specifically 1940-1946). These changes from traditional mechanisms through modernization were experienced in Maritime Provinces for a long time (nearly a century) from mid 1800s to mid 1900s.
Tradition people were less innovative and had little education while modern people were educated and highly innovative. Traditional societies also used high labor while modern societies used high capital.
Traditional societies were also characterized by backwardness which later changed to become modernized and civilized. With time, the influence of the government also broke down traditional societies and led to a world governed modern society.
This study of modernization helps learners of maritime history in one obvious way: learning from the history of our ancestors. It is clear from history that modernization did not come spontaneously but involved a change of behaviors and activities of people over a long time.
This encourages learners to be aware of the changes that occur in the society and appreciate such changes, and use them for the benefit of the society.