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lecture 1

Course Code

of 3
History of Canadian Foreign Relations:
2 Categories:
1. part of IR (many parallels in Canada exist in the rest of the world)
-events/fashion occur in other parts of the world will eventually exist in Canada
-Canada as part of the larger world
-BUT regionalism as part of Canadian identity
-17th century-21st
-how empires project themselves to the larger world
* Canadian history from outside—in, not the other way around
2. deep colonial past of Canada
-how Canada was settled
-native nations as diplomatic actors
-parallels between the past and apply in the present day
Europe and America:
-1st habitant of American continent arrived from Asia, 15-16 thousand years ago
-forever debating who got where, when
-ice age : a) soak up a lot of water; b) exposed land, from Serbia to Alaska
-immigrants to the continent arrived before the end of ice age, thus a lot of melting
Isolation of American Continent:
-1st and most fundamental feature
-NOT easily accessed by the technology of any age
-can safely assume that habitants of American continent were pretty much
untouched by outside influences
-American continent to n. Mexico didn’t generate much conflict (?)
-isolation doesn’t mean those people lived a life of misery, they were at the mercy
of weather (?)
-temperature of the weather also seemed to change
-integrity of n. American continent
-Europeans acquired skills of long-distance navigation
-** Norse
* 1st int’l relation took 2 forms: 1) immigration; 2) conquest
-fantasy about various regions, e.g. the prosperity in China/India
-as the climate worsened, even Greenland became unproductive—thus collapse of
Greenland colony primarily as a result of climate change
-** Sagas
-also the importance of fish (water of w. Atlantic was full of fish)
-prosperity depended on fishery
-1470-1480, fishermen England/Fr/Portugal began to move across the Atlantic to
Newfoundland for better fishing
-ship construction was sufficiently advanced; also surplus of sailors
-Columbus (Spain) as the best know mariner, who discovered Bahamas but
thought he discovered India/China at the time
-navigating across the Atlantic took about 2 months at the time
-China/India as places of untold wealth, thus should find them and open up trade
between Europe and China/India—bring great wealth to Europe
-expands European’s idea of the world
-inhabitants of American continent were isolated, thus not subjected to the diseases
that Europe had been exposed to; BUT 9/10 of American inhabitants died from
diseases that were generating from within the continent, either through deliberate
spread or unconscious transmission—what was left is thus disabled, NO longer at
American superior, and that’s when European technology come into place
* Int’l relations can take a lot of forms: climate; technology; disease
-if it happened once, esp. on such grand scale, it could happen again
-average standard of living in Europe at the time was quite low
-European society in 15th century: life spam was short, 25-30 years; people weren’t
well nourished; lived in a hostile environment—expanded east across continent
-as European society expanded, they conquered
-European’s eastern frontier, e.g. Latvia, there was war on religion, since
Europeans are firm believers in Christianity
-if they weren’t Christian, their economic/political institutions weren’t legitimate;
as authority is derived from God
-what happened in the Canaries could repeat in America
-starting 1517: a) great division in western Christianity b/w Protestants and
Catholics; b) European religious wars until 1648
* religion as a legitimate tool
-Jacques Cartier : 1430s and early 1440s, discovered the gulf of St. Lawrence
-Cartier claimed what is now Canada for France
** One of the ways to acquire territory is through (1) discovery—if you find it first,
then it is yours, inhabitants of the discovered land then become subjects of the
discovering country; can also acquire territory through (2) religion, by legitimizing
your society; (3) occupation