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HIS311 Oct 15 The Nature of the Empire, Political, 1815-1865

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Robert Bothwell

October 15, 2013 Key Words Notes  1858-1859 : - Cayley - Galt  Discussion of: - 1815-1865: Strategic Situation - Colonial devolution – “Responsible government” - Non-State intervention: a. 1837-1838 b. Slavery  Caroline Affair: - Anticipatory - Self-Defense - Pre-emption  Sir Allan Macnab  Generals sent to Canada: - Durham (radical Jack) - Macleaod (Alexander) - Seward - Van Buren - Webster - Bagot - Sydenham - Metealfe  Papinean  Calborne  Elgin  Nuremburg  Iraq  The Treaty of Ghent puts an end to war, but it also beings two centuries of peaceful relations.  Why? One answer is that neither side after 1815 really saw any profit in going to war with the other. In other words there was nothing the either side thought it could gain. - Britain: a. In the British case the British were preoccupied with Europe in the years after 1815. b. The British were building a world wide empire. Great Britain is exceedingly prosperous during this period. So prosperous and able to afford its defense was that no one saw any point in challenging Great Britain. c. So this 50 years period down to the 1850s is one in which we can say that Great Britain is strategically invulnerable. There is really no ability on the part of any country to challenge the British Empire or Great Britain itself. d. The instrument for enforcing British power is the Royal Navy. The period of 1850 – 1855 is one where there is no rival to the Royal navy. e. After 1850 the French simply give up. - France: a. The French have their own internal problems between 1815 and 1865. b. France has the Bourbon restoration. 1815-1830. c. 1830-1948 the Orleans monarchy. The king of France during this period is protryaed by cartoonist as a pear d. 1848 the second revolution (third if you count the one in 1879) this produces a second republic. e. And the second republic falls into the hand of Boney’s nephew- napoleon. f. Napolean makes himself the President of France and hen proceeds to proclaim himself emperor. Thus the second empire.  The French have a lot to do and were not interested in confrontining Great Britain. French relations with Britain during this period are really basically good. There are moments of tensions, however the French and British are getting used to the idea of not going to war every 25 years.  How does this effect Canada? - it means that the royal navy is controlled by the north Atlantic. - To the extent that the pacific was also controlled by them. - .  The Americans have not forgotten that they were defeated in the war of 1812 and that the Royal navy had been decisive in that war. that counts for the large number of forts along the American atlantic cost. They all date from this period and they are obviously directed at defending territory that could not be defended by the US navy.  The prof view is that the Americans at no point were pushed to contemplate the war with Great Britain after 1815, but remembering 1815 they sure did not want to have one.  The British on their part did not do anything in North America that would provoke the Americans.  One may wonder why the Americans did not continue their interest in Canada and that will become more clear once we discuss slavery.  The British north American colonies: - Newfoundland: a. Organized to get an assembly for the first time in its colonial structure, Newfoundland resembles the other British American colonies. - Nova Scotia, Peince Edward Island, New Brunswick, lower and upper Canada. Their government is top down and bottom up. The result is that there is a strong potential for stalemate between eh elected assemble and the executive. If one is wondering how that would work just turn to Washington at present.  The British colonies are receiving immigrants by 100,000 and the birth rate is high. So the colonies are acquiring a population that provides a demographic base for an independent economy. As a the population grows that both reflects prosperity and creates prosperity.  And inevitably there is a clash between the executive and the legislature.  The British in this period had a surplus of generals. They had just come out of 20 years war and there were all these unemployed generals. So the British sent the generals to Canada to become governors. The average general is not the best politician. It meant that if they had to deal with colonial politicians they would regard them as a particularly insubordinate variety of corporal. That eventually creates a revolutionary situation, which in Canada is exhabirated by the fact that Lower Canada is majority French. - Both upper and lower Canada develop a radical political movement in the 1820 and 1830s which in 1837 breaks into armed rebellion. - The rebellion is fairly serious. There is loss of life. The rebels came marching down Yonge Street. They got up to Englinton. They ran into the sheriff of York County. The sheriff was lined up with militia men who fired at the rebels lead by W.L Mackenzie. - Mackenzie flees with his men. Then Mackenzie decides that he better get away, so he visits the wife of the neighbor emerges cross dressed and arrives at the American frontier to lead the rebellion from outside  This brings in the international aspect of the 1837-1838 rebellion.  Lower Canada Rebelion: - Lower Canada the rebels were lead by Papineau. - He had the same idea as Mackenzie. He also ran away, however in this case he left his followers behind and they were delt with by one of the British generals: sir john colborne. - Colborne was an excellent general. He had a problem he could understand. There was the enemy, fire. - So the rebels in lower Canada are defeated by Colborne who then conducts on a campaige of terror designed to show a what would happen if they dared to raise their muskets against Queen Victora.  So terror in prof. opinion surpresses the rebellion of 1837- 1837 in both upper and lower Canada. The terror in Upper Canada is somewhat more muted in Upper Canada. However in both cases the Rebels were tried and hung or sent in exile in Bermuda and Australia.  Colborne could be regarded as a figure of British Canada? The prof thinks that he certainly made a contribution to what the country eventually became.  Mackenzie and Papineau are now in the US and we come to the question of non-state intervention. The world isn’t a Westphalian world. State boundaries are permeable-not impermeable. Ideas travel from state to state. Causes travel from state to state. People in one country may see people in another as requiring ..? that you should intervene to save them from their local tyrant.  In the US of course this is ampliphied by the fact that Canada is a British monarchial country. - Almost by definition the Canadians need saving. - So there is a fair amount of sympathy in the US especially along the border for the oppressed the Canadians who are being harrased by British generals. - Not surprisingly there is a movement for informal intervention.  What Mackenzie and Papenie do is recruit foreign sympathizers (not all Americans) to harass Canada and invade candaa in order to overthrow the monarhcial government. So we do have a potentially dangerous situation on the canadian/american border in 1837-1838.  The American republic is larger than the Canadian republic in terms of population. It is richer, better developed and unlike 1912, the frontier is right up against the border. There are not the same kind of transportation difficulties that there had been before. So everything depended on the American president-a man named Martin Van Buren. - Vanburen is a democrat. - Does not want a war with the Great Britain. - So the American exective proclaims non-intervention, sends troops to the border- not to invade Canada but to keep Americans in.  So an American generals who had been caputured in Queen heigts in 1812 in enforcing Van Burens orders along the Canadian border. There was something to enforce, because Mackensie and company were raiding Canada across the naigara river. - they had captured a Canadian Island in the middle of the Niagara River - Navy island. - They were using that as a base to attack the Niagara frontier. - They were supplied by a steam ship called The Caroline. - The Caroline would steam over to Buffflow and get reinforcements, get supplies and so on and take them over to Navy island. - Sitting on the Canadian shore was a colonial sir Allan macnab. He is a Canadian despite the knighthood. His militia decided to do something about this. - What they do is row over to the American shore and capture the Caroline and cut it lose from the moorings and set fire to it and let it drift over the falls. - One American was killed, someone who had been aiding the Canadian rebels. - This Caroline affair is important in international law. Without understanding it Macnab had contributed to the evolution of international law. - Obviously the President of US did not like the British intervening on US soil, killing American citizen, destroying American property. In response, you were tolerating people supplying Rebels who were attacking British soil, so you bought it on yourself. Our action was justified.  This does not resolve for another 3 or 4 years, by which point there is a new admin in Washington and the secretary of state is a man by the name Daniel Webster. Who is a New England politican who is a specifically minded gent. Webster in a dispatch to the British enboy in Washington establishes the Caroline test. - for internevetion for an attack across the interntional border. - Caroline test specifies conditions under which that might be justified - The phrase that is used is “anticipatory self-defense” - You are not actually being attacked right now but you know you will be for sure and you cannot not respond. You have to move in anticipation of an inevitable attack. - Another word for this is preemtion. And it counts as self- defense, which is permitted under the UN charter and has been part of international law since time of moral. You are allowed to defend yourself. - Even if you are anticipating a bit nevertheless you have no choice. - This is the Caroline test. It is used in the Nuremburg trials in 1946. - it is also used in the Iraq war in 2003. - If you are assessing an outbreak of war or an attack across interional boundry, the only way you can justify it is by applying the Caroline test. This is preemtion and it derives from this strange little incident in 1837-1838 along the Niagara river involving Canada’s miniture revolutionary Mackenizie.  What happens in all of this? The crisis gradually subsides, there are raids along the Canadian/American frontier but the American policy of discouraging such raids was eventually successful. Colbourns policy of pacification was successful. And in Upper Canada hadn’t supported the rebellion anyway. The rebellion of 1837-1838 is a big event in British politics. The Queen started discussing the Canadian situation with her Pri
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