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many East Europeans in other parts of Manitoba and the Northwest indirectly affected Rhineland's inhabitants. Increasing English Cana dian Nationalism produced school legislation which directly affected the German speaking Lutherans and Mennonites in the municipality. While some accepted these changes, others became increasingly uneasy about life in Canada and government involvement in schools.
Not all matters during this period, however, revolved around schools. The scarcity of land in the municipality led to renewed migra tion to Saskatchewan and Alberta, while recurrent flooding led to increased agitation for better drainage. By 1904 much of the R.M. of Rhineland had been organized into a drainage district opening thou sands of acres to cultivation. This, however, involved the municipality even more closely with the provincial government.
As the agricultural economy of the municipality slowed, the rapid growth of the towns during the 1890's ceased and competition between towns intensified. One example of this competition was the conflict over the relocation of the Mennonite Educational Institute (MEl) in 1905-06. This conflict contributed to the growing disunity as the outside world moved in closer to the isolated Mennonite villages.
School developments contributed substantially to the growing unease among Rhineland's Mennonites before World War 1. Up until this point conflict over schools had been largely confined to the Men nonites. It was brought on not by direct interference of state authorities, but by differing ideas about education among the Mennonites them selves. By 1902 the Bergthaler Church together with the Sommerfelder Church had largely accepted district schools and had even developed a curriculum for religious instruction in the public schools. 1 The Rein-
Jaender Church, on the other hand, was still unalterably opposed to district schools. When the opening of a new district school caused the closing of a private school, because residents could not pay for both,
|Reinlaender children were simply educated at home. 2||.|
Friends and enemies of the public school barely spoke to each other, and each accused the other of heresy and treason, orof indolence and ignorance; the one group sought ever closer co-operation with the larger society while the other retired in stubborn isolation.'
In 1907, however, the Manitoba Government entered the Men nonite school conflict. Disturbed at the growing non-British, non English population in Manitoba, the Conservative Roblin Government announced in 1906, that the Union Jack, the symbol of the British