By John P. Greene
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Additional info for Between Damnation and Starvation: Priests and Merchants in Newfoundland Politics, 1745-1855
52 Britain's insular nature alone would perhaps have been sufficient to dictate that its protection from foreign invasion rested with a powerful navy. But there was another consideration that led to the same conclusion. Beginning in the fifteenth century, Britain sent out enterprizing explorers and entrepreneurs to carry the flag and create the largest and most farflung empire in the history of the world. More and more, especially from the middle of the sixteenth century, the security of Britain and of its empire depended on the maintenance of a strong naval force.
The British government, although jealously regarding Newfoundland as theirs by right of discovery and possession, made no deliberate attempt to colonize Newfoundland. When colonial status was therefore granted in 1825, ^ was more °r IGSS a de facto recognition of what had, for some time, developed in defiance of British neglect. 48 Preparations for their annual migrations to Newfoundland began in December when they commenced making their ships seaworthy for the voyage ahead and laying in provisions needed for the approximately six months away from home.
Following twenty-five years of focusing on the continent, the British people now looked at themselves. Some detected a need for political reform while others concluded that changes to the established church were necessary. Within the Church of England itself, a revival began that was to spread to Ireland and Newfoundland. In June 1824 the British cabinet made a rather belated decision to recognize Newfoundland as an official British colony and, as noted in the previous chapter, appointed Sir Thomas Cochrane its first governor.
Between Damnation and Starvation: Priests and Merchants in Newfoundland Politics, 1745-1855 by John P. Greene