Back for more A redux version of Newfoundland here. Just tidied up the map and fleshed out the write-up. Hope you like it Up next: the Qattara Sea The Dominion of Newfoundland, also known as Newfoundland and Labrador, is a British constituent country located on the eastern seaboard of North America, bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, the Dominion of Canada (specifically the province of Quebec and the territory of Ungava) to the west, and shares a maritime boundary with the Commonwealth of New England and the French overseas department of Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the southwest. With a combined area of 405,212 square kilometres, the dominion comprises the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador to the northwest. Newfoundland was the site of the oldest confirmed European contact with North America about one thousand years ago, and was one of the oldest British American colonies, having been first settled in the early-17th century. About 92% of the dominion's population lives on the island of Newfoundland (and its neighbouring smaller islands), of whom more than half live on the Avalon Peninsula. Human habitation in Newfoundland can be traced back about 9,000 years. The original settlers were sea-mammal hunters belonging to the Maritime Archaic cultures, and established themselves between 7000 BCE to 1500 BCE. The Maritime Archaic people were gradually displaced by people of the Dorset culture, including the Mi'kmaq, and finally by the Innu and Inuit in Labrador and the Beothuk on Newfoundland itself. The oldest confirmed European contact with North America was that of medieval Norsemen who settled the area known today as L'Anse aux Meadows around the beginning of the 11th century CE. There are several other unconfirmed accounts of European trans-Atlantic contact prior to the 15th century, although the accuracy of the tales and accounts are disputed. The first known European exploration of coastal North America took place in Newfoundland, when in 1497 John Cabot, chartered by King Henry VII of England, landed at Cape Bonavista. Despite Portuguese claims to the island, and the establishment of seasonal fishing outposts by the French, Basque and Portuguese, Newfoundland became England's first colonial possession in North America. From 1610 onwards, English colonies were established under a series of proprietary governors, although the native Beothuk people were displaced and gradually became extinct due to English and French settlement. Competing colonial claims between England and France were largely ignored by both sides in the early-17th century, with the English colony based out of St. John's on the east coast and the French established along the south coast around Plaisance. The richness of the waters around Newfoundland supported a substantial cod fishing industry, drawing settlers primarily from Ireland, but also Normandy, Brittany, and the Basque Country. Rival claims between the two powers led to repeated periods of war and unrest between England and France on the island, culminating in the destruction of nearly every English settlement by the French during King William's War in the 1690s. Following the War of the Spanish Succession, France ceded to the British its claims to Newfoundland under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht, although they retained fishing and land rights to the north and west coasts, known as the "French Shores". The modern Franco-Terreneuvian population is largely descended from these settlements, and continue to speak a local dialect of French along the western coast of Newfoundland. Given the colony's isolation from the more southern British American Colonies, it did not become involved in the colonial unrest of the 1760s and 70s, and as such remained a directly governed crown colony outside the newly formed colonial government. However between 1825 and 1852 the colony elected a single delegate to the Colonial Congress. In 1854, Newfoundland was granted self-governing status and the colony rejected confederation with New England or the newly established Canadian dominion at the 1869 election. First Minister of New England Sir Joseph R. Hawley came very close to negotiating Newfoundland's entry into the Commonwealth in 1892. In 1907, Newfoundland was formally integrated into the United Empire as a Dominion, becoming the last of Britain's North American continental possessions to accede to the Union. Newfoundland raised it's own regiment during the First World War, which served with distinction in the American Theatre particularly during the trench warfare of the Battle of Phoenix where they helped defend the city against the Mexicans. Since the early 1800s, Newfoundland and Quebec had been in a border dispute over the Labrador region, and in 1927 the British government ruled the area known as modern-day Labrador was to be considered part of the Dominion of Newfoundland. The effects of the Great Depression, coupled with the construction of the Newfoundland Railway across the island, several political scandals and accusations of corruption by government ministers, brought about the collapse of the first Squires government and almost brought the dominion to economic collapse. A 1932 referendum saw the option to join Canada resoundingly defeated by the electorate, and the British imperial government stepped in to enforce government and economic reforms on the dominion, which averted a potential financial collapse and loan default. In the immediate post-war period, a second attempt to integrate the dominion into either New England or Canada failed with the 1948 referendum. Despite opting to remain a separate dominion, Newfoundland continued to pursue closer economic ties and infrastructure links with Canada and New England, including the major Churchill Falls hydro-electric facility. Cod fishing continued to be one of the largest employers in Newfoundland until the industry collapsed, causing a mini-depression in the local economy and forcing increased diversification. In the 21st century, Newfoundland has diversified its economy to include a strong tourism sector and seen a major energy and resources boom. The discovery of petroleum reserves under the Grand Banks has seen the emergence of an oil industry in Newfoundland, with offshore oil production contributing 15% of the dominion's GDP. The island is home to a large population of Gaelic-speakers, with nearly a quarter of the population being of Irish ancestry, which is a legacy of Irish settlement, while the west coast remains substantially French-speaking. Culturally, Newfoundlanders have a strong national identity, a result of generations of mixing between English, Irish and French cultural traditions, and this was solidified when the 1980 referendum chose to replace the Red Ensign with the current flag. The 2016 Newfoundland general election was held on 15 February 2016 to elect, under the instant run-off voting system, the 48 members of the Newfoundland House of Assembly. The incumbent centre-right government of United Newfoundland, led by First Minister Kathy Dunderdale, went into the election after 13 years in office with slipping poll numbers, suffering from a slew of resignations and the controversial attempts to amend Newfoundland's Protection of Privacy Act. The opposition centre-left Liberal Democratic Party, under leader Jack Harris, ran on a platform of balanced government spending, capitalising on dissatisfaction with the overspending and the massive deficit accrued by past UNP governments. The Progressives, under former First Minister Lorraine Michael, promised to raise the minimum wage and restore funding to the education system, but lost support as party frontbenchers were unable to explain where the extra funding would come from. With opinion polls predicting a hung general assembly, pundits expected the formation of a coalition government between the Lib Dems and the Progressives. In a surprise result, the election gave the Lib Dems a two seat majority in the house, whilst the UNP lost more than half their pre-election districts. The Progressives lost two seats, continuing their decline from the 2000 election, and Lorraine Michael announced her resignation as party leader on election night. UNP leader Dunderdale followed suit at a press conference the following day. The regionalist New Labrador Party, which advocates for an elected Labrador Assembly, swept all four of the continental territory's seats in a surprise victory, and party leader Yvonne James called for a devolution plebiscite in Labrador during the next general assembly. The Viceroy invited Jack Harris to form a government the following day, and he was sworn in as the 30th First Minister of Newfoundland.