Canada An American Nation

[1] John Graves Simcoe, by D. C. Scott, “Makers of Canada Series,” Toronto, 1910, pp. 56 ff.

[2] “He [Sir Francis Bond Head, the governor] sincerely believed he was fighting for British connexion and British institutions and perhaps he was. The programme with which the Reformers confronted him—elective Legislative Council, control of all revenues by the Assembly, the British Government to keep its hands completely off colonial legislation—was an American programme.” Chester New, Lord Durham, A Biography of John George Lambton, First Earl of Durham, Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1929, p. 343.

[3] Kennedy, Documents of the Canadian Constitution, pp. 374 ff.

[4] Report of Canadian Archives, 1928. The text is given in Kennedy, op. cit., p. 335.

[5] Lord Durham’s Report on the Affairs of British North America, ed. by Sir C. P. Lucas, Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1912, II, 264.

[6] Idem, II, 297.

[7] Idem, II, 311.

[8] For an accurate, condensed account of the attitude of British political leaders toward the British North American colonies, see British Opinion and Canadian Autonomy,” in British Supremacy of Canadian Self-Government, 1839-1854, by J. L. Morison, Glasgow, 1919.

[9] This apprehension was felt in the highest quarters. Queen Victoria in her diaries, under date of Feb. 12, 1865, writes of a conversation which she had with a cabinet minister about “America and the danger, which seems approaching of our having a war with her, as soon as she makes peace; of the impossibility of our being able to hold Canada but we must struggle for it; and far the best would be to let it go as an independent kingdom under an English prince.”

[10] The advisability of Canada assuming independence as a protection against American imperialism was urged by Goldwin Smith in a letter to the London Daily News, Jan. 1862, occasioned by the Trent incident. “There is,” he wrote, “but one way to make Canada impregnable and that is to fence her round with the majesty of an independent nation. To invade and conquer an independent nation, without provocation, is an act from which in the present state of opinion, even the Americans would recoil.” The Empire: A series of letters published in the Daily News, 1862, 1863 by Goldwin Smith. Oxford & London: John Henry & James Parker, 1863.

[11] Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Speeches and Addresses Chiefly on the Subject of British American Union, London, 1865, pp. 34-35.

[12] Parliamentary Debates on the Subject of the Confederation of the British North American Provinces, 3d Session, 8th Provincial Parliament of Canada, Quebec, 1865, 1032 pp., pp. 132 ff. Hereafter referred to as Confederation Debates. Also Skelton, Isabel (Murphy), Thomas D’Arcy McGee, Quebec, 1925; Toronto, 1930, pp. 496 ff.

[13] George Brown, the leader of the Liberal Party who joined forces with his political and personal enemy, John A. Macdonald, to make Confederation possible. The quotation is from Confederation Debates, p. 114.

[14] Keenleyside, H. L., Canada and the United States: Some Aspects of the History of the Republic and the Dominion, New York, 1929, pp. 139, 160, 161, 165, 302.

[15] To Senator Sumner the acquisition of Alaska had a still wider significance. Speaking in the United States Senate April 7, 1867, he said: “The present treaty is a visible step in the occupation of the whole American continent. As such it will be recognized by the world and accepted by the American people.”

[16] There is a full discussion f the Alaskan boundary controversy from
the Canadian standpoint in J. W. Dafoe’s Clifford Sifton in Relation to His Times, Toronto, 1931, Chap. VIII.

[17] Bryce, James, Modern Democracies, New York, 1921, I, 453.

[18] This was the case, Commissioners of Taxation vs. Baxter, Nov. 28, 1907. The discussion between the Lord Chancellor, Lord Halsbury and the Australian lawyer is quoted by John S. Ewart in An Imperial Court of Appeal, Ottawa, 1919. It opened with Lord Halsbury observing “I am not aware that there is any power in this Board to disregard an act of Parliament,” and closed with his declaration: “I do not know what an unconstitutional act means.”

[19] Confederation Debates, p. 32.

[20] See Constitutional Issues in Canada, 1900-1931, ed. by R. M. Dawson, London, 1933, p. 50.

[21] Idem, pp. 442 ff.

[22] For an examination of this issue, see “The Compact Theory of Confederation,” by N. McL. Rogers, in Proceedings of the Canadian Political Science Association, 1931.