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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume III: The Nineteenth Century$
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Andrew Porter

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205654.001.0001

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Canada from 1815

Canada from 1815

(p.522) 23 Canada from 1815
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume III: The Nineteenth Century

Ged Martin

Oxford University Press

In March 1815, news reached Canada that the war between the United States and the British Empire had ended with a peace treaty, signed at Ghent in modern Belgium. It is difficult to locate Canada clearly in either the formal or informal spheres of Empire. To invoke investment or trade as devices to explain Imperial hegemony over Canada is to provoke more questions than answers. At most, such explanations may help to explain how Imperial influence was exercised over Canada. The diversity of British North America and the nature of change maybe seen in the experience of five groups of people through the century: women, Native people, French Canadians, immigrants, and the locally born English-speaking population. Evidently, nineteenth century Canada did not conform to a decolonization model of progression through stages of self-government to full independence. nineteenth century Canada was coming to a close, not with a vision of national independence but with ‘the hope that from the painful war the British Empire will emerge with a new bond of union, the pride of all its citizens, and a living light to all other nations’.

Keywords:   Canada, Imperial hegemony, British North America, war, decolonization model

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