Halifax Newspapers and the Federal Principle, 1864-1865

“…in the Maritimes Confederation was the remedy for no particular evils, and it was an issue to be decided on its merits. It promised practical benefits of course, but it offered few practical solutions for Maritime problems. Confederation raised new problems: it did not solve old ones. In Nova Scotia these new problems erupted quite suddenly in public debate in August, 1864, with the first appearance of the Canadian visitors. The debate thus begun filled the pages of the newspapers. In Halifax four of the major newspapers carried an editorial on Confederation in virtually every issue from that time on for over three years. It is the purpose of this paper to discuss this debate with reference to the ideas about federal government that developed out of it. Although economic issues were important, they were not the first to be considered. Nor perhaps is there much profit in exploring the arithmetic that every Halifax newspaper and politician juggled to suit his own argument. What are interesting–in some ways remarkable- are the constitutional and political views that the Halifax newspapers expounded with intelligence and vivacity. These views were developed between October, 1864 and January, 1865.”

“In 1864 Halifax had eleven newspapers for its population of some 25,000. There was one daily, the Morning Chronicle, and seven tri-weeklies. The other three were weeklies of a religious bent, one Baptist, one Methodist and one Presbyterian. The Roman Catholic paper was a tri-weekly”

Waite, Peter B. “Halifax Newspapers and the Federal Principle, 1864-1865” Dalhousie Review, Volume 37, Number 1, 1957 https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/bitstream/handle/10222/58751/dalrev_vol37_iss1_pp72_84.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y