Plebeian collective action in Harbour Grace and Carbonear, Newfoundland, 1830-1840

Little, Linda (1984) Plebeian collective action in Harbour Grace and Carbonear, Newfoundland, 1830-1840. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Newfoundland history has largely been written from the perspectives of the upper and middle classes: thus the role of the working population has been minimized. The exploitative relationships which existed within the fishery have received some attention but the resistance to that exploitation has been ignored by historians, giving a false impression of passivity and compliance among the populace. Plebeian actions have been glossed over or ignored despite evidence pointing to frequent instances of collective resistance. -- This thesis is a case study of the towns of Harbour Grace and Carbonear over the years 1830 to 1840. The instances of collective plebeian action which occurred during this decade are chronicled and analysed, not as isolated incidents in the history of the towns, but as a series of events in a continuing tradition of resistance. The sources illustrate that Newfoundland's fishing population was not the passive, easily dominated mass which has often been portrayed, but rather, an active, dynamic force. The plebeians were able to influence their environment through their own actions, by their own means, and according to their own standards. -- This thesis is an examination of social divisions and social cohesion in Harbour Grace and Carbonear. Drawing on a long tradition of plebeian resistance in the home countries of England and Ireland, the ‘lower orders' acted together to preserve or establish the rights of their religions, ethnic, political, or local group. On occasion, these limited social alliances could be overcome and people acted together in their class interest.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5543
Item ID: 5543
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [224]-234.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1984
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--Carbonear; Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--Harbour Grace
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Social conflict--Newfoundland and Labrador--History; Social classes--Newfoundland and Labrador--History; Riots--Newfoundland and Labrador--Harbour Grace; Carbonear (N.L.)--History; Harbour Grace (N.L.)--History

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