Summer 2011

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Published on 16 Jun 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Prof. C. Pennington
Lecture 4 - MacDonalds National Policy
Confederation 1864-67
Previous lecture:
Charlottetown and Quebec
Fenian Raids of 1866
British North American Act:
assumed that foreign policy was a federal matter
neither level (federal nor colonial) was assigned foreign policy as it was assumed that Britain would do it
presumed that Canada needed to be only an independent colony - but still a colony
new nationality” - Cartiers phrase
Canadians would rise above their existing differences
would establish something that was better than that
didn’t happen: new nationality was still abstract, vague
Canada and theNorth Atlantic Triangle
the British empire
by the late 19th century 25% of the worlds land mass and population was in British hands
the sun never sets on the British empire”
white mans burden
a.k.a. the white dominion
South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland were the others
why was it so grand?
they had a hold on economics
everyone was after grandeur
BUT they were after Anglo-Saxon dominion
it was part of the belief of English Canada in themselves
they thought they had an obligation to make the rest of the world as superior
splendid isolation
it had no alliances - there was no need
diplomatically Britain existed as a state of ‘splendid isolation
only had itself to fall back on
The US
had a long-standing position of foreign policy isolationism
stayed out of foreign affairs and alliances
thought it was better for the US to build itself from within - to govern North American
manifest destiny
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not constantly conspiring to take over Canada
they were grand
thought was: eventually the Canadians would come into a US union by their own accord
these were the two great powers
the US was strong yet not aware of how powerful it was
but it was a country to be reckon with
The conduct ofCanadian Foreign Policy’ in the late 19th century
actual power in the British empire resided w/ Queen Victoria
more of a symbol of British culture than she was a political force
symbol of theBritish upper lip’ - serious, moral, dower
it was the British prime minister and the cabinet who ran the empire
Canada was most concerned w/colonial office - would look after the colonies
Foreign officer would look after affairs
across the pond
Governor-General served informally as the British ambassador to Canada - would serve as messenger between
then in command were the Prime Minister, Cabinet and then Parliament
this is where domestic decisions were made
Consolidating confederation 1867-73
Red River uprising 1869
due to the transfer of the Northwest Territories sold by The Bay Trading Company over to Canada for pennies
the Metis and aboriginals there resisted
did not wish to be driven off lands
Metis were 10 000 strong - they were in control of Red River aka Winnipeg, Manitoba
Macdonald had no military force to send there - thus best response was to compromise
a new province was established - Manitoba 1870
Macdonald conspired to make Manitoba the worst province:the postage stamp province as it was so small in
not given the same powers - e.g. natural resource control
it all couldve been a positive beginning
Louis Riel couldve become the minister but he made a mistake
Thomas Scott was hanged by Riel - execution created waves of indignation and made it impossible for Riel to
relations w/Metis weakened and he had to move out of the province
Riel was not opposed to Great Britain but wanted fair representation for his people
Bargain w/British Columbia 1871
was made possible by the promise of the Transcontinental Railway
the railway took 15 years to built
it was quite a remarkable promise to make: today it would be equal to building a highway to the moon
entry of Prince Edward Island 1873
PEI by then had tried to build a railway and managed to bankrupt their government
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