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Old 06-06-2012, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Mississippi Delta!
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Could the British government tell Canada what to do until the Constitution of 1982?
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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I think that Canada became officially independent with the Statute of Westminster in 1931. Australia and New Zealand also attained the same status at this time if I am not mistaken.

Until 1981-82 the constitution of Canada was the British North America Act, which was an Act of the British Parliament. But this fact did not mean that the UK had any involvement in Canadian affairs.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
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No they could not. Canada became an independent sovereign nation on July 1st 1867. The country was still very close to the UK for many reasons. Firstly what territory Canada was made up of then was just a fraction of what it is today. The other provinces, which were still crown colonies have joined confederation over time until the last one, Newfoundland joined by way of a referendum in 1949.

Although Canada was a sovereign nation were unable to ammend our constitution. Our constitution was the British North America Act and any ammendments to it had to be done in the British parliament. That is one of the main changes the new constitution of 1982 achieved. We are now able to ammend it ourselves though through such a formula that makes it very difficult to do. I must add that Quebec has never signed the document.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucknow View Post
No they could not. Canada became an independent sovereign nation on July 1st 1867. The country was still very close to the UK for many reasons. Firstly what territory Canada was made up of then was just a fraction of what it is today. The other provinces, which were still crown colonies have joined confederation over time until the last one, Newfoundland joined by way of a referendum in 1949.

Although Canada was a sovereign nation were unable to ammend our constitution. Our constitution was the British North America Act and any ammendments to it had to be done in the British parliament. That is one of the main changes the new constitution of 1982 achieved. We are now able to ammend it ourselves though through such a formula that makes it very difficult to do. I must add that Quebec has never signed the document.
What I have highlighted is simply not true. That date is recognized as the beginnings of the country as a united entity but Canada was not really independent until 1931. A lot of Canadians seem to want to equate July 1, 1867 with July 4, 1776 but the way Canada became independent came about very differently.

For example, Canada entered the First World War more or less automatically because the United Kingdom entered the war. It wasn't a decision that Canada made. But for the Second World War, it was Canada that made the decision because it was fully independent at that point.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
What I have highlighted is simply not true. That date is recognized as the beginnings of the country as a united entity but Canada was not really independent until 1931. A lot of Canadians seem to want to equate July 1, 1867 with July 4, 1776 but the way Canada became independent came about very differently.

For example, Canada entered the First World War more or less automatically because the United Kingdom entered the war. It wasn't a decision that Canada made. But for the Second World War, it was Canada that made the decision because it was fully independent at that point.
Well, as a counter to that when Britain went into the Boer War at the turn of the century that did NOT automatically mean we were at war as well and going into that war was very controversial, with many Canadians, mostly French Canadians but some English Canadian nationalists as well, opposed to sending our military there. In the end Laurier had to make a compromise and send only those Canadians who volunteered to go, and only several hundred did as opposed to the hundreds of thousands who poured into Europe during the Great War a decade later. This goes to show that Canada did have a significant measure of independence, although of course it was a gradual process of increasing sovereignty over generations.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
What I have highlighted is simply not true. That date is recognized as the beginnings of the country as a united entity but Canada was not really independent until 1931. A lot of Canadians seem to want to equate July 1, 1867 with July 4, 1776 but the way Canada became independent came about very differently.

For example, Canada entered the First World War more or less automatically because the United Kingdom entered the war. It wasn't a decision that Canada made. But for the Second World War, it was Canada that made the decision because it was fully independent at that point.
Canada did not go to war in WW1 because we had to at all. We did because the people lead by the government thought rightly or wrongly it was a just fight. The battle of Vimy Ridge was actually the defining moment in Canada's complete sovereignity when General Arthur Curry separated the command of Canadians from the British brass hats who were just horrible and terrible military leaders.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Perhaps taking part in wars is not the best example.

Do you people believe what the Government of Canada itself says on this matter?

Canadian Heritage - National Flag Day
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:21 PM
 
396 posts, read 729,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
What I have highlighted is simply not true. That date is recognized as the beginnings of the country as a united entity but Canada was not really independent until 1931. A lot of Canadians seem to want to equate July 1, 1867 with July 4, 1776 but the way Canada became independent came about very differently.
Or the more obvious truth which is the british had zero interest in our affairs, during it's colonial zenith. The british pushed us to defacto independence, we were on paper part of the empire, but they had very little to do with our governance.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikmaq32 View Post
Or the more obvious truth which is the british had zero interest in our affairs, during it's colonial zenith. The british pushed us to defacto independence, we were on paper part of the empire, but they had very little to do with our governance.

Quite very different treatment than given American Colonists dont ya think. Ben Franklin went over there before 1776 to try to get the British to agree to a sort of Commonwealth set up for the 13 Colonies. The British said get lost basically. Canadians smugly like to point out to Americans that they achieved independence without violence, yet one wonders how Canadians would have reacted to the same treatment Americans got. I know the winner writes the history books, but even the Queen herself at a speech here admitted that due to what happened in the US, Britain took a very diff approach towards Canada and Australia.

Remarks Of Queen Elizabeth II At The Presentation Of The Bicentennial Bell, July 6, 1976
I speak to you as the direct descendant of King George III. He was the last Crowned Sovereign to rule in this country, and it is therefore with a particular personal interest that I view those events which took place 200 years ago.
It seems to me that Independence Day, the Fourth of July, should be celebrated as much in Britain as in America. Not in rejoicing at the separation of the American Colonies from the British Crown but in sincere gratitude to the Founding Fathers of this great Republic for having taught Britain a very valuable lesson.
We lost the American colonies because we lacked that statesmanship “to know the right time, and the manner of yielding, what is impossible to keep.”
But the lesson was learned. In the next century and a half we kept more closely to the principles of Magna Carta which have been the common heritage of both our countries.
We learned to respect the right of others to govern themselves in their own ways. This was the outcome of experience learned the hard way in 1776. Without that great act in the cause of liberty performed in Independence Hall two hundred years ago, we could never have transformed an Empire into a Commonwealth!
Ultimately peace brought a renewal of friendship which has continued and grown over the years and has played a vital part in world affairs. Together we have fought in two world wars in the defence of our common heritage of freedom. Together we have striven to keep the peace so dearly won. Together, as friends and allies, we can face the uncertainties of the future, and this is something for which we in Britain can also celebrate the Fourth of July.
This morning I saw the famous Liberty Bell. It came here over 200 years ago when Philadelphia, after London, was the largest English speaking city in the world. It was cast to commemorate the Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges, but is better known for its association with the Declaration of Independence.
Today, to mark the 200th anniversary of that declaration, it gives me the greatest pleasure, on behalf of the British people, to present a new bell to the people of the United States of America. It comes from the same foundry as the Liberty Bell, but written on the side of the Bicentennial Bell are the words “Let Freedom Ring”.
It is a message in which both our people can join and which I hope will be heard around the world for centuries to come.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
353 posts, read 803,622 times
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Here are some milestones:

Responsible Government - 1849
Dominion of Canada - 1867
Canada Represented at the Paris Peace Conference - 1919
Statute of Westminster - 1931
End of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council - 1949
Patriation of the Constitution - 1982
Team Canada beats Team USA - 2010
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