This book gives a carefully documented interpretation of Canadian –American relations during an important period in Canadian history. Its major thesis is that in the years immediately preceding the South African War Canada’s political, military, and economic relations with Britain and the Empire were of great importance as a counterpoise in Canada’s relations with the United States; that the movement for imperial unity contained much anti-Americanism; and that the later constituted the significant underlying reason for Canada’s participation in the South African War.
Professor Penlington explores the many facets of Canada’s dealings with its mighty neighbour and with the mother country in the years 1896-1899; the Venezuela affair, the Dingley Tariff Bill, United States enforcement of the “open door” in the Yukon, and the disputed Alaskan boundary, all of which contributed to a current of resentment against the United States; and Canadian attempts to maintain close connections with Britain, particularly in the economic sphere, while striving to achieve political, diplomatic, and military status as a nation. Of special interest are his research into the contemporary state of the Canadian militia and its administration, and his exploration of the internal stresses which preceded Canadian participation in the South African War.
This study will have a wide audience among these interested in history – Canadian, American, British Imperial and Commonwealth – and among students of public administration and political science; further general interest will be stimulated by the light it sheds on the nature of Canada’s relations with Britain and the United States.
About the author
NORMAN PENLINGTON is a former student of Frank Underhill. He studied history at the University of Toronto (MA) and the University of California at Berkeley (PHD), and is now professor of humanities at Michigan State University. He is the author of Canada and Imperialism, 1896—1899.