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20 Feb 2011
HIS263 Feb 17
The Fate of the Empire, 1914 1939
September 1939
German troops invaded Poland
This was the last step in growing tensions
France and Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September
Canada declares war on 10 September
What happened between 1914 and 1939 that Canada chose to declare war and also
has the power to do it?
Canada declares war one week after Britain
Canada used to be a colony with internal self-government but not fully independent
Anglo-Canadians tough of themselves as part of a British world
Canadians derived a sense of power from their place in the empire
These ties were always subject to complexity, debate and negotiation
Canada and the Empire
World War I
Borden was prime minister at the time
He was interested in securing an ongoing role n Britain affairs and hoped that it
would continue post-war
His advisor, Loring Christie thought it was possible through a co-ordinate autonomy
He doesnt have much success early on until 1916
He did try to leverage more troops to have more say
But after this, Canada had say in military affairs
From 1917, we see increasing success for Borden
Britain convenes the Imperial War Cabinet
A meeting of all colonies and dominions to discuss the war effort
Britain continues to lead the war effort
Britain also convenes an Imperial War Conference to discuss the state of the Empire
A series of resolutions is passed
Resolution Nine is passed and it says the dominions are going to be autonomous
and that will be figured out after the war
After the war, Canada begins to get a more autonomous role in setting its own
foreign policy, in practice
Canada is given a separate representative as part of the British delegation at the
Paris Peace Conference of 1919
In the Treaty of Versailles, 1919, Canada signs the treaty separately
The signature of this treaty is a sign of pristine ambiguity
The establishment of the League of Nations in 1919 also signified the independence
of Canada
Canada gets its own representative in the League
In 1923, the Pacific Halibut Treaty also signifies this because Canada was able to
do negotiations and independently signed the treaty
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