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Prince Edward Island was a colony of 87 000 people when it joined Canada in 1873. The Island's economy depended on farming, timber and shipbuilding. There was a strong trading partnership with New England in the United States.
Although P.E.I. was a part of the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences, it decided not to join Confederation in 1867. Later, Canada became afraid the Island would join the United States. To prevent this from happening, the Canadian government again invited Prince Edward Island to join Confederation. Meanwhile the Islanders, including the premier James C. Pope, started to think about becoming part of Canada in order to solve their two main problems: