The Reciprocity Treaty of 1854: Its History, Its Relation to British Colonial and Foreign Policy and to the Development of Canadian Fiscal Autonomy - Vol. 9

The Reciprocity Treaty of 1854: Its History, Its Relation to British Colonial and Foreign Policy and to the Development of Canadian Fiscal Autonomy - Vol. 9

The Reciprocity Treaty of 1854: Its History, Its Relation to British Colonial and Foreign Policy and to the Development of Canadian Fiscal Autonomy - Vol. 9

The Reciprocity Treaty of 1854: Its History, Its Relation to British Colonial and Foreign Policy and to the Development of Canadian Fiscal Autonomy - Vol. 9

Excerpt

The original edition of this book was published in 1937. Owing to the destruction of the premises of Longman's, Green and Co. in London in an air attack in 1940 most of the remaining copies of the book were destroyed and it became a very limited edition. I am, therefore, very pleased that a new edition is being published. I have taken advantage of this opportunity to make a few minor changes in the text.

My judgements on the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854 have not changed very much since 1937. However, after living through an additional twenty-five years of Canadian-American relations and after twenty-five years of university teaching, I can now see the treaty in better perspective, than I could in 1937.

The negotiation of the treaty appears as the end of one swing in a pendulum-like motion by which Canada has alternately drawn closer to Great Britain or to the United States. At times Canada concentrated her attention on relations with Great Britain as, for example, before 1846, when Canadian merchants enjoyed preferences on their grain and wheat in the British market. At other times, when disagreements with Great Britain occurred, Canada devoted more energy to the cultivation of the American market, as in the 1846-1854 period, following the repeal of the Corn Laws.

The Reciprocity Treaty of 1854, a high point in Canadian-American relations, permitted the Canadians and the other British North American colonists to retain a mercantilist point of view but to make the United States instead of Great Britain the area in which it was to be applied. The negotiation of the Reciprocity Treaty was followed by twelve years of close economic relations between the British North American colonies and the United States.

In the years immediately preceding Confederation the British North American colonies, particularly Canada, displayed an increased self-reliance which made them less prone to seek economic salvation everywhere but at home. I have described this change of heart in the Epilogue to this volume. Confedera-

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