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Canada and the British Empire
In the late 19th & early 20th century most Canadians were of recent British extraction.
They felt a strong kinship to Great Britain.
British subjects were enormously proud of the size of the British Empire – which was between 1/6 & 1/5 of the world’s land mass and contained a similar proportion of the world’s people.
Like Americans today, the British saw themselves as tremendously powerful.
French Canadians felt no such connection to things British.
They had been isolated from Europe since before “the Conquest”, beginning in 1759.
Of course there were some English Canadians who wanted an independent Canada.
However, this “Canada First” movement was small in number and resentful of the Canadiens – the only other group who supported a distinctly Canadian nationalism.
At the end of the 19th century there was even a movement to strengthen ties with Britain.
In 1884 the Imperial Federation League was founded in Britain.
Proponents wanted to strengthen, not loosen, ties between Britain and its colonies.…
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