Canadian Foreign Policy

2889 words 12 pages
Canadian Foreign Policy

As the 20th century comes to an end, Canada is a transcontinental nation whose interests and representatives span the face of the globe and extend into every sphere of human behaviour. However this was not always the case. When the four colonies of British North America united to create Canada on July 1, 1867, the new country's future was by no means secure. Canada was a small country, with unsettled borders, vast empty spaces, and a large powerful neighbour, the United States. Confronting these challenges was difficult for the young country. Though Canada was independent in domestic matters, Britain retained control over its foreign policy. Over the next fifty or so years, Canada's leaders and its
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Thus by 1931, Canada and the other Dominions had become autonomous communities equal in status to Great Britain. There were some problems resulting from the federal nature of Canada connected with the accession to independence. If Britain was not responsible for Canada anymore, who would receive the power to alter Canada's constitution?
Isolationism vs. Pacifism
The period immediately following the WW1 came to be known as the Isolationist period. This period was marked by views that Canada should be concerned with only internal matter within its geographic boundaries. It was the lesson learnt the hard way from WW1 that the big powers will almost always manipulate small powers. In other words a sense of injustice was widely felt by Canadians immediately after WW1. There should be no doubt that WW1 shaped the Canadian identity and a separate foreign policy could not have been implemented if it was not for WW1. One may think that it was the glorious fighting by the Canadians which helped them formulate their own policy, on the contrary it was the rejection of this war which helped Canada make it own independent foreign policy. The WW1 took its toll on the British economy and its colonies were no longer profitable. Therefore it gave Canada a chance to distance itself from the British Empire. After WW1, Canada saw better economic conditions with American companies coming into Canada. During the 1930s, as the world lurched toward another world war, Prime


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