Modernization Theory: Understanding Modernization in the Maritime

Social Gospel

Emergence of Modernization in Canada

Creating a modern society in Canada is an historical phenomenon. It began from the post-war industrialization of 1940s when the traditional society structures were broken down by new systems and developments. This goal of modernization influenced various groups in Canada including the Maritimers. It emerged at a time when people needed to improve manufacturing, production and fishing methods in order to improve productivity and development in the light of industrialization which had already picked pace in Canada.

One of the reasons for the emergence of modernization was the need to industrialize economic development in Canada and to make manufacturing, business, lumbering and fishing more sophisticated and more productive. The second reason for the emergence of modernization was the Second World War. The war came with various aspects of modernization as people brought in new ways to win the war. Canadian ports were some of the pathways if the war fighters. As a result, modernized war equipments and methods entered Canada and modernization became ideally inevitable.

Modernization Theory

According to the modernization theory, modernity and modernization was meant to bring the benefits of modern world into Canada. Seemingly, Canada had noted the developments of other modernization regions and countries of the world considered the possibility of borrowing such modernization for the benefit of the people of Canada. Speaking of the people of Canada, I mean inclusive of the three Maritime Provinces of Canada: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Modernization brought about efficiency in administration of the people of Canada. Maritimers took the issue of modernization positively as they improved their business activities, fishing, lumbering and other economic activities that they engaged in. They also used modernization to improve their health and living standards through various programs enhanced by the entry of modernization into the Maritime region. The Maritime Ports were also improved by the Maritimers through modernized systems. Indeed, modernization was received positively by the Maritimers.

The traditional societies of the Maritime Provinces were characterized by lack of industrialization. This is also the case in other provinces of Canada.

Modernization theory suggests that in contrast, a modern society exhibits and industrial system. This indicates that the industrialization of Canada in 1940s depicted the start of modernization in the region. Despite the fact that modernization in this perspective was evident in Canada in 1940s, the Maritime regions did not benefit fully from the dynamics of modernization because disparity and national policies still hampered industrialization in the Maritime region.

Modernization also involves a change from a labor intensive society to a labor efficient and capital intensive society. This reflects a true picture in central Canada as early as 1940s. On the other hand, Maritime region still struggled to get rid of its traditional societies even as modernization came closer and closer.  Another characteristic of a modern society is education. On the other hand, traditional society is characterized by lack of education. Maritimes experienced education early during the industrialization era although the school systems were still poorly structured.


Modernization in the Maritime

A modern Maritime society in 1940s was made up of sophisticated people who moved forward in terms of ideologies and behaviour. This led Maritime people to change their attitudes away from traditional ways of thinking to development-oriented thinking which gave them an opportunity to develop their land successfully. The modern society started to become innovative, leading to develop of scientific management and technological production mechanisms.

The Maritimers evolved slowly through such technological advancements even as balers and fishing experts devised new technologies of fishing that encouraged more productivity of fish and improved living standards. Ever since the Maritimes Rights Movement Maritimers exhibited some attributes of modernization.

This is because the Maritimers had embraced change and felt free to fight for their rights even after agreeing to join the Canadian confederation. Maritimers wanted change in the way the central government treated them. They were not satisfied with their traditional systems; instead, they agitated for new ways and fought for industrialization in an independent and free Maritime zone.

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