Island in an Empire


The first half of the nineteenth century brought two major revolution, the British Industrial Revolution and the French political revolution, which devastatingly heralded the modern world. In Newfoundland, an important strategic outpost island within the powerful British Empire, the period brought the start of religious, educational, and class identifications and divisions, particularly in the capital, St. John’s. It also marked the beginning of the growth of a popular culture: citizens of St. John’s enjoyed amateur and professional theatre, on par with that in London, as well as horse-racing, the Regatta, circuses, concerts, and exhibitions of art and natural history, opening the eyes of residents to worlds they would never have experienced. Overall, argues historian Phillip McCann, the years 1800 to 1855 can be seen as a crucible in which Newfoundland society and identity was born.

Author Bio

Phillip McCann

Phillip McCann is Professor Emeritus of Education at Memorial University, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and University of Manchester Ph.D. He is author of numerous articles and books concerning the history of education in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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