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  1. Britain and the Origins of Canadian Confederation, - Ged Martin - Google книги
  2. Melvil Decimal System: 971.04
  3. The Canadian Historical Review

Yet this proposition, while plausible, does not adequately account for Latin American perceptions of Confederation. Taking a synoptic view that draws on secondary accounts and primary source material, in particular contemporary newspaper articles from the region, the essay posits that Latin American observers were indeed interested in Canadian affairs, but that they saw events in the Great White North primarily through the lens of their own experience with emancipation from colonial rule and state-building.

This focus explains why insurgencies and foreign incursions, such as the Fenian raids of the late s, caught the attention of Latin American observers, whereas Canadian Confederation itself did not. Latin American Views on the Emergence of Canada in 1. Introduction The constitution of the Dominion of Canada in did not provoke much commentary among Latin American observers. Taking a synoptic view that draws on secondary accounts and primary source material, in particular contemporary newspaper articles from the region,3 the essay posits that Latin American observers were indeed interested in Canadian affairs, but that they saw events in the Great White North primarily through the lens of their own experience with emancipation from colonial rule and state-building.

As a cultural and political region south of the United States, Latin America emerged from the disintegration of the Spanish, Portuguese, and French empires in the Americas in the early nineteenth century. With the exception of Haiti, which was born out of a successful slave revolt , independence began with the French invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by Napoleon in Panama formed part of present-day Colombia until In what follows, the essay focuses Brazil and Spanish America. Although Haiti is part of Latin America, it was ostracized within the region until after recognition by the United States in out of fear that bolstering its legitimacy would promote revolution elsewhere.

However, once reinstated, Spain denounced the autonomy of the colonies, provoking the local creole elites to proclaim their independence from the metropolis. By contrast, Brazil was elevated to a kingdom equal with Portugal in Facing the threat that the Portuguese Cortes would revert Brazil back to its former status, independence was declared in , and Pedro I proclaimed Emperor of Brazil. Instead of pitting warring factions within the colonies against each other, and against the colonial metropole, loyalists and revolutionaries were able to redistribute themselves between British North America and the United States.

Although the process was not free of conflict, after the ideological boundaries seemed largely settled—despite the continuing threat of annexation. By the s, most Latin American states had gained de facto independence from the former metropoles and international recognition by the major powers of the time. Yet independence was achieved at a high cost, as years of internecine war left Spanish American economies in shambles, large parts of the countryside militarized, and the resultant regimes were seen as lacking legitimacy even within their own boundaries.

There was also considerable ambiguity about their place within the Europe-dominated international order of the time. Britain, for instance, installed a limited form of extraterritorial jurisdiction in Brazil that excluded British subjects from local jurisdiction after the Royal Navy had escorted to Portuguese court to Rio de Janeiro in Furthermore, examples of naval blockades and diplomatic interventions abound, suggesting that these states were seen as being more akin to the polities like the Ottoman Empire or the ancient states of East Asia, which were recognized diplomatically but not treated as equal members of the international order of the time.

Even in Brazil, where the continuation of Braganza rule under Pedro I provided a considerable degree of political continuity, constitutional ties with Portugal were severed in the early s. The Brazilian Empire was politically more stable than most Spanish American republics, but even here imperial authorities had to deal with resistance and sporadic regional revolts in the first decades of independent statehood. As such, it was neither inevitable nor apparent to foreign observers.

The silence on Confederation in Latin American newspapers is especially noteworthy given the often observed outward orientation of nineteenth-century Latin American elites. Fixated on the most recent trends and events from London and Paris, they have been frequently criticized, if not ridiculed, for being ignorant of their own societies and oblivious to local realities in Latin American.

By the second half of the nineteenth century, this agenda was often geared towards state formation, the centralization of political power, state modernization, and economic liberalization after decades of political strife over the political constitution of the new states and, importantly, the role of the Church. Newspaper coverage is selective and reflects public debates only imperfectly. Yet it provides an insightful window to issues of public concern. Its bias reflects both the nature of contemporary communication and 9 On Brazil, see da Costa ; Barman ; Mosher ; Needell Literacy rates varied widely across Latin America.

Britain and the Origins of Canadian Confederation, - Ged Martin - Google книги

While significantly lower than in Canada, literacy rates were probably comparable to Southern Europe. The nineteenth- century Latin American public was well informed about the happenings in other parts of the world. But, being subject to the discretion of editors in European and, increasingly, the United States , Latin Americans received the news that Europeans regarded as important, and which local publicists subsequently deemed relevant.

If Latin American elites were interested in other part of the worlds, including those which they had little direct contact, what explains the disengagement with Canadian Confederation? As Martin recounts, British North American consisted of few relatively unimportant colonies, whose confederation was quietly approved by Westminster in March It is therefore not surprising that Latin American newspapers would be relatively silent on the issue.

The British Empire 1763-1914: Canada and The Durham Report

But perhaps even more telling is what was reported from Canada. This essay argues that two points require closer consideration for understanding Latin American views on Confederation: the international and, in particular, hemispheric context, and the absence of significant direct contacts between Canada and Latin American societies. In North America, it was no accident that the first conferences on the political future of Canada coincided with the American Civil War , an important watershed event that reverberated throughout the region.

Just as the authors of Canadian Confederation were spurred to action by the horrors south of the border, so too were their efforts overshadowed by this conflict. It is also important to consider that the British North America Act entered into force only a fortnight after the execution of the Habsburg prince Maximilian I dealt the final blow to the French occupation of Mexico that captivated the interest of foreign observers, especially in Latin America. At the same time, Spain had just ended its conflict with Chile and Peru in the so-called Chincha Islands War in a last attempt to regain control over parts of its former colonies, which saw the Spanish fleet burn down Valparaiso and Callao in Just as concerning for Latin Americans was the fact that the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay was still engaged in a bitter fight against Paraguay in what would come to be considered the bloodiest conflict in South American history Confederation was not among them.

For another, the central argument of this paper contends that when Latin Americans were interested in Canadian affairs, their interest was generally focused on news about insurgencies and armed conflict: in other words, events that were relatable to their own violent struggles for independence and the subsequent challenges of state formation and consolidation. Notably, Cuba was an exception to this trend, where autonomists, wedged between revolutionary separatists and reactionary peninsulares, looked to Canada as a possible model for self-government within the auspices of the Spanish Empire.

The remainder of this essay proceeds as follows: Section 2 reviews the literature on Canada-Latin American relations and identifies common themes. Section 3 discusses the sparse treatment of Canadian Confederation in Chilean, Brazilian, and to a lesser extent Mexican newspapers, and evaluates this coverage in the light of earlier and alternative instances of news coverage on Canada. The essay concludes that far from being disinterested in the Great White North, Latin Americans interpreted Canadian affairs on the basis of their experience of independence from colonial rule and state formation.

For Ogelsby, whose Gringos from the Far North continues to form the basis of most subsequent studies,18 this is a reflection of the lack of intellectual exchange that is symptomatic of the absence of direct political or, in fact, commercial contacts. For instance, Newfoundland began exporting dried cod directly to Brazil in the early nineteenth century, but the 17 Ogelsby For instance, Rochlin ; Tijerina ; Valiani Canadian interests only turned to Latin America in search of investment opportunities following the completion of the Pacific Railway in the mids, when Canadian investors gained prominence in transportation and power generation, most famously through the Brazilian Traction, Light and Power Company.

However, two points should be noted. Political instability in the post-independence period and the inability of the local elite to consolidate political authority throughout the territory of the former Viceroyalty of New Spain led to tensions with the settlers that emigrated to Texas from United States, ultimately escalating into war with its northern neighbor.

As result of the Mexican-American War , Mexico lost approximately half of its territory to the United States. The war was viewed with ambiguity in other parts of Latin America: for one, it spurred a first wave of anti-American sentiment that coalesced into calls for Latin solidarity; for another, the United States was envied and admired for its 20 Ibid. See also Armstrong and Nelles ; McDowall Secondly, Mexico illustrates how political instability undermined the international standing of Latin American states in the international order of the nineteenth-century.


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Maximilian was captured, court-martialled and finally executed on 19 June In fact, in , Britain withdrew all diplomatic representatives including consular officers,31 and although Britain re-established its political ties with Mexico in the , it was not until the s that the first Canadian trade commission would visit Mexico. Three commissioners arrived in Rio de Janeiro in March at a time when the War of the Triple Alliance had shifted to Paraguayan soil in a bloody campaign for which Brazil bore the brunt of fighting.

First, at the time of Confederation in , there had been little direct contact between British North America and the countries south of the United States. Nor were there necessarily converging political agendas.

Melvil Decimal System: 971.04

Rochlin maintains that this relative negligence only changed towards the late s, when Canada decided to join the Organization of American states and the North American Free Trade Agreement Latin America, however, was not a priority, especially given the budgetary constraints of the time. Sovereign equality, however, has historically been understood by Latin Americans as the hallmark of independence and statehood.

Thus far, the essay has focused primarily on the multiple reasons why we should expect Latin Americans to be disinterested in Canadian affairs and Confederation in particular. For one, Latin Americans maintained few direct contacts with the North American colonies. For another, Confederation took place at a time of great international convulsion in the Western Hemisphere that had the potential of drowning out debates on the changing position of Canada within the British Empire.

The more interesting question, then, is not whether Confederation was known or unknown by Latin Americans, but rather what type of events from British North America were reported and how these were presented to the readership. The selection is necessarily incomplete and suggestive, but it provides plausible evidence for the thesis that Latin Americans understood Confederation largely in terms of their own experience with independence and state formation.

What kind of picture emerges from this analysis? First, if the proposition were true that Latin Americans lacked an interest in Confederation because of the absence of direct political or cultural contacts, we would expect to find little coverage on British North America at large. Yet it was the rebellion and its repression that called the attention of Latin American observers. The growing wariness of US expansionism is evident in these reports. Quite the contrary, the victory of the 50 Lucas This researcher found 24 articles in this newspaper on the rebellions in the period between to alone.

This apprehension also explains, in part, the interest that the Fenian raids provoked in Latin America. The Fenian Brotherhood was an Irish republican movement in the United States, which sought to pressure Britain to withdraw from Ireland by gaining control over parts of its North American colonies.

Newspapers and Social Knowledge

As Stacey observes, US newspapers almost certainly exaggerated the threat that the Fenians posed to either British control or the incipient Confederation. That the idea for a union of the British North American colonies did not emerge spontaneously as a result of contemporary circumstances or in a vacuum in the backrooms of 14 Downing Street has been laid to rest by the work of Ged Martin. Like many of his contemporaries, especially the famous colonial secretary Earl Grey —52 , Durham saw some form of federal union in North America more as a desirable project for the future than as an object of contemporary political expediency.

In , as lieutenant governor of New Brunswick, he composed a secret memorandum to Earl Grey in which he advocated for a general British North American federation. When events led to the temporary abandonment of that project in , his plans for union shared the same fate. By the time of his appointment in , however, Head had begun to doubt the immediate feasibility of a general union of all the British North American provinces.

The Canadian Historical Review

Like his successors, John Manners-Sutton and Arthur Hamilton Gordon, Head believed that the supposedly petty, corrupt, and personal nature of politics in these colonies inhibited effective, responsible government. However, this was not entirely unsolicited. Following the Duke of Newcastle's lead, Labouchere had, in fact, requested that Head take up the subject of a more general union while Head was on a visit to Britain.

Within the space of a year, Derby appointed first Lord Stanley and then Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton to the post of colonial secretary, causing considerable confusion in the Colonial Office. The immediate catalyst for perhaps the most important proposal for British North American union in was political stalemate and its resulting crisis in the province of Canada.

When the Canadian legislature repeatedly struggled to form a stable government, and elections failed to resolve the issue, Governor General Head prorogued the legislature. It is important to note that what was being discussed in was in fact a federal union that would include both the Maritime provinces and the united Canadas.

In his response, Head outlined several principles that are revealing of the kind of union being contemplated in British political circles.


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In a shuffle of the Cabinet in June , Stanley became the first secretary of state for India, and Bulwer-Lytton succeeded him at the Colonial Office. The role of the permanent staff of the Colonial Office in the rejection of British North American union in is ambiguous and difficult to unravel. Bulwer-Lytton was evidently more hostile than Stanley toward the project of a union.

Whether this was based on the advice of the permanent staff of the Colonial Office is unclear.