A History of Canada: Dominion of the North

By Donald Creighton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
THE CRISIS OF A CULTURE

I

FRANCE had fought the war against a great coalition of European powers; but she made the peace with England. This, in part at least, is the explanation of the large concessions she was forced to make in North America. For years the Tories in England had denounced the war. Once they obtained power in 1710 they ended it as rapidly as possible. Their methods of peace-making were a little unusual; but their very unorthodoxy helped to ensure English success. Instead of negotiating the peace with their allies and imposing it on the enemy, the Tories negotiated the peace with the enemy and imposed it on their allies. This method of 'bargaining for yourselves apart, and leaving your friends to shift at a general treaty,' as the Duke of Shrewsbury called it, proved highly successful. France naturally tried to buy off England with concessions which otherwise might have been shared among the allies; and Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, the principal Tory negotiator, proved to have just as shrewd an appreciation of England's commercial and colonial interests as the money-grubbing Whigs whom he affected to despise.

Urged on by the Board of Trade and commercial opinion generally, St. John fought to gain Acadia, Newfoundland, and the forts and territories of the Hudson's Bay Company.

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