Place Published: Ottawa
Publisher: Lord Dufferin, Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin
Date Published: 1876
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: No binding
DUFFERIN QUESTIONED ON IMPERIAL FEDERATION CONCEPT IN 1876
Autograph letter signed. Two pages, 5 x 8 inches. Marked private. Dated Government House, Ottawa October 25th, 1876.
Attributed letter was sent to Frederick Young as it was with a collection of other letters addressed to him when obtained combined with the subject of "Imperial Federation" while not specifically stated is noted on the back panel of the letter.
Given the letter is marked 'Private' and in the content of the letter it states "Indeed the subject to which you refer is of so large a character" supports the Imperial Federation Topic. Frederick Young wrote a book in 1876 titled "Imperial federation of Great Britain and her colonies" clearly demonstrating a major interest and focus on this topic and similar timing to this letter to Dufferin in 1876.
Dufferin letter transcription;
Private Government House Ottawa Canada Oct. 25th 1876 Sir I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th of October. I have only just returned home, and am so repressed by heavy arrears of business that I fear I cannot hope to have the pleasure of doing more than acknowledging the receipt of your communications. Indeed the subject to which you refer is of so large a character that in the mist of my many occupations I would not do it justice on paper. I shall carefully consider and re-consider your views and suggestions. Yours sincerely, Dufferin
The Imperial Federation was a proposal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to create a federal union in place of the existing British Empire founded in London in 1884. Creating an Imperial Federation became a popular alternative proposal to colonial imperialism. The federation would have a common parliament and would be governed as a superstate. Thus, Imperial unity could be maintained while still allowing for democratic government. The colonies would increase their influence while Britain would be able to share the costs of imperial defence. The best features of large states could be combined with the best features of small states. Canadian advocates of imperial federation, are called "Canadian Imperialists" and their ideology "Canadian Imperialism" in Canadian historiography since Carl Berger 1970's book The Sense of Power identified this as a separate ideology from Canadian nationalism. Noted Canadian Imperialists included George Monro Grant, Sir George Robert Parkin, Stephen Leacock, and George Taylor Denison III.
Frederick Young in 1902 wrote his book "A Pioneer of Imperial Federation in Canada" showing his continued promotion of the concept with a particular focus on Canada.
Sir Frederick Young (1817-1913), K.C.M.G., was born on 21 June 1817 in Limehouse, London, the son of George Frederick Young, M.P. He was educated in Homerton before becoming a merchant in London. In 1869 he began an association with the Royal Colonial Institute that was to last for the rest of his life and saw him become the Institute's Vice-President and Honorary Secretary. He was awarded in 1888 with his K.C.M.G. status. Young served as a J.P. and Deputy-Lieutenant. He promoted the permanent union of the colonies with the Mother Country and published works on imperial federation and the empire. He strongly supported the "Imperial Federation" concept and promoted this most of his life. He also travelled widely, visiting Canada, Greece, South Africa and Turkey. He died on 9 November 1913.
Lord Dufferin, (1826-1902) In 1872 became Canada’s third Governor General of Canada in 1872. His six-year tenure (1872- 1878) was a period of rapid change in Canadian history. During his term, Prince Edward Island was admitted to Confederation, and several well-known Canadian institutions, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Royal Military College of Canada, and the Intercolonial Railway, were established. He was at ease speaking with a wide variety of people, both in English and French, and became known for his charm and hospitality. He visited every Canadian province, and was the first Governor General to visit Manitoba. In 1873, the Pacific scandal arose when the Conservative government of John A. Macdonald was accused by the Liberal opposition of financial impropriety in relation to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Dufferin prorogued parliament, and established an enquiry which found against the Government, and Macdonald fell from power.
In 1873 Dufferin established the Governor General's Academic Medals for superior academic achievement by Canadian students. These medals are the most prestigious that school students can be awarded, and several sporting prizes, including the Governor General's Match for shooting, and the Governor General's Curling Trophy.