The Atlantic Provinces in Confederation


628 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-6817-0
DDC 971.5




Edited by E.R. Forbes and D.A. Muise
Reviewed by Ian A. Andrews

Ian A. Andrews is a high-school social sciences teacher and editor of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association’s Focus.


In the last quarter-century, the Atlantic provinces have experienced a
renaissance in historical research. In the words of its editors, history
professors Ernest Forbes (University of New Brunswick) and Del Muise
(Carleton University), The Atlantic Provinces in Confederation “is
intended to give the public access to the scholarly research on the
region ... while advancing that scholarship through synthesis, new
information, and fresh interpretations.”

Each of the book’s 13 academics has written on a post-Confederation
decade. There are four chronological divisions: Consolidating the Union
(1867–1890), Transforming Horizons (1890–1920), Living with
Disparity (1920–1950), and The Atlantic Provinces (1950–1980). The
first three sections focus on Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince
Edward Island; the fourth section begins with a chapter on colonial
Newfoundland (1867–1967) and then integrates the history of all four

Although each author presents a different perspective and emphasis,
there are several recurring themes, notably the desire of Maritimers to
benefit as full participants in national programs.

Canadian history texts have tended to marginalize the Atlantic region
while emphasizing central Canada and the West following Confederation.
Intended for those wishing to become acquainted with the trials and
tribulations of Canada’s easternmost provinces, this book could become
the benchmark volume for future studies on the subject.


“The Atlantic Provinces in Confederation,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,