HIS311Y1 Lecture Notes - Revenue Act Of 1913, English Canada, July Crisis

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26 Nov 2011

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Borden, Canada, and the First World War – 1911-1921
Details of why it was fought isn’t remembered; not really fought for democracy
Change of Government in 1911
Resulted in Laurier’s defeat after 15 years – defeated by “unholy alliance”
between Borden and Bourassa, who both opposed Laurier for different reasons
oEnglish – thought Laurier wasn’t British enough
oFrench – thought Laurier was doing too much for the British
oLaurier was pushed into opposition
Borden –
othought that you should give back through public service when you’re
olost elections of 1904 and 1908
owas the leader o the Conservative Party from 1901-1920 and PM of
Canada from 1911-1920
oIn foreign policy, he was a Canadian nationalist and a British imperialist,
he supported the empire but was willing to assert Canadian rights
Borden’s Diplomacy 1911-1914
Borden was elected on part of Laurier’s mishandling the naval crisis
At the time, there was no person in the department of external affairs who advised
the PM; it was thought of as a post office – it kept track of foreign correspondence
Loring Christie – wanted to serve Canada and became the legal advisor to
Borden from the DEA – he advocated the unity of the British empire and imperial
foundation; was the first figure in the DEA who played a political role
For Borden, relations took a turn for the better with the election of Woodrow
Wilson; he became PM at a time when US relations was getting better
1913 – Wilson passed the Underwood Tariff – reductions on tariffs on products
coming into the US, which was good for Canada; it was though to be in the best
interest of the US, which was also good for Canada because the economy was
slowing down
1914 – celebrated as the “Peace Year – the anniversary of the end of the War of
1812; Canadians and America saw peace, harmony, and friendship – hailed to the
rest of the world as an example of how two countries can get passed their
With Britain – Borden promised to do more than Laurier; he initially approved of
Laurier’s navy proposal but because the party didn’t support it, he opposed it.
There was now more pressure on Borden to deliver; he met with Churchill who
impressed the thought that Britain needed dreadnoughts and Borden was
convinced this was the most valuable contribution to Britain and ended up enacted
the Naval Aid Bill 1912-1913 – would give Britain $35 million for the
construction of 3 dreadnoughts to go to British service – it was a purely British
policy, even though it was Canadian money
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