“I believe and hope that the Imperial Institute will play a useful part in combining those resources for the common advantage of all my subjects, conducing towards the welding of the colonies, India, and the mother-country, into one harmonious and united community. . . .”
When war was declared in South Africa and the Boer forces invaded Cape Colony and Natal, contingents from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Cape Colony, and Natal joined the British force and fought side by side throughout that long and trying campaign.
In 1897 was celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of the Queen’s reign, and every colony sent a detachment of troops to represent it. At the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral the Queen remained to return thanks to God for all the blessings of her reign, and after the magnificent procession had returned she once again sent a message to her people:
“In weal and woe I have ever had the true sympathy of all my people, which has been warmly reciprocated by myself. It has given me unbounded pleasure to see so many of my subjects from all parts of the world assembled here, and to find them joining in the acclamations of loyal devotion to myself, and I wish to thank them all from the depth of my grateful heart.”
Appendix to Chapter XIII
The population of the Empire is estimated to be 355 millions of coloured and 60 millions of white people.
1840. The Act of Union passed. The two colonies of Upper and Lower Canada united, and a representative Assembly formed.
1867. Bill for the Federation of Canada passed. The various provinces united under the title of Dominion of Canada, ruled by a Governor-General, nominated by the Crown. The Central Parliament, which dealt with matters relating to the Dominion, established at Ottawa.
1885. Completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which led to the opening up of the North-West. The great stream of emigration from Europe commences.
Australia became a United Commonwealth at the beginning of the present century.
From 1851 onward the transportation of convicts was prohibited.
The expansion of the Commonwealth has taken place to a great extent during the reign of Queen Victoria. The majority of the settlers are of British descent.
South Africa finally united in 1910 with self-government.
Disraeli, in 1876, introduced the Royal Titles Bill, by means of which the Queen was able to assume the title of Empress of India.