The United States, Great Britain, and British North America from the Revolution to the Establishment of Peace after the War of 1812

By A. L. Burt | Go to book overview
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AUTHOR'S PREFACE

I HAVE attempted to reconstruct the story of the relations between the United States and its British neighbors, since combined in the Dominion of Canada, from the time they parted political company until they settled down to live in peace together. Because these neighbors were British, I could not explain the story fully without expanding it to be almost a history of Anglo-American relations during the period under review. Some readers may think that it embraces too much, and others too little; but the nicely calculated less or more will always haunt the diplomatic historian as well as other writers. If critics assail me for the long lumbering title, I would of course ask them how I could help it. I might also suggest that they think of the rose. They may find a further parallel in thorns scattered through the leaves.

This study owes its existence to Professor James T. Shotwell, Director of the Division of Economics and History of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He asked me to undertake it for publication in the series on the Relations of Canada and the United States; and he has greatly enhanced the value of what I have done by securing for it a generous equipment of maps. My first thanks therefore go to him and, for its support, to the Endowment. I am also much indebted to the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota for grants in aid of research which have enabled me to gather original material built into this work; and, in building it, to my colleagues in the History Department of this university for their stimulating intercourse. Another institution to which I am particularly beholden is the Public Archives of Canada. In previous prefaces I have acknowledged my appreciation of the unfailing courtesies which the members of its staff have extended to me through many summers spent in their midst, and now I do it again. Here, too, I must express my gratitude to Professors Allan Nevins and J. Bartlet Brebner of Columbia University, Lester Burrell Shippee and George M. Stephenson of the University of Minnesota, and Gerald S. Graham of Queen's University for critically reading all or part of my manuscript; and to Mr. Arthur E. McFarlane, editorial reader for the Carnegie Endowment, for correcting many a flaw in the text. These gentlemen, needless to say, are entirely innocent of any of the sins of omission or commission which mar the following pages; and so also is another person to whom I must refer, a person who pushes, or is pushed, into many a preface--the author's wife. This one, the best critic I have ever known, has delayed the completion of this volume by making me improve at least one passage in almost every paragraph.

A. L. BURT

Minneapolis,
June, 1940.

-ix-

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