Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Scott Eaton

Ph.D. Candidate
History of Capitalism, Canadian Economic History, Newfoundland and Atlantic Canadian History



Master of Arts, Simon Fraser University, 2015
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2012



My past work is varied. I have researched interactions between the Communist Party of Canada and the Canadian state, the formation of Canadian immigration policies, as well as railway construction in Newfoundland & Labrador (NL). Under the supervision of Dr. Jeff McNairn, my PhD project seeks to compare the fiscal development of Prince Edward Island (PEI) and NL through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, paying particular attention to debates surrounding infrastructural expansion, and taxation. These islands present a number of interesting parallels, including their financial struggles to construct and maintain a railway, and their distaste for allowing a central Canadian government to overtax their populace (both eventually rejected Confederation in 1867, centrally on this premise). Both colonies were eventually forced into changing their political relationship with Britain, based largely on their financial woes; in 1873, PEI joined Canada after nearly declaring bankruptcy, and in 1934, NL was stripped of its right to responsible government after amassing a public debt of approximately $100,000,000. Ultimately, I hope to clarify the roles of empire, class, and perhaps even religion, in the fiscal organization, and abrupt political changes of these islands.


“Review of: Canadian State Trials, Vol. IV: Security, Dissent, and the Limits of Toleration in War and Peace, edited by Barry Wright, Eric Tucker, and Susan Binnie (Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, University of Toronto Press: Toronto, 2015).” BC Studies, Spring 2016.

“‘To the disgust of the whole of the northern districts’: The Placentia Railway Question and Regionalism in Newfoundland, 1884-1889.” Newfoundland & Labrador Studies, Volume 28, Number 1 (Spring, 2013): 28-62.

Conference Presentations:

“In the Capitalist Courts: Legal Strategies of the State and the Communist Party of Canada in the Trial of the Communist Eight, 1931.” North American Labor History Conference (Detroit, Michigan) October, 2015.

“Shaping the Canadian Citizenry: Early Canadian Immigration Policy and Challenges to the ‘Exemplary Anglo-Saxon.’” Qualicum History Conference (Parksville, BC) January, 2015.

“Public Work or Development Tool? Region, Class, and the Placentia Railway Question, 1884 1889.” North American Labor History Conference (Detroit, Michigan) October, 2013.


D.W. Stewart Fellowship, 2017
Labor and Working Class History Association – Graduate Student Travel Grant (NALHC), 2015
Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC), 2013
Simon Fraser University Graduate Fellowship, 2013
Bobbie Robertson Scholarship in History, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2011
Dr. Louise Whiteway Prize in Newfoundland History, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2010