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Lecture 15

HIS311 Lecture 15 - Bothwell

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Robert Bothwell

Lecture 15:11/02/10 Salisbury Dreadnought Roosevelt Victoria 1837-1901 Balfour Jacky Fisher CID Taft Wilhelm II Edward VII 1901-1910 Campbell-Bannerman Churchill Wilson George 1910-1936 Asquith Bertrand Russell And Laurier & Borden Queen Victoria on throne for 64 years – most Canadians had not lived under any other monarch. The Royal families of Europe were inter-linked: Queen Victoria’s uncle was a German monarch, etc. Her grandson was the German emperor Wilhelm II. Her son was Edward VII This seems like it would be a bulwark against war. There had been wars between Prussia and its neighbors, ending in the defeat of France and the establishment of the German Empire; there had been wars in the Balkans, etc; but no all encompassing war. The establishment of the German Empire – Germany was pulled together under one th government/one monarch. Germany in the late 19 century had a representative government where Wilhelm II had to listen to German opinion: not a democracy/not a dictatorship Demography: France was at one point the largest country in Europe (Napoleon’s success) towards the end of the 19 thcentury, the French population stalls. 1870: German Empire is equal to France in population. Britain has about 32 million; Germany and France have about 40 million. While the French population is decreasing, the German population rises from 40 million to 65 million by 1914. France felt somewhat threatened by this. France was desperate to acquire a larger population to war against Germany. France is sliding. Britain is also sliding. In Britain, this is not so much the cthe in demographic, but in the comparative standing of the British GNP in the late 19 century. The British standard of living remains the highest in Europe – considerably higher than Canada’s. IN the aggregate, as Germany grew in population it also grew in GDP. German industry becomes the largest in Europe – German education also helped produce a substantial technical class which in turn put the technical side of Germany ahead of Britain. This was happening as early as 1870. Growing insecurity because of these developments – Britain is looking around for ways of protecting itself; defensive policy. It’s hard for us to see this because on the public side of things, the British believed they were the best. In British terms, it is expressed through the phenomenon of imperialism. The British Empire around 1900 was on top. The British Empire crossed around the globe. It had been acquired in a fit of absence of mind – not part of any plan – just bit by bit on the cheap. Empires are welcomed by the home country as long as they don’t cost too much. The British government was not indifferent to the facts that Germany was growing in power, while Britain was leveling off. Dilkes: the Empire must be mobilized – the Empire be put to work to support old mother back in Britain. This shows up in tentative ways: 1885 – a lunatic British general (Charles Gordon) is caught in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. Gordon was there not as a British general but as an Egyptian general. The British government was forced to come to Gordon’s rescue by the Nile; Canada also has long rivers and river navigators. Gladstone asks Sir John A MacDonald if he’ll send Canadians to help rescue Gordon. Gordon fell and died (fortuitously). South Africa 1899 – Sir Wilfred Laurier does not see the point but under great political pressure, he sends Canadian troops to South Africa. This sets a precedent much different fr
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