Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
The article is devoted to the vision of the Canadian political elites of British “imperial federalism” concept, which resonated with the British Empire in the second half of the nineteenth century. This concept appeared in the circles of British politicians and public figures and, in the long run, should become a federal alliance between the colonies and the United Kingdom. Canada, which at that time was a full-fledged state entity, offered its own vision on this issue. The Canadian political elites, most of whom were supporters of a close relationship with the United Kingdom (the so-called “loyalists”), expressed broad support for the British Crown and a close alliance with Britain. In this article the author draws attention to the concept of “imperial federalism” and its origins, highlights the views of Canada’s major political figures who have expressed their thoughts about the imperial federation, and focuses on discussions about the vision of the future alliance of Canadian politicians. Separately analyzed are the colonial conferences of the late nineteenth century, which became the platform for solving colonial problems. They gave the opportunity to the Canadian “loyalists” to express their own position on the activity mechanism of the Imperial Federation in the future. The emergence of the idea of federalization of the British colonial system in the second half of the nineteenth century became a reaction to the outdated colonial system of the United Kingdom, which required updating and optimization of its work. This idea was geopolitical in its nature, because it was the result of the loss of a dominant position in the world colonial system by the United Kingdom and a desire to reclaim its former positions. The Canadian Loyalists’ vision of the concept of British “imperial federalism” is a clear example of Canadian politicians’ attitudes toward Britain at the end of the 19th century. It was to endorse the British idea by making its own adjustments to the future imperial federal system of the British Empire. The very concept of “imperial federalism” did not find its realization throughout the political debate, and its alternative was the imperial conferences that were held throughout the XX century. It was imperial conferences that served as a platform for solving common colonial problems and facilitated closer ties between the Metropolia and the colonies.
imperial federation, political elites, league “loyalists”, Canada, dominion, colonial conferences.
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