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By W. H. New (auth.)

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Politically, one has to balance against it the views of a later writer, the Irish-born Donnach Ruah MacConmara (1716--1810), whose poem of Newfoundland in the 1740s alternates English lines with Irish Gaelic ones. The English lines declare the attractions of Newfoundland ('Newfoundland is a fine plantation, I It shall be my station till I die'); the succeeding Irish lines immediately counter them ('Mo Chnidh! go m'fhearr liom a bheith an-Eire': 'I'd rather be in Ireland'). The contrasts extend from daily life ([From] 'Drinking, raking and playing cards I ...

His conclusion is interesting both for what it presumes and for what it declares; if he were to report everything about the monster he has been told, he avers, his readers would dismiss the stories as fables, but he himself believes the place is the residence of some devil who torments the Indians this way. The writers were torn, in other words, between devils and fables; between a belief in an active, effective spirit world that interfered in human behaviour, and a rationalist desire for more tangible explanations.

Tories and canadiens were not identical, but they possessed a will to claim some attitudes in common. Working towards this political conclusion required several constitutional adaptations along the way: the Quebec Act in 1774, which ratified specific protection for French language and civil law in Quebec, effectively introducing into Canadian governance a system that would house and allow alternatives; the establishment of local legislatures ( 1758 inN ova Scotia, 1769 in Prince Edward Island, 1791 in Upper and Lower Canada- the colony of Cape Breton, which joined Nova Scotia in 1820, never had a separate legislature, and Newfoundland did not get a general assembly till 1820); the several Acts (the Constitutional Act ofl792, the Act ofUnion in 1840) which separated and linked Upper and Lower Canada, transformed them into 'Canada East' and 'Canada West', and ultimately though indirectly shaped language policy; and the official responses to the failed rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada in 1837, which led to a system called Responsible Government (whereby, in theory, the political leaders are selected from and responsible to the House rather than to governmental or other authorities outside it).

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