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What Were the Circumstances of Canada Being Granted Dominion Status in 1867?

Posted 01-05-2021 at 12:00 PM by jbgusa
Updated 01-05-2021 at 12:44 PM by jbgusa

This started out as a response to another thread, Did the ability to empathise and sympathise with others really not exist in ancient/medieval times? I felt the discussion had clear merit, and had veered from ancient and medieval times, and human empathy and sympathy. I went back and forth on whether this belongs in Canada or History. It may wind up in both. I quoted the post from the other thread.
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Yeah but again, self governance is just an illusion. Plenty of colonies, dependencies, provinces, etc. then and now have self-governance. That's nothing new, it's a feudal practice. You don't get that by "behaving yourself", you get that because it's easier for the mother country to manage you as a vassal state. You don't have full independence when your people are dying in a war declared by your parent country for their benefit only. What is Canada's self-interest in killing Boers in South Africa?

Look up the "Chanak Crisis" in the Dardenelles as tensions increased between Turkey and the UK in the early 20s. UK asked once again for troops from Canada. Really that's when Canada finally put it's foot down and said "no, not again". The Statute of Westminster as you mention finally gave Canada the power to declare war by themselves. Until then, no, the were not independent in my view. They were a vassal state.
Thank you for educating me on the Chanak Crisis; I never heard of that before. I must agree to disagree with the rest of your post.

People Dying in a war declared by parent country - Both WW I and II were wars where the entire civilized world needed to line up on one side. The U.S. certainly was no "vassal state" to Britain, and were not one at any time after 1815. People can differ as to whether we had achieved full independence in 1783. Many call the War of 1812 the "Second War of Independence" for good reasons. Not a jot or tittle of boundaries changed, but the messy transition turned to full independence.

Management easier as vassal state - There you may be onto something. Canada's value for fur trading was declining. Britain had absolutely no desire to be dragged into the U.S. Civil War by Nova Scotia traders eager to do business with the Confederacy, an entity no government recognized. While Dominion Day was July 1, 1867 the groundwork had to be laid considerably earlier

Britain was unwilling and probably unable to finance the massive infrastructure improvements in Canada dictated by the Industrial Revolution, including railroads. In fact an option of building the CP line was to route the "Ontario" portion of the line west of Sudbury through the U.S. and then heading north to Winnipeg and thence continuing West. The Canadian shield portion of that line, north of Lake Superior, was considered the most challenging portion to build, rivaling even the Rockies.

Why did Britain Declare Canada Independent in 1867?

What Were the Circumstances of Canada Being Granted Dominion Status in 1867?
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