Skip to content

Imperial Federation: After 130 Years (Part 3: Internal Developments)

Share

<<First | Last | Next >>

This is the third part of a multi-part series studying the development of the Imperial Federation League, inspiration for the United Commonwealth Society. The continuing thanks of the UCS Council and membership goes to Council Secretary Edward Harris for his tireless work creating this document.

In the last instalment, we looked at how external circumstances – especially perceived threats to security and peace of mind in the Dominions – had a significant effect on the attitude of people and especially politicians towards their place within the world system, which at this time was still largely a British system. Indeed, for some people, these external factors by themselves were reason enough for imperial consolidation. The Australian R. Langton, for example, wrote floridly in the 1900s about Dominion contributions to the Boer War:

“Thus the noble spirit of patriotism bound together the British Colonies with their motherland, just as twenty-four centuries ago the ancient Greek colonies, a mere handful of people, stirred by the same spirit, banded themselves to withstand the mighty army of Xerxes…a stupendous struggle which saved for Europe her arts, her civilisation, her liberty.”

Australian Commonwealth Horse

“Troops of No 1 Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse, in the Transvaal.” (Australian War Museum

Even if statements such as these served only to mask a more cynical agenda for securing some British quid pro quo for co-operation, this only shows that the Canadians and Australians of 100 years ago were much less squeamish about deploying their traditional international connections in support of their national objectives. Part of the explanation for this was the sheer diversity of social, political and economic motives behind the Dominions’ enthusiasm for Empire in the later nineteenth century.

An important part of the explanation for this is that internal as well as external dynamics encouraged many colonial Britons towards an imperial rather than national set of aspirations. While this involves some reflection on each Dominion’s particular situations, it is important to our understanding of the Federalist movement. Read more

2015 Pan American Games

Share

The United Commonwealth Society would like to send its best wishes to the athletes representing the Commonwealth in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. The Commonwealth nations below are being represented:

Commonwealth Realms and British Overseas Territories

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada – Host Nation
  • Cayman Islands
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Commonwealth Republics

  • Domenica
  • Guyana
  • Trinidad & Tobago

2015 Pan American Games logo

An Evening with Tim Hewish and Commonwealth Exchange

Share

Canadian supporters of the United Commonwealth Society will soon have an opportunity to meet their fellow enthusiasts and learn some of the latest developments from the co-founder of the leading Commonwealth think tank.

Tim HewishTim Hewish, Executive Director of Commonwealth Exchange, will be speaking to an intimate audience at an event hosted jointly with the Toronto branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Among the topics of discussion will be their latest publications, Commonwealth’s Call to Duty and How to Solve a Problem Like a Visa.

Our event will be held on Tuesday, July 14th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at:

Wallace Gastropub
1954 Yonge Street (near Yonge and Davisville)
Toronto, ON  M4S 1Z4

Attendance is free. If you wish to dine during the evening, you may pay your server directly. Space is limited, so book fast. Reserve your place at http://commonwealth-exchange.eventbrite.ca/.

Commonwealth ExchangeUnited Commonwealth SocietyRoyal Commonwealth Society of Canada

Imperial Federation: After 130 Years (Part 2: The Changing Dominions)

Share

<<First | Last | Next >>

This is the second part of a multi-part series studying the development of the Imperial Federation League, inspiration for the United Commonwealth Society. The continuing thanks of the UCS Council and membership goes to Council Secretary Edward Harris for his tireless work creating this document.

In the last installment, we introduced the origins of the movement to integrate the four core nations of the English-speaking Commonwealth, showing that changing economic and geopolitical realities, combined with the increasing political maturity of the Dominions, rendered the old way of thinking about the Empire obsolete. Instead of a hierarchical or ‘hub-and-spokes’ model, with the United Kingdom at the centre and a number of lesser dependencies orbiting it, many people began to think of Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand with a sense of collective nationhood. In this instalment, we will take a closer look at some of the concerns and aspirations of the mature Dominions.

A postcard issued to mark the visit to Australia of the US Navy's Great White Fleet (1908)

A postcard issued to mark the visit to Australia of the US Navy’s Great White Fleet (1908)

In the case of Australia, for instance, many of these concerns will be familiar to students of changing power relationships in the Pacific today, or during the Cold War. Australians realised that the United States would soon be the main power in the Pacific, and were keen to ensure that Australia could also be a key player, as they could never secure Australia’s future without significant influence on the geopolitics of that region.

Read more

News of the Realms is here!

Share

The first issue of News of the Realms has been sent out to UCS members. If you would like to join the Society and receive a copy of this and future issues, please visit our membership page and become a registered member. An email address will be required.

News of the Realms

Sign the Freedom of Movement Petition!

Share

In the years since its creation, the United Commonwealth Society has been joined by several groups in its advocacy for greater relations between the Commonwealth realms.

The newest group is the Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation. As their name indicates, CFMO advocates for the freedom of movement between Commonwealth nations, and Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom (CANZUK) in particular.

Since launching it at the beginning of March 2015, CFMO’s petition on Change.org has gained over 68,000 signatures and widespread media attention. A poll on the issue in an article on CBC.ca was answered by over 72,000 people, nearly 91% of whom supported the move.

To show your support, please click here or on the image below to sign the petition.

CAl7EJeWcAASbZB.jpg-large

 

The petition has been submitted to both the New Zealand and Australian governments; Canada and the United Kingdom will receive the petition after the completion of their general elections. If you are in Australia or New Zealand, please show your support after signing by contacting your elected officials.

http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members
http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/about-parliament/get-involved/contact/00PlibHvYrSayContact1/contact-an-mp

David J Haisell

Chair

Commonwealth Day 2015

Share

CW Day 2015

The United Commonwealth Society wishes all of you a Happy Commonwealth Day!

United Commonwealth Society Newsletter

Share

Greetings everyone!

As alluded to previously during our election campaign and new member documents, the United Commonwealth Society is launching an official newsletter this year. The newsletter will be digitally sent quarterly to all members who have provided us with their full name, location (city and province/state/county), and e-mail address. If you are not a member, join today and e-mail us with your contact information to ensure you receive your copy!

We want all members to have a say in what the newsletter looks like. We would like your input on a) its name and b) the logo used for the front page. Please share your suggestions by e-mailing our chair.

We also welcome content for the newsletter. Anything of interest going on in your area? Have something you’d like to discuss with the membership? Please contact us and share your ideas!

2015 is going to be a great year for the UCS. I look forward to sharing our updates with you!

David J Haisell

Chair

2015 Council Election Results

Share

The votes have been cast and the results are in. Please meet your Council for 2015:

Chair: David Haisell (returning)
Vice-Chair: Jon-Paul Teasdale (new)
Secretary: Edward Harris (returning)
Representative, Australia: Sam Carruthers (new)
Representative, Canada: Liam Hill, UE (new)
Representative, Caribbean Realms: Jason Green (returning)
Representative, Pacific Realms: Wilson Thompson, MBE (returning)
Representative, United Kingdom, Territories, and Dependencies: Jon-Paul Teasdale (returning)

I would like to issue my thanks to all who voted and my welcome to those who are new to council this year. I would also like to issue my heartfelt thanks to Stephen Hale and Rowan Smith for their service to the Society over the past two years.

I wish everyone the best for the coming year!

David Haisell
Chair

2015 Council Elections

Share

In the coming weeks the United Commonwealth Society holds its annual council elections. All posts are being contested, including:

– Chair
– Vice-Chair
– Secretary
– Regional Representative (Australia, Canada, Caribbean realms, New Zealand, Pacific realms, United Kingdom)

If you would like to help shape the future makeup of the UCS council, join today to cast your vote. It may be your name on the ballot this time next year!

I would like to thank the current council for their work this past term and wish all candidates good luck in the election.

David J Haisell
Chair
United Commonwealth Society