Essay on Land, Settlement, and Politics

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Land, Settlement, and Politics

On Eighteenth-Century

Prince Edward Island

J.M. Bumsted

History 2710

November 13, 2012

Bumsted, J.M., Land, Settlement, and Politics on Eighteenth-Century Prince Edward Island.

McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1987.

In his 1987, Land, Settlement, and Politics on Eighteenth-Century Price Edward Island, J.M. Bumsted discusses early eighteenth-century settlement in the New World of the Americas—Prince Edward Island in this case—and examines the land question in PEI. J.M. Bumsted expressesfeels that other authors have missed out on the uniqueness Princeof Prince Edward Island’s history and conveys this mainly throughwith his insight of Scottish immigration in the eighteenth-century. Bumsted examines two different alternative views than other historians: first, was that not all proprietors were the evil, money- hungry villains that other historians allude to , by using James Montgomery, a Scottish proprietor that lived in England, is used as an example; second, that the opponents to the proprietors were not the great humanitarians they hadve been perceived as thought of,which the case for Walter Patterson is an example. J.M. Bumsted presents ideas in a rather bland and drawn out method; however, the resources are extremely concise and expertly used to explain Bumsted’s thesis of the lLand qQuestion. The review of Land, Settlement, and Politics on Eighteenth-Century Prince Edward Island will presented the missing spots information that Bumsted had examineds in historical records of early Prince Edward Island.

European powers were in a race to expand territory and headed to west over the Atlantic Ocean which was a bountiful area for expansion. The French were the first to landed onat PEI and tried to establish fishing and whaling stations on the Island, but the lack of suitable ports on the north shore hindered expansion. After being victorious in the Napoleonic war, the English were conceded French land in the New World. This land included which included thePrince Edward Island. The British named it St. John Island and after the fall of the “Stuart Monarch”[1] (ix). Tthe island underwent an experimental formation of government unlike anywhere in North America. After the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Tthe Island was sectioned off during a lottery by (after the Treaty of Paris 1763) by the Privy Council and the Board of Trade.; thus, This alloweding ‘suitable’ applicants, known as the proprietors, to buy up large amounts of the Island. The British instituted their Colonial Policy after the lottery was completed. The Colonial Policy stated that the land owner (proprietors) would rent the land out to settlers toand pay land taxes or quit-rent back to Britain. If quit-rent was not paid, the land was taken back from the proprietors. called quit-taxes (where if the taxes were not paid the land was taken back); thus, Tthis created a quandary when the proprietorland owners (proprietors) could not get people to settle on their lands and failed to pay their quit-taxes. Theis Colonial Policy was not a normal practice for Britain; however, the country was financially deficient hurting after the war so the prospect of developing the land and not having to pay for the developits developmenting was too fortuitous to pass upon. Most proprietorland owners expected to have the immigrants to be enthusiastic and eagerjumping at the chance to settle on the Iisland. but tThis was not the case because the farmland was hard to manage and goods were it was costly to export due to the isolation and lack of vital services on the island. Many historians have cast proprietorthe land owners as villains who did not care about their land over the ocean. Bumsted states that some proprietors, such as James Montgomery, greatly invested in “immigration and developing their estates”[2] (Greer 2001) and yieldedwith no profit in return. After