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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century$
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Judith Brown and Wm Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205647

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205647.001.0001

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Canada, the North Atlantic Triangle, and the Empire

Canada, the North Atlantic Triangle, and the Empire

(p.574) 25 Canada, the North Atlantic Triangle, and the Empire
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century


Oxford University Press

At the beginning of the 20th century, the British Empire had less authority in North America than it had had at any time during the previous 140 years. North America continued to be important in the evolution of the Empire. At times, the North Atlantic triangle worked in Canada's favour as Canadians relied on British might and prestige to counter American military and economic encroachments; at other times, the triangular relationship worked against Canadian interests. The 20th century saw the growth of American power and the relative decline of British power. The British Empire in Canada meant one thing: relations with Britain. In general, the triangle was never one of equilateral design. It was always unbalanced and unstable, especially as American power rose and British power fell. As for the triangle, it shattered during the Second World War and was unable fully to repair itself in the post-war era. Both Britain and Canada have tried to cultivate their own ‘special relationship’ with the United States.

Keywords:   British Empire, North America, North Atlantic triangle, Canada, American power, British power, Second World War, Britain

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