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Extra resources for The Emergence of Social Security in Canada
19 Following the Napoleonic Wars, an increasing number of immigrants from the British Isles came to British North America, and for many the conditions were very hard, particularly in the winter months when work was scarce and living costs were high. Public relief, where it existed, was likely to be meagre at best and often administered in a harsh and degrading manner. To save the 'worthy poor' from the humiliation of accepting public relief, to supplement inadequate public provision, or to provide help where municipalities were unwilling to do so, charitably disposed citizens would band together to provide the poor with the basic necessities.
5 The application of the Elizabethan system, with its most characteristic feature, congregate care for the destitute, was slow to develop in the frontier conditions of late-eighteenth-century Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. England in 1601 was a populous country with wellestablished communities, whereas British North America was sparsely populated and communities were raw, underdeveloped, financially insecure, and had a highly mobile population (given the movement of immigrants from Europe and the settlers coming in from the American colonies).
27 Perhaps it is not surprising that in a society where the liberal, individualistic values dominated, where the life and living conditions of the colonists owed so much to personal effort and initiative, individualistic explanations of poverty should abound. This, too, is part of our colonial inheritance. Political ideologies that have helped to shape Canada's social security system also have their roots in the colonial era. 28 Thus, French Canada and Latin America were 'feudal fragments' reflecting the 'feudal or tory values of the organic, corporate, hierarchical community' of Catholic, preEnlightenment France and feudal Spain and Portugal.