Britain: Smart but Sinister

Colonization: The action or process of settling among and establishing control over the indigenous people of an area.

Benefits of Colonization:

  • Cheap resources (timber, metals, furs, etc.) to use for trade as well as personal projects and growth
  • A source of manpower, mainly for armed forces
  • Provided geostatic bases for home country, Military and trade purposes
  • Increased international prestige

This concept of taking advantage of indigenous people and their land for personal gain makes me sick to my stomach. The fact that one of four motives to colonize Canada was to gain international prestige is crazy to me.  However, no matter how outrageous the concept may be, it is undoubtedly smart. Sinister, yet smart. French Canadians like to view the creation of Canadian confederation as some sort of revenge against England, but I do not believe that that is the case. I think Great Britain did not get so powerful without being smart. I mean, we call ourselves independent yet the Queen is still on our money today. There is no way that the formation of Canada did not benefit them in some way, and continue to do so. As of 2017, a year in which colonization is a term only used in history books, did the ends justify the means? Did the acts of Great Britain in the 15th century directly affect their current state of 2017? This is what I want to know. However, despite the conclusions that I come to, the ends will never justify the means. There will never be a reason to dismiss reconciliation, or pat Britain on the back for colonizing Canada.

Many articles agree that the British knew what they were doing, and Canadians shouldn’t celebrate their “break away from Britain” too much. Many people claim that Britain wanted to push their colonies away due to financial struggles anyways, but made it seem as if the ball was in Canada’s court in order to appease the people. For this reason, Canadians expected their pitch to the British in the London conference to be challenging, making them willing to agree to any deal the British proposed. This means the British would get everything they wanted in the first place, while Canadians celebrate their “victory”.

However, while Canadians viewed themselves as independent, they were constantly reminded of British colonialization. This reminder came across as a threat, causing Canada to break farther and farther from Britain’s rule every time it surfaced. The best example is World War One, where Britain declared war on Germany and Canada was assumed to fight as a British ally. This assumption and expectation for Canada to support Britain wasn’t the problem, as most Canadians were British immigrants and the pro-British bias of school curricula in Canada. The issue was the identity crisis that Canadians experienced when there were no records of Canada’s involvement in the War. Canada as a separate nation received no recognition, and were seen as nothing different than British.

Now if Canada has slowly been breaking away, why is the Queen on our money and how are we still tied to Britain? Shouldn’t we be completely separate by now?

I did tons of research and was actually very surprised at why the Queen is still on our money and how we aren’t really tied to Britain as much as I had assumed. In 1949, the British Empire constituted the London Declaration which established that all of Britains colonized states were to be “free and equal”. The British Empire’s territories all gained the right to self-governance, but remain linked together through something called the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is an intergovernmental organization of 52 states which were previously a part of the British Empire. These states have no legal obligation to Britain or one another. Instead, they are united by language, history, culture and their shared values of democracy, free speech, human rights and the rule of law. However, the Queen is the monarch of Canada as well as 16 other members of Commonwealth, known as Commonwealth realms. The Queen also stands as the Head of the Commonwealth. Other member countries of Commonwealth have other heads of state, monarchs or are republics.

My original prediction was that Britain still had some control over Canada and it’s other territories, however that is far from the case. Britain and Canada share nothing but a good relationship and a monarchy. Britain isn’t even Canada’s number one trades partner anymore! To answer previous questions, no, Britain is not still in control of Canada. However, until 1949 I will admit that we were not as independent as John A. and his fellow Confed’s thought. Secondly, I would like to acknowledge my realization that due to Britain’s current state, there is no way we can say that the confederation of Canada did not benefit them. Everything in the past automatically effects the future, which is why we can say that Britain’s past acts effect the present.





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