Lecture Note

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25 Jan 2011
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HIS263 Jan 25
Canada and the British Empire in the Age of Laurier
Institution
Confederation did not create an independent Canada
It merely remade the relationships between the British North American colonies
United Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into a Dominion of Canada and
provided a federal state to govern this new dominion
Relationships between Canada and the British Empire were not altered
British oversight of Canadian affairs was continued
The Queen continued to exercise her right over Canada and Canadian affairs
through the Govern General
Any relationships with other countries was handled by Britain in behalf of Canada
Canada had no power to declare war on another country
Canada was at war when Britain was at war and was at peace when Britain was at
peace
The new Dominion was essentially an extension of the responsible government in
Britain
The Dominion of Canada had no greater power than had existed within the colonies
under responsible government
Britain, however, was very flexible on the ground when it came to running local
affairs
Canada legally could be at war without actually participating in the war
In negotiations which affected Canadian interests, Canadian representatives were
often included in the negotiations
E.g., Joint High Commission (1870)
Allowed dominion representation to affairs that involved those dominions
These were only allowed to colonial settlements, and not places such as India, and
African nation
There is always a corresponding limitation for each example of independence
Canada is only self governing on internal matters
Canada is not independent, only self-governing
Ideas
Ideas that shaped the mental relationship between Britain, Canada and the United
States
Most Canadians saw Britain as a positive source in the world, a protector of liberty,
the highest form of progress
Most Canadians accepted the White Mans Burden to rule the less developed races
of the world
The Anglo-Saxon race was obligated to lead the world
Most Canadians saw Canada as part of n imagined British community
This view was partly defensive in Canada
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