Canadian independence? (Canada's Independence)


Calberty
#1
I was reading an old history school book from the 1920's. It's clear from the writing that Canada was still more or less a colony of Britain and Westminister in london was the final decision maker in reality (and not just tradition) on major issues and not Ottawa. Today, of course, we more or less do what we want without thinking at all whether the Queen will put on her rubber stamp or not. We are independent in reality if not legally of a de facto 'foreign ' monarch or empire.

So when did Canada actually become independent? I don't mean in law but in reality? The repatriation of the Constitution was a legal niceity but Canada was independent in reality before that.

I can only remember growing up in the 70's and not thinking about Britain and I don't think I even knew the name of the British Prime Minister. We were independent. Trudeau might have listed to London but no more than he would have to any other allied nation.

Was there some moment, year or decade between the 1920's and the 1970's when Canada was for all intense and purposes independent. An equal to Britain and not a step down on the flow chart? We don't celebrate any type of independence in Canada or use the word in our history books. We are, however, independent.
 
Andem
#2
I believe after WWII, Canada gained independence and got the balls rolling on making it more official. Though even when WWII broke out, Canada didn't automatically join, they did it a week or so later.
 
#juan
#3
There was a thing I read quite a few years ago that basically said that Britain requested Canada to send X number of troops and use conscription if necessary.

McKenzie King replied that Canada would, "do what she could, conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription. This Upset the British PM, but it was seen by some as the start of Canada's independence. In any case, Canada's contribution to WW2 was very respectable by any standards.
 
athabaska
#4
When I think of my earliest memories it was in the early 1960's in school making the flags of England, Scotland, Wales etc. into 'our flag', the Union Jack. We all sang god Save the Queen every day and the queen and governor Generl Vanier beamed down upon us over top of a map of all that pink of the British empire.

I would say indepenence was complete about the early 1960's. If there is a particular point of time it would have been a cople years later and the decision on the new flag. The flag debate was really a debate about the old order and the new. A show down for going out on our own and breaking away. Not including the Union Jack on the design was tantamount to revolution by many. A couple years later the unification of the armed forces was in part also a breaking away. A new uniform was created that was different from that of the British forces. Before that Canadian troops looked like Brits with a few unique insignia.
If there was a movement as opposed to a moment it was the Quiet Revolution in Quebec. Into the mid 50's the Catholic Church and Orange Ontario had a unholy alliance to maintain the status quo. The Catholic Church was the force in Quebec and did everything to preserved the locked in power structure. Orange Ontario, pro London, had the clout to more or less to demand Ottawa tout the Empire line. In fact it's interesting that Conscription is mentioned in the above posting. King could only resist Orange Ontario so long and then gave in to conscription. With the Quiet Revolution, Orange Ontario lost it's ally in the Catholic Church and couldn't resist change.
Somewhere between playing with those blocks in the early 60's and Centennial in 1967 there was a tidal wave of change. Blockbuster and overwhelming. Two worlds that don't seem like the same country to me.
 
Dexter Sinister
#5
Full legal independence came in 1931 with the Statute of Westminster, the last Act of the British Parliament that applied to Canada (also Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa), and essentially said that no subsequent Acts of the British Parliament would apply there. www.canadiana.org/citm/themes...ution15_e.html (external - login to view)
 
Calberty
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister

Full legal independence came in 1931 with the Statute of Westminster, the last Act of the British Parliament that applied to Canada (also Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa), and essentially said that no subsequent Acts of the British Parliament would apply there. www.canadiana.org/citm/themes...ution15_e.html (external - login to view)

Not really. That was an act of the British Parliament and it clearly states that ammendmnets to the Canadian Constitution must be passed in the British Parliament and signed off on by the monarch. In fact, the act included Newfoundland and Newfoundland was shortly after recolonized. The former colonies were only independent to make decisions if they managed their affairs properly.
 
#juan
#7
Quote:

The Supreme Court is Finally Supreme
The Supreme Court of Canada was established in 1875. Until 1949, however, it was still possible to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain. This came to an end in 1949, when the Supreme Court of Canada finally became the last court of appeal.

This, I think, was the final stone in the building of our independence.
 
Calberty
#8
According to Trudeau's speech in 1982 with the repatriation of the Constitution, that was also the final stone. The queen, however, sure sounds British and I don't think Charles is much of a hockey player.

The legalities are nice but I'm more curious about the reality. I guess I'll have to content with a mushy answer between the early 1940's and the early 1960's.
 
tamarin
#9
If you're looking for independence I wouldn't look for anything political. Go for something big and symbolic. I haven't seen a better one than Vimy in WWI. Canadian troops startled the world with their tenaciousness and spirit. A young country was coming of age and proving itself in fields far from home. We had a reputation separate and distinct from the British and Americans. We were a people.
 
Daz_Hockey
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Calberty

According to Trudeau's speech in 1982 with the repatriation of the Constitution, that was also the final stone. The queen, however, sure sounds British and I don't think Charles is much of a hockey player.

The legalities are nice but I'm more curious about the reality. I guess I'll have to content with a mushy answer between the early 1940's and the early 1960's.

You can have my great-uncle Charles!!!

My Grandad hasn't spoke to him since 1981

and his full name is Charles Eric Hockey - should make him good at Hockey!!!

AH Now THAT was random !!!
 
#juan
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarin

If you're looking for independence I wouldn't look for anything political. Go for something big and symbolic. I haven't seen a better one than Vimy in WWI. Canadian troops startled the world with their tenaciousness and spirit. A young country was coming of age and proving itself in fields far from home. We had a reputation separate and distinct from the British and Americans. We were a people.

Yeah tamarin, I like that one too. Rather than just throwing bodies at the Ridge they made a plan. They invented some new stuff as well. Closely following their own artillery barrage up the hill and using the new shell holes as cover was a stroke of genius. As far as I know, it was the first time that technique had been used.
 
athabaska
#12
Dying for King and Empire, noble as it might have been, has little to do with Independence. Perhaps it helped shape an identity.
 
Daz_Hockey
#13
I'll give you an English (if some what soppy) point of view:

As everyone is fully aware, at the brtish empire's height, there were several other european "empires", namely the french, the Austrian, the Portugeuse, the Germans and the dutch.

Now the French, Portugeuse and Austrians prefered to view their empires as simply extensions of their own country, for example the reason for french reluctance to led Algeria go is because they simply see it as an added landmass of france. Portugal did the same with Goa in india long after the british left (it was 1961 when the indians forced the portuguese out), the Austrians..well we all know what happened to their empire.

The Germans, the Dutch and the British were slightly different however (if you excuse Germany for the genocide in an african colony I forget the name of), they tended to have a slightly different view of their empires, if this was forced onto them, it certainly changed their veiws and were not actually as brutal or unchangable as the above three.

Now Britain was pretty much acting like a schitzophreniac, while on the one hand it saw it's asian and african colonies as not being "fit" to rule themselves, it saw it's dominions (like canada, Australia and NZ) as something else (probable due to the white english speaking populations), it saw these countries as it's "growing children", it knew that, like real children, the day would come when it's "growing children" would want to leave the nest, I see the commonwealth as britains attempt to A. keep the close relationships going without having the stigma of an empire while B. Slowly easing these countries away from britain.

Now this probably had very large economical and logistical reasons, but in the end Britain knew from at least the middle of the 1920's that we'd slowly have to let Canada and co go, and I dont see them going against this, and when canada asks for more freedom, Britain would gladly give it to them, they wont fight it like the french or the Belgians....that of course wasnt the same for the non-white colonies.
 
athabaska
#14
That's a well thought assessment. One addition. There wasn't as much of an 'us' and 'them' as in some colonies. Some of the elite in Canada and the large white colonies were as British as the Brits themselves. Viscount Bennet and 'Sir' this and that, etc. were as at home in the gentlemen's clubs of Britain as they were in those in Canada. The Lord Beaverbrooks and others didn't see Canada 'going' so much as, more as you stated, taking their place along side Britain.
 
Daz_Hockey
#15
Yep Lord Beaverbrook was very influencial in the british war cabanet....but you must realise the british would have agreed to a canadian constitution whoever asked...it did us a favour, we didnt really want the headache of (if it ever occured) being asked to rule in an act if the canadian houses of parliment couldnt agree on it and asked us to veto it.

took the pressure off us, a pressure we could do without, especially with the state of britain post-war until the late 80's
 
sine000
#16
True....less pressure on the British government....and it gave Canada independence...
 
Dexter Sinister
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Calberty

Not really.

Yes, really. Read the statute. The British Parliament was disallowed from making any changes to Canadian constitutional documents except on application from Canada, and it was to simply rubber stamp them. A mere legal nicety, due to the fact that the BNA Act was also a statute of the British Parliament until Trudeau brought it home, but there was no question of the British government having any power within Canada. The only exception is that up until 1949 the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada could be appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain. I don't know how often that happened, or how significant it might have been, I'd have to look up a few things.

On the other hand, legal formalisms aside, it's pretty easy to argue that Canada still isn't really independent, never has been, and never will be, given the foreign--mostly American--influence over large parts of our economy.
 
Daz_Hockey
#18
everyone's a winner and bob's ur uncle!! happy days

see what I mean?
 
sine000
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Daz_Hockey

everyone's a winner and bob's ur uncle!! happy days

see what I mean?

haha...not really....
 
I think not
#20
As an outsider, I would argue you will never know the moment you became independent. Your indepedence is a product of evolution not revolution. And as with any evolution, you can never "pinpoint" anything, but rather it is a culmination of events spread over time.

My two cents.
 
Daz_Hockey
#21
getting Trudea to sign a form that stops us from being bothered while we were in some serious financial difficulties was fine by us, and it was fine by you...everyone's a winner.

("evolution not revolution"?, you havent been reading those socialist pamplets again have you ITN?)
 
I think not
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Daz_Hockey

("evolution not revolution"?, you havent been reading those socialist pamplets again have you ITN?)

Why yes, just today I was reading The Village Voice at Katz's Deli. :P
 
Daz_Hockey
#23
hehehe I'm not sure about over there, but the "village voice" here is a very gay-friendly magazine for like minded males!!

ah Katz's......I'll be back, just gotta save another $2k...got $18k eqiv for my world tour so far...it's coming along
 
I think not
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Daz_Hockey

hehehe I'm not sure about over there, but the "village voice" here is a very gay-friendly magazine for like minded males!!

ah Katz's......I'll be back, just gotta save another $2k...got $18k eqiv for my world tour so far...it's coming along

It is gay-friendly, that's whats readily available in the village, and its very left wing.
 
Finder
#25
Canada never formly declared independence, like the USA. But our nationhood has come slowly starting with the BNA act in the 19th centry. So in 1920 Canada was not a colony but a sort of nation. Some say it was ww1 when Canada became a nation, because at the start the UK declared war for Canada, but at the end of the war Canada was present at the peace talks as a nation and actually during the war many nations like Canada were given more rights in different war councils with the UK. Of course many point out that it may have been the start of ww2 when Canada declared war a day later then the UK. Of course others would say it was when we brought the constitution home. However my university course more or less pointed out it was all these things. Canada never stood up and formly said it but slowly moved towards it. Partly because of the UK's free market economy no longer really needed colonies such as Canada which benifited from mercantilism of the former system.
 
china
#26
I think not:As an outsider, I would argue you will never know the moment you became independent. Your indepedence is a product of evolution not revolution--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A revolution leads to independents (eg. US OF A),
an evolution leads to stagnation (Canada)
As an "insider" for 40 ys what I have noticed is that majority of Canadians like to be told what to do ,they dont like to make sound , original decisions , they copy others eg.The Canadian goverment is a copy of the English gov.They critsize the US without realizing that if Us pulls out ,the shelfs will be empty ,and someone else ,will move in (probably Chinese ) and there goes" I stand on guard for thee".
I can,t stand it no more,Call Pancho Lopez and let's have a nice revolution.
 
tamarin
#27
Independence has always been a political football. It's never had any substance on the street. Pierre Trudeau played the card for personal and selfish reasons. He wanted to leave his stamp permanently on Canada. So much for his regard for our independence. We were freer in the 60's than we are now. We had a greater sense of who we were. The independence freaks stole that.
 
china
#28
TAMARIN : You are so right about Trudeau using his "power" for his personal and selfish reasons .I also agree that we were freer before the '82.Again ,we can bitch about it ,write posts or we could think seriously about reganing this freedom.Can it be done ...?
I think so .Anybody for it?
 
tamarin
#29
The Old Canada I grew up in and was so free in seems almost mythical now. It was handed over to the courts and all of its august, moneygrubbing reps by the PET government of '82. One of Canada's most shameful years.
 
china
#30
Any body who wants "OUR CANADA " write , let's get together and see were we stand .
 

Similar Threads

14
Finland Independence
by jimmoyer | Dec 9th, 2007
2
US Declaration of Independence
by danieltowsey | Aug 15th, 2007
17
Reasons For Ontario's Independence
by sanctus | Jun 13th, 2007
no new posts