A sociological analysis of the factors responsible for the regional distribution of the Fishermen's Protective Union of Newfoundland

Neis, Barbara (1980) A sociological analysis of the factors responsible for the regional distribution of the Fishermen's Protective Union of Newfoundland. 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

The Fishermen's Protective Union (1908-1925) was one of the most successful attempts by Newfoundland fishermen to challenge the status quo in the history of the island. With a membership of 20,000 at its peak, the movement achieved unprecedented economic and political victories. However, despite its strength, the FPU never managed to transcend the regional base of its support--the north-east coast. By employing a theoretically-informed analytical framework, a strong, consistent explanation of some of the factors responsible for the uneven pattern of success and failure of the Union can be constructed. -- The FPU is interpreted as a struggle for power between potential partisans of the movement (fishermen) and those groups in authority who attempted to oppose it (merchants and clergy). Regional variations in the relative power of these groups, determined by differences in their level of organization, go a long way toward explaining not only why the FPU succeeded where it did out also, why it failed elsewhere. Analysis suggests that differing structures of underdevelopment influenced both the organization and degree of solidarity of fishermen as well as the ability of the merchant elite to cooperate in attempting to repress the FPU in different parts of Newfoundland. This, combined with unevenness in the strength of the clerical elite, lends support to the view that in only one region of the island between 1900-1914 were power relations such as to permit the development of strong, sustained support for the movement. That region was the north-east coast, the stronghold of the FPU.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7677
Item ID: 7677
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 163-176.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 1980
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Fishermen's Protective Union of Newfoundland; Fishers--Labor unions--Newfoundland and Labrador; Newfoundland and Labrador--Politics and government--1855-1934

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