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15 Feb 2011
Lecture 5 1/25/11 Canada and the British Empire in the Age of Laurier
oConfederation did not create an independent Canada remade the relationship
between the British North American colonies
oUnited what had been 3 colonies (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario) and
provided a government to govern this new dominion
oNew dominion had no control over international relations
oRelations between the dominion and other countries were handled by Britain
(e.g. treaties)
oCanada was at war when Britain was at war, didnt conduct separate wars
oTheory vs. practice
oEven if Britain goes to war, Canada still has to decide what to do with that: they
have to raise and pay for the armies, etc. Exercising the ability to not participate
without spending the money, although they are still officially in the war
oOn negotiations that affected Canadian interest, sometimes Britain would
include Canadian representatives in the negotiations
oA seat at the decision table for a representatives doesnt mean Canada is
independent, or that they get a lot of say (e.g. Alaska border dispute, US gets
oBritish Canadian relationship is characterized by ambiguity
oCanada is not independent, but self-governing on internal matters
oAlways a distinction between the formal constitutional rules and the day-to-day
oThis ambiguity/tension between the formal rules and the practice should not let
us conclude Canada is independent from Britain
oBroad canvas of ideas that shaped Canada
oWe hold a vaster empire than has been Canada postage stamp united with
Britain and its other colonies
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