IB history Paragraph
By Brandon Hu
Canada struggled to find the best solution given a choice between supporting Britain’s imperialism and keeping isolationism. Within the controversy over imperialism, there also was conflict between the Canadians and Canadiens. The Canadians, who were the English descendants, supported the imperialism as well as the dominant relationship with Britain where as the French Canadians, also called Canadiens, denied imperialism. The government under Prime Minister Robert Borden, a conservative, strongly supported Britain’s imperialism. His attempts to pass the Naval Aid Bill and the threats exploited on French Canadians such as “250 000 Orangemen, too old for overseas service, could be enlisted in a month to put down the province of Quebec”, illustrates Borden and English Canadians’ will to pursue imperialism. The government under Prime Minister Borden predicted that their dependence on Britain and support of its imperialism will help them overcome difficulties outside of Canada, which was not successful. The government under Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier insisted the independence of Canada as well as maintenance of the relationship with Britain. This was to stay in balance between the French Canadians who “felt that imperialism was incompatible with Canada’s growth as an independent Anglo-French Nation” and English Canadians who strongly supported the motherland, which brought up a racial issue. The Liberal Party leader William Lyon Mackenzie King, during the Prime Minister Borden’s time in office as well as his office time during 1920s, strongly suggested that Canada should become an independent nation. The imperialism made the Canadian government to question its value due to its “divisive potential” and “suspicions of Britain’s imperials intentions”, which drove Canada to become independent shortly after the Imperial Conference of 1926.