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The end of imperial diplomatic unity, 1919-1928: Anglo-Canadian relations from the British perspective.

McManus, Mary Kathleen (1992) The end of imperial diplomatic unity, 1919-1928: Anglo-Canadian relations from the British perspective. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

During the first decade after the Great War, the relationship between Great Britain and Canada underwent profound changes: these years were significant in the transition of the British Empire to Commonwealth. One of these changes included Canada's severance from formal imperial diplomatic unity. From 1919 to 1928, Canada established the same complete control over its external affairs which it already enjoyed in its domestic affairs. Canada's break from imperial foreign policy was a major factor in Canada's evolution from subordinate status with respect to Britain to one of equality. As the senior Dominion, the action Canada took against Britain, by confronting Britain repeatedly in matters of foreign policy, made Canada a leader in the transition to Commonwealth. Events leading to Canada's legal disassociation from imperial foreign policy began with Resolution IX of the Imperial War Conference of 1917. Although recognition of changes in the imperial relationship came with the Balfour Declaration of 1926, it was the appointment of the first British High Commissioner to Ottawa in 1928 which confirmed Britain's participation in a new relationship with Canada. Resolution IX acknowledged that circumstances had changed in British-Dominion relations. The struggles over imperial foreign policy between 1919 and 1928 assisted in establishing the principle of equal status between Britain and the Dominions. These conflicts contributed to defining the evolution of the Anglo-Canadian relationship in its formal, legal sense. The Canadian involvement in these encounters has received a great deal of attention whereas the same cannot be said of the British side. Most historical writings have assumed that the reactions of Britain were consistently conservative and passive. The common supposition was that Britain reacted only when pressured by Canada. By reviewing these confrontations from the British perspective, this study will examine the attitudes of and the interaction among the British Cabinet, the Foreign and Colonial Offices in formulating a policy toward Canada in this era, and demonstrate that the transition to Commonwealth was neither inevitable nor smooth.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, European, Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1267

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