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IGNORANCE of the future can hardly their minds whether she is to remain for be good for any man or nation; nor ever a dependency, to blend again in a can forecast of the future in the case vast confederation with the monarchy of of any man or nation well interfere with the mother country, or to be united to a the business of the present, though the neighboring republic-would be to relanguage of colonial politicians seems nounce statesmanship. The very expenoften to imply that it may. No Cana- diture into which Canada is led by her dian farmer would take his hand from position as a dependency in military and the plough, no Canadian artisan would political railways, in armaments and dedesert the foundry or the loom, no Ca- fences, and other things which assume nadian politician would become less busy the permanence of the present system, is in his quest of votes, no industry of any enough to convict Canadian rulers of fakind would slacken, no source of wealth grant improvidence if the permanency would cease to flow, if the rulers of Can- of the present system is not distinctly esada and the powers of Downing Street, tablished in their minds. by whom the rulers of Canada are sup To tax forecast with revolutionary deposed to be guided, instead of drifting signs or tendencies is absurd. No one on in darkness, knew for what port they can be in a less revolutionary frame of were steering.
mind than he who foresees a political For those who are actually engaged in event without having the slightest intemoulding the institutions of a young rest in hastening its arrival. On the other country not to have formed a conception hand, mere party politicians cannot afford of her destiny-not to have made up to see beyond the hour. Under the sys
NEW SERIES.- VOL. XXVI., No. I
tem of party government, forecast and and politically antagonistic Frenchmen. freedom of speech alike belong generally French Canada is a relic of the historical to those who are not engaged in public past preserved by isolation, as Siberian life.
mammoths are preserved in ice. It is a The political destiny of Canada is here fragment of the France before the Revoconsidered by itself, apart from that of lution, less the monarchy and the aristocany other portion of the motley and racy; for the feeble parody of French widely scattered“ Empire.” This surely feudalism in America ended with the is the rational course. Not to speak of abolition of the seigniories, which may India and the military dependencies, be regarded as the final renunciation of such as Malta and Gibraltar, which have feudal ideas and institutions by society absolutely nothing in common with the in the New World. The French CanaNorth American colonies (India not even dians are an unprogressive, religious, subthe titular form of government, since its missive, courteous, and, though poor, not sovereign has been made an empress), unhappy people. They would make exwho can believe that the future of Can. cellent factory hands if Canada had a ada, of South Africa, of Australia, of the market for her manufactures; and, perWest Indies, and of Mauritius will be the haps, it is as much due to the climate as same? Who can believe that the mixed to their lack of intelligent industry that French and English population of Can- they have a very indifferent reputation ada, the mixed Dutch and English pop- as farmers. They are 'governed by the ulation of the Cape, the negro population priest, with the occasional assistance of of Jamaica, the French and Indian pop- the notary; and the Roman Catholic ulation of Mauritius, the English and Church may be said to be still established Chinese population of Australia, are going in the province, every Roman Catholic to run for ever the same political course? being bound to pay tithes and other Who can believe that the moulding influ- ecclesiastical imposts, though the Protesences will be the same in arctic conti- tant minority are exempt. The Church nents or in tropical islands as in coun- is immensely rich, and her wealth is tries lying within the temperate zone ? always growing, so that the economical Among the colonies, those, perhaps, element which mingled with the religious which most nearly resemble each other causes of the Reformation may one day in political character and circumstances have its counterpart in Quebec. The are Canada and Australia; yet the ele- French Canadians, as we have said, retain ments of the population are very differ- their exclusive national character. So far ent; and still more different are the ex- from being absorbed by the British popternal relations of Australia, with no ulation, or Anglicised by contact with it, other power near her, from those of Can- they have absorbed and Gallicised the ada, not only conterminous with the fragments of British population which United States, but interlaced with them, chance has thrown among them; and the so that at present the road of the Gover children of Highland regiments disbandnor-General of Canada, when he visits ed in Quebec have become thorough his Pacific province, lies through the ter- Frenchmen, and prefixed Jean Baptiste ritory of the American republic. Is it to their Highland names. For his own possible to suppose that the slender fila- Canada the Frenchman of Quebec has ment which connects each of these colo- something of a patriotic feeling; for nies with Downing Street is the thread France he has filial affection enough to of a common destiny ?
make his heart beat violently for her In studying Canadian politics, and in during a Franco-German war; for Engattempting to cast the political horoscope land, it may be safely said, he has no of Canada, the first thing to be remem- feeling whatever. It is true that he bered, though official optimism is apt to fought against the American invaders in overlook it, is that Canada was a colony the revolutionary war, and again in 1812 ; not of England but of France, and that but then he was animated by his ancient between the British of Ontario and the hostility to the Puritans of New England, British of Nova Scotia and New Bruns- in the factories of whose descendants he wick are interposed, in solid and unyield- now freely seeks employment. Whether ing mass, above a milion of unassimilated he would enthusiastically take up arms
for England against the Americans at they have not been able to prevent their present, the British War Office, after the people from going over the line for betexperience of the two Fenian raids, can ter wages, and bringing back with them no doubt tell. With Upper Canada, the a certain republican leaven of political land of Scotch Presbyterians, Irish and ecclesiastical unrest, which in the Orangemen, and ultra-British sentiment, end may, perhaps, lead to the verification French Canada, during the union of the of Lord Elgin's remark, that it would be two provinces, led an uneasy life; and easier to make the French Canadians she accepted confederation, on terms Americans than to make them English. which leave her nationality untouched, Hitherto, however, French Canada has rather as a severance of her special wed- retained, among other heirlooms of the lock with her unloved consort than as a Ancien Régime, the old Gallican Church, measure of North American union. The the Church of Louis XIV. and of Bosunabated antagonism between the two suet, national, quiet, unaggressive, caparaces and the two religions was plainly ble of living always on sufficiently good manifested on the occasion of the conflict terms with the State. But now the scene between the French half-breeds and the is changed. Even to French Canada, British immigrants in Manitoba, which the most secluded nook of the Catholic presented a faint parallel to the conflict world, Ultramontanism has penetrated, between the advanced posts of slavery with the Jesuit in its van. There is a and anti-slavery in Kansas on the eve of struggle for ascendency between the the civil war; Quebec openly sympathiz- Jesuits and the Gallicans, the citadel of ing with Riel and his fellow-insurgents, the Gallicans being the Sulpician semiwhile Ontario was on fire to avenge the nary, vast and enormously wealthy, which death of Scott. Sir George Cartier might rises over Montreal. The Jesuit has the call himself an Englishman speaking forces of the hour on his side; he gains French; but his calling himself so did the day; the bishops fall under his innot make him so; much less did it extend fluence and take his part against the the character from a political manager, Sulpicians; the Guibord case marks, distreading the path of ambition with British tinctly though farcically, the triumph of colleagues, to the mass of his unsophisti- his principles; and it is by no means cercated compatriots. The priests hitherto tain that he, a cosmopolitan power playhave put their interests into the hands of a ing a great game, will cling to Canadian political leader, such as Sir George him- isolation, and that he will not prefer a self, in the same way in which the Irish junction with his main army in the priests used to put their interests into United States. Assuredly his choice will the hands of O'Connell; and this leader not be determined by loyalty to England. has made the best terms he could for At all events, his aggressive policy has them and for himself at Ottawa. Nor begun to raise questions calculated to has it been difficult to make good terms, excite the Protestants of the British prosince both the political parties bid emu- vinces, which the politicians, with all lously for the Catholic vote, and, by their their arts, will hardly be able to smother, interested subserviency to those who wield and which will probably put an end to it, render it impossible for a Liberal the long torpor of Quebec. The New Catholic party, or a Liberal party of any Brunswick School case points to educakind, to make head against priestly in- tion as a subject which can scarcely fail fluence in Quebec. By preference the soon to give birth to a cause of war. priests, as reactionists, have allied them- Besides the French, there are in Canselves with the Tory party in the British ada, as we believe we have good authorprovinces, and Canada has long witnessed ity for saying, about four hundred thouthe singular spectacle, witnessed for the sand Irish, whose political sentiments are first time in England at the last general generally identical with those of the Irish election, of Roman Catholics and Orange in the mother country, as any reader of men marching together to the poll. Fear their favorite journals will perceive. of contact with an active-minded democ- Thus, without reckoning a considerable racy, and of possible peril to their over- German settlement in Ontario, which by weening wealth, has also led the priest- its unimpaired nationality in the heart of hood to shrink from Annexation, though the British population attests the weak
ness of the assimilating forces in Canada Politically, the proper province of a fedcompared with those in the United States, eral government is the management of or the Americans, who, though not external relations, while domestic legislanumerous, are influential in the commer- tion is the province of the several states. cial centres, we have at once to deduct But a dependency has no external relaone million four hundred thousand from tions; Canada has not even, like South a total population of less than four mil- Africa, a Native question, her Indians lions in order to reduce to reality the being perfectly harmless; and consepictures of universal devotion to Eng- quently the chief duty of a federal govland and English interests which are pre- ernment in Canada is to keep itself in sented by the speeches of official persons existence by the ordinary agencies of or of persons professing to know Can- party, a duty which it discharges with a ada, but deriving their idea of her from vengeance. English statesmen bent on the same source.
extending to all the colonies what they Confederation, so far, has done noth assume to be the benefits of confederaing to fuse the races, and very little even tion, should study the Canadian speci. to unite the provinces. New Bruns- men, if possible, on the spot. They will wick and Nova Scotia, besides being cut iearn, first, that while a spontaneous conoff from Ontario by French Canada, have federation, such as groups of states have interests of their own, separate, and in formed under the pressure of a common some degree divergent, from those of danger, develops mainly the principles of Ontario, New Brunswick especially being union, a confederation brought about by drawn by her commercial interests external influence is apt to develop the towards New England. The representa- principles of antagonism in at least an tives of each of the smaller provinces equal degree; and, secondly, that parliaform a separate group at Ottawa, giving mentary government in a dependency is, or withholding their support to a great to a lamentable extent, government by extent from provincial considerations. faction and corruption, and that by Each of the two political parties has its superadding federal to provincial governbase in Ontario, which is the field of the ment the extent and virulence of those decisive battles; and they can hardly be maladies are seriously increased. If an said to extend to the maritime provinces, appeal is made to the success of confedmuch less to Manitoba or to British eration in Switzerland, the answer is that Columbia. When the Ontarian parties Switzerland is not a dependency but a are evenly balanced the smaller provinces nation. turn the scale, and Ontarian leaders are It is of Canada alone that we here always buying them with “better terms,” speak, and we speak only of her political that is, alterations of the pecuniary destiny. The ties of blood, of language, arrangements of confederation in their of historical association, and of general favor, and other inducements, at the sac- sympathy which bind the British portion rifice, of course, of the general interests of the Canadian people to England, are of the Confederation. From the compo- not dependent on the political connection, sition of a cabinet to the composition of nor is it likely that they would be at all a rifle team sectionalism is the rule. Con- weakened by its severance. In the federation has secured free trade between United States there are millions of Irish the provinces; what other good it has exiles, with the wrongs of Ireland in their done it would not be easy to say. hearts, and the whole nation retains the Whether it has increased the military memories of the revolutionary war, of the strength of Canada is a question for the war of 1812, and of the conduct of the answer to which we must appeal once British aristocracy towards the United more to the British War Office. Cana- States during the rebellion of the South dians have shown, on more than one –conduct which it is difficult to forgive, memorable occasion, that in military and which it would be folly to forget. spirit they are not wanting ; but they Yet to those who have lived among the cannot be goaded into wasting their Americans it will not seem extravagant hardly-earned money on preparations to say that the feelings of an Anglofor a defence which would be hopeless American towards his mother country against an invader who will never come. are really at least as warm as those of the
natives of dependencies, and at least as grand conception, but political institulikely to be manifested by practical assist- tions must after all bear some relation to ance in the hour of need. A reference nature and to practical convenience. to the history of the opposition made to Few have fought against geography and the war of 1812 will suffice at least to prevailed. bring this opinion within the pale cf 2. Divergence of interest, which seems credibility
in this case to be as wide as possible. The great forces prevail. They pre- What has Canada to do with the Eurovail at last, however numercus and ap- pean and Oriental concerns of England, parently strong the secondary forces op- with her European and Oriental diploposed to them may be. They prevailed macy, with her European and Oriental at last in the case of German unity and wars ? Can it be conceived that Canain the case of Italian independence. In dian traders would allow her commerce each of those cases the secondary forces to be cut up by Russian cruisers, or that were so heavily massed against the event Canadian farmers would take arms and that men renowned for practical wisdom pay war taxes in order to prevent believed the event would never come. Rússia from obtaining a free passage It came, irresistible and irrevocable, and through the Dardanelles ? An English we now see that Bismarck and Cavour pamphlet called “The Great Game” was were only the ministers of fate.
reprinted the other day in Canada; but Suspended of course, and long sus- the chapter on India was omitted as havpended, by the action of the secondary ing no interest for Canadians. For Engforces, the action of the great forces may lish readers that chapter had probably be. It was so in both the instances just more interest than all the other chapters mentioned. A still more remarkable in- put together. On the other hand, whenstance is the long postponement of the ever a question about boundaries or union of Scotland with England by the mutual rights arises with the United antipathies resulting from the abortive States, the English people and the Engattempt of Edward I., and by a subse- lish government betray, by the languor quent train of historical accidents, such of their diplomacy and the ease with as the absorption of the energies of Eng- which they yield, their comparative inland in continental or civil wars. But difference to the objects in which Canada the union came at last, and, having the is most concerned. A Canadian perigreat forces on its side, it came for ever. odical some time ago had a remarkable
In the case before us, it appears that paper by a native writer, showing that the the great forces are those which make for whole series of treaties made by Great the political separation of the New from Britain with the United States had been the Old World. They are
a continuous sacrifice of the claims of 1. The distance, which may be short- Canada. It was not, assuredly, that ened by steam and telegraph for the Great Britain wanted either force or transmission of a despot's commands, spirit to fight for her own rights and inbut can hardly be much shortened for terests, but that she felt that Canadian the purposes of representative govern- rights and interests were not her own. ment. Steam increases the Transatlan- Her rulers could not have induced her tic intercourse of the wealthier class, but people to go to war for an object for not that of the people, who have neither which they cared so little, and had so money nor time for the passage. Every- little reason to care, as a frontier line in thing is possible in the way of nautical North America. Another illustration of invention ; fuel may be still further econ- the difference between the British and omised, though its price is not likely to the Canadian point of view was afforded fall; but it is improbable that the cost of by the recent dispute about the Extradishipbuilding or the wages of seamen will tion Treaty: England was disposed to be reduced; and the growth of manufac- be stiff and punctilious, having comparatures in the New World, which we may tively little to fear from the suspension expect henceforth to be rapid, can hardly of the treaty; while to Canada, borfail to diminish the intercourse dependent dering on the United States, the danger on Transatlantic trade. A common
great, and the renewal of the wealth spanning the Atlantic may be a treaty was a vital necessity before which