Basic Documents in Canadian History

Basic Documents in Canadian History

Basic Documents in Canadian History

Basic Documents in Canadian History

Excerpt

The purpose of this volume is to provide a selection of documents to illustrate the development of Canada from an unexplored geographical region to an independent world power. The framework is constitutional because political unification and autonomy were requisite before Canada could gain the position she has achieved in the world today. Moreover, Canada led the way in breaking away, by peaceful means, from colonial dependence on Great Britain, thereby setting the pattern by which the British Commonwealth of Nations has evolved. These achievements were not accidental, and the vision of leading proponents of Canadian nationhood is revealed in their pronouncements printed here.

A major influence on Canada's development has been her relationship with the United States. The peaceful coexistence and close ties between Canada and the United States, not unmarred by misunderstanding, have been indicated by several documents.

Since the greatest development of Canada came in the twentieth century nineteen of the fifty-two documents belong to this century.

I am indebted to Miss Julia Jarvis, Secretary of the Champlain Society, Mr. Pierre Brunet, Acting Dominion Archivist, and Professor John T. Saywell, Editor of The Canadian Historical Review, for giving me carte blanche to use any document published by their respective bodies. In addition, I must thank Dr. C. Bruce Fergusson, Provincial Archivist of Nova Scotia, for supplying the account of the arrival of the Britannia at Halifax in 1840; Professor Gordon O. Rothney, of Memorial University, St. John's Newfoundland, for advice and assistance with the history of Newfoundland, about which comparatively little has been written; Miss Ruth Buggey, Librarian of the Winnipeg Free Press for supplying, and Col. Clifford Sifton D.S.O., and Dr. Victor Sifton for permission to use, the 1925 speech of Sir Clifford Sifton; and Mr. H. O. White, M.P.

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