The Canadian Commonwealth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 281 pages of information about The Canadian Commonwealth.

Ten years ago this question would have been considered the bumptious presumption of flamboyant fancy.  It isn’t so considered to-day.  Rather than a flight of fancy, the question is forced on thinking minds by the hard facts of the multiplication table.  Between 1897 and 1911 there came to Canada 723,424 British colonists; and since 1911 there have come half a million more.  At the outbreak of the war settlers of purely British birth were pouring into Canada at the rate of two hundred thousand a year.  A continuation of this immigration means that in half a century, not counting natural increase, there will be as many colonists of purely British birth in Canada as there are Americans west of the Mississippi, or as there were Englishmen in England in the days of Queen Elizabeth.  It means more—­one-fourth of the United Kingdom will have been transplanted overseas.  If there be any doubt as to whether the transplanting be permanent, it should be settled by homestead entries.  In one era of something less than three years out of 351,530 men, women and children who came, sixty thousand entered for homesteads.  In other words, if each householder were married and had a family of four, almost the entire immigration of 351,530 was absorbed in permanent tenure by the land.  The drifters, the floaters, the disinherited of their share of earth became landowners, proprietors of Canada to the extent of one hundred and sixty acres.  From 1897 to 1911 the Canadian government spent $2,419,957 advertising Canada in England and paying a bonus of one pound per capita to steamship agents for each immigrant; so that each colonist cost the Dominion something over three dollars.  I have heard immigration officials figure how each colonist was worth to the country as a producer fifteen hundred dollars a year.  This is an excessive estimate, but the bargain was a good one for Canada.  In 1901, when Canada’s population was five millions, there were seven hundred thousand people of British birth in the Dominion; so that of Canada’s present population of 7,800,000, there are in the Dominion a million and a half people of British birth.[1] Averaging winter with summer for ten years, colonists of British birth have been landing on Canada’s shores at the rate of three hundred a day.  Canada’s natural increase is under one hundred thousand a year.  British colonists are to-day yearly outnumbering Canada’s natural increase.

Only two other such migrations of Saxon blood have taken place in history:  when the Angles and Jutes and Saxons came in plunder raids to English shores at the dawn of the Christian Era; when in the seventeenth century Englishmen came to America; and both these tides of migration were as a drop in an ocean wave compared to the numbers of English born now flooding to the shores of Canada.

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The Canadian Commonwealth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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