The Politics of Development: A Study of the Structure of Politics from 1870 to 1890
This thesis is the result not of any specific idea gained from a general study of the period under review; rather it is based upon the research and work done on an earlier project, a provincial history of Taranaki, which, concentrating mainly on the eighteen-seventies, culminated in the abolition struggle and the years immediately following. However, the detailed study of the provincial economy, its politics in both the provincial and central government spheres, and the political attitudes of the local press, accompanied by a general coverage of the politics of the central government throughout the decade, led to the conclusion that in one province at least, the politics of the period were economically based - around the focal point of Sir Julius Vogel's 1870 public works and immigration policy. From this gradually evolved the concept that economic development and material progress were the issues of greatest importance in the politics of the seventies; they were the prime cause of provincialist jealousies and parochialism, while, in the sphere of central government, Vogelism became the issue on which newly-formed groupings aligned themselves. To see if this concept had validity, the first thing which had to be done was to extend research to get a wider understanding of colonial and provincial economic and political developments, as well as cover the main provincial newspapers for editorial and public opinion throughout the country.