Canada under British Rule 1760-1900 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 335 pages of information about Canada under British Rule 1760-1900.
but were desirous of the appointment of an American umpire—­from the South American Republics—­over whom the United States would have more or less influence.  Under these circumstances the Canadian commissioners were unwilling to proceed to the determination of other questions (on which a conclusion had been nearly reached) “until the boundary question had been disposed of either by agreement or reference to arbitration.”  The commission adjourned until August in the same year, but the negotiations that took place in the interval between the governments of Great Britain and the United States on the question at issue were not sufficiently advanced to enable a meeting at the proposed date.  In these circumstances a modus vivendi was arranged between the United States and Canada, whose interests have been carefully guarded throughout the controversy by the government of the imperial state.

This review of Canada’s relations with the United States and England for more than a century illustrates at once her weakness and her strength—­her weakness in the days of provincial isolation and imperial indifference; her strength under the inspiring influences of federal union and of an imperial spirit which gives her due recognition in the councils of the empire.  It may now be said that, in a limited sense, there is already a loose system of federation between Great Britain and her dependencies.  The central government of Great Britain, as the guardian of the welfare of the whole empire, cooperates with the several governments of her colonial dependencies, and, by common consultation and arrangement, endeavours to come to such a determination as will be to the advantage of all the interests at stake.  In other words, the conditions of the relations between Great Britain and Canada are such as to insure unity of policy so long as each government considers the interests of Great Britain and the dependency as identical, and keeps in view the obligations, welfare, and unity of the empire at large.  Full consultation in all negotiations affecting Canada, representation in every arbitration and commission that may be the result of such negotiations, are the principles which, of late years, have been admitted by Great Britain in acknowledgement of the development of Canada and of her present position in the empire; and any departure from so sound a doctrine would be a serious injury to the imperial connection, and an insult to the ability of Canadians to take a part in the great councils of the world.  The same mysterious Providence that has already divided the continent of North America, as far as Mexico, between Canada and the United States, and that in the past prevented their political fortunes from becoming one, still forces the Canadian communities with an irresistible power to press onward until they realise those high conceptions which some statesmen already imagine for them in a not very distant future.  These conceptions are of a still closer union with the parent state, which shall increase their national responsibilities, and at the same time give the Dominion a recognised position in the central councils of the empire.

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Canada under British Rule 1760-1900 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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