Sir John Seeley once wrote that the British Empire was acquired in
"a fit of absence of mind." Whatever the truth of this
comment, it is certainly arguable that the Empire was dismantled in
such a fit. This collection deals with a neglected subject in
post-Confederation Canadian history -- the implications to Canada and
Canadians of British decolonization and the end of empire.
Canada and the End of Empire looks at Canadian diplomatic
relations with the United Kingdom and the United States, the Suez
crisis, the changing economic relationship with Great Britain in the
1950s and 1960s, the role of educational and cultural institutions in
maintaining the British connection, the royal tour of 1959, the
decision to adopt a new flag in 1964, the efforts to find a formula for
repatriating the constitution, the Canadianization of the Royal
Canadian Navy, and the attitude of First Nations to the changed nature
of the Anglo-Canadian relationship. Historians in Commonwealth
countries tend to view the end of British rule from a nationalist
perspective. Canada and the End of Empire challenges this view
and demonstrates the centrality of imperial history in Canadian
An important addition to the growing canon of empire studies and
imperial history, this book will be of interest to historians of the
Commonwealth, and to scholars and students interested in the
relationship between colonialism and nationalism.
Phillip Buckner is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of New Brunswick and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London.
Introduction / Phillip Buckner 1. Imperial Twilight, or When Did the Empire End? / John Darwin 2. Canadian Relations with the United Kingdom at the End of Empire, 1956-73 / John Hilliker and Greg Donaghy 3. `Ready, Aye Ready' No More? Canada, Britain, and the Suez Crisis in the Canadian Press / Jose E. Igartua 4. The Last Great Royal Tour: Queen Elizabeth's 1959 Tour to Canada / Phillip Buckner 5. `An Objective of U.S. Foreign Policy since the Founding of the Republic': The United States and the End of Empire in Canada / Gordon T. Stewart 6. Britain, Europe, and Diefenbaker's Trade Diversion Proposals, 1957-58 / Tim Rooth 7. Customs Valuations and Other Irritants: The Continuing Decline of Anglo-Canadian Trade in the 1960s / Bruce Muirhead 8. Asleep at the Wheel?: British Motor Vehicle Exports to Canada, 1945-75 / Steve Koerner 9. Britain, Europe, and the `Other Quiet Revolution' in Canada / Andrea Benvenuti and Stuart Ward 10. Nostalgia and National Identity: The History and Social Studies Curriculum of Alberta and Ontario at the End of Empire / George Richardson 11. The Persistence of Britain: The Culture Project in Post-War Canada / Paul Rutherford 12. From Guthrie to Greenberg: Canadian High Culture and the End of Empire / Allan Smith 13. Ontario's Agenda in Post-Imperial Negotiations, 1949-68 / P.E. Bryden 14. The Last Gasp of Empire: The 1964 Flag Debate Revisited / Gregory A. Johnson 15. `One Flag, One Throne, One Empire': the IODE, the Great Flag Debate, and the End of Empire / Lorraine Coops 16. More Royal than Canadian?: The Royal Canadian Navy's Search for Identity, 1910-68 / Marc Milner 17. Technology and Empire: The Ideas of Harold Innis and George P. Grant / R. Douglas Francis 18. Petitioning the Great White Mother: First Nations' Organizations and Lobbying in London / J.R. (Jim) Miller Contributors Index