Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Saturday, 27 January 2007

The Imperial Federation Movement - A Manifesto for Global Britain

By Edward Harris

BETWEEN 1870 AND THE GREAT WAR, THE WORLD ECONOMY thrived in ways which seem familiar today. The mobility of commodities and labour reached unprecedented levels, the sea-lanes and telegraphs were rapidly becoming busier, as Europe exported people and capital and imported raw materials and manufactures. The economic climate was characterised by relatively free trade, few legal restrictions on migration, and almost unregulated capital flows. Technological innovations were believed to be annihilating distance and revolutionising the energy sectors, as telephones, radios, internal combustion engines, paved roads and oil-burning ships and power stations began to complement the coal- and steam-driven infrastructure of the Victorian economy. The development of the massive American domestic market and the opening of China encouraged business innovations and allowed substantial profits.

With a few adjustments, this description would not be entirely inappropriate for the post-Cold War global economy. A substantial difference, however, between then and now – perhaps the substantial difference – is that this ‘first age of globalisation’ was not an age of nation states, but of empires. It was the needs of the imperial economies, especially those of the British Empire, which were serving to integrate the regions and continents of the world in a way which seemed both quantitatively and qualitatively different from the ‘proto-globalisations’ or ‘regionalisations’ of the past. Today, opponents of globalisation speak disparagingly of American capitalism’s creation of a single, bland and homogenous ‘McWorld’; opponents of the same process at the turn of the twentieth century might just as easily have derided the consolidation of a Royal Chartered World Company, as the ‘anglobalisation’ phenomenon locked the world into an economic system as never before.

This inevitably brought imperial questions into sharper focus, forcing British statesmen, historians, and what today would probably be called pundits – whether within the United Kingdom itself or in the settler colonies – to give more consideration to colonial questions. Many started to believe – erroneously, of course – that the British Empire had, like Rome after Trajan’s Dacian exploits, reached the limits set on its expansion by nature and resources, and so these colonial questions began to assume more the nature of inter-imperial relations rather than forward strategy.

Founded in 1884, it is hard not to note the irony that the Imperial Federation League (IFL) was set up exactly 100 years after the disastrous conclusion to the previous attempt to rationalise the relations between London and the settler colonies. As the gun-smoke lifted from the battlefields of America and India in 1763, the British found themselves in possession of an Empire unexampled in extant and almost sickening in complexity. Expanding British dominion by far more than was necessary to neutralise the threat of French aggression brought imperial questions into sharper focus at Westminster. The British government of 1763 found itself in sole possession of North America, the dominant power in India, and with a greatly strengthened position in West Africa and the West Indies.

Parallel to the new imperial tone emerging in London in the aftermath of the war, a change in attitudes had emerged in the North American colonies. National pride in being Britons was engendered by the victories, perhaps bringing imperial solidarity to its greatest height since the first colonisations. In addition, the perceived development and maturity of the colonies created among them heightened expectations for a larger rôle within the empire, a rôle which would raise the status of the colonies from dependence upon to at least a near equivalence with the Mother Country.

Continue Reading The Imperial Federation Movement...

Posted by Cato the Younger (Ed Harris)


Anonymous said...

Densely packed prose which raises an not-unimportant existential question: If E II Regina is so by the Grace of God (tm) and if after this amusingly long treatise we are treated to none but the following words:

"Had history been but slightly different, they might be the motto of a great nation which was never, in fact, created"

...then intellectual rigor, gentlemanly honesty and Christian humility must needs accept that the Grace of God (tm) does not will that the Anglosphere unite, and doth not will that its influence take a different course than is at present the case, which is indeed tending towards if not dissolution than certainly much looser association.

To continue opposing the Grace of God (tm) by means of this ultimately most amusing blog is thus in point of fact at best tilting at the most indomitable of windmills, a practice immortalized not by any of Albion's authors but by Spain's. Oh, the irony, given the worship paid here to Lord Nelson, et. al.

The Monarchist said...

Well, it's not light reading for the postmodern mind, that's for certain, but it is excellent scholarship. I would highly recommend it be published at The Round Table.

Scott said...

It was hard to understand 'anonymous' there.

I don't think the Anglosphere is moving to a genuinely looser association, and won't be able to properly ever -

1) Because of common language, and therefore fundamental commonality of ideas, cultural dispositions, etc; complete free exchange in intellectual realm, something which cannot be under-estimated. India developed into an independent, modern, civilized country largely because of the middle class learning English, and accessing thereby the cultural and intellectual resources of centuries of English thought. This interderpendence continues to this day between English-speaking countries, even if not noticed. Enormous numbers of political ideas, for instance, or economic policies, or developments in media, or whatever - all have come and gone, changed, transformed, and developed, because of the inter-connection of thought between Anglosphere nations.

2) India also prospered because of English institutions. These are behind every Anglosphere power, and will be forever - because they work. And, with these in operation, the English-speaking peoples will forever be fundamentally kindred in political temperament: the traditions of democracy, the idea of the public-spirit, two-party division, elections, etc, all result in countries extremely close on the essential assumptions about life. Freedom, importance of the individual, ideas of participation; stable progress also results. This counts for an awful lot.

3) The most insuperable barrier to falling apart: blood. Which is to say, millions of families throughout the Anglosphere are closely connected to millions of other families throughout the Anglosphere. I have relatives on every English continent and in every English country. Loads. Both close and distant. Tons of English people do. Tons of Aussies do. Canadians, Americans, likewise. Unless emigration and immigration stop, it will take generations and generations for these bonds to break through decay.

I doubt political unity will occur between our nations - I don't think it's desirable, since the government would need to be correspondingly enlarged, and consequently unwieldy and irresponsible. Nor is economic union necessary.


The one area where formalised unity is effective and a source of increased prestige and power, is in matters geopolitical and military. If the Anglosphere was more organised upon these lines (not that it isn't already in various ways), it could increase its clout diplomatically in very significant ways.

The Monarchist said...

Well said, Scott. Just for the record, I too could not ascertain what the first commentor was on about, but I will say this much: If closer political or economic integration is unrealistic or undesirable, so too is that with Europe. To my mind, the EU Project is already reaching the breaking point, with bureaucratic harmonisation now offending traditional and cultural sensitivities. Not to mention that Labour is now on the decline and therefore that Britain appears headed towards some sort of correction. The EU is now hitting up against some real natural limits.

Wally Scott said...

You're completely right. I doubt the EU will last the next decade. Apparently the US State Department doesn't believe it will be around in 2050.

The contradictions are too numerous and intense, and with every day it does more to alienate the people under its rule, with all the silent theft of power and policy into its own hands, and with no accountability whatever. At some point, people will have enough this - or, just as likely, the nations' politicians will, since the EU massively sucks power and policy away from them, too. The EU will not survive the interests and self-determination of the people nor the ambition of politicians.

EU free trade is great. Economic union - most obviously with the Euro - has been found unsatisfactory by all involved, and many countries now want to put an end to that. Political union is disgraceful and antidemocratic and something of a blasphemy upon the laws and achievements of Britain and those who fought and died for them through 1500 years of history. Who'd have thought that we'd get laws derived from the Code Napoleon? Well we won't have them much longer.

I don't worry too much about the EU. Try as they might to change it, Britain remains closer to the Anglosphere countries in every measurable way than it will ever be to Europe. Email, cheap calls, cheaper and quicker flights - the New World has never been closer, so there's actually LESS reason now for us to feel or be close to Europe than during the last 1500 years of bitter enmity and war.

Scott said...

Some wily dog changed my name. I'm the same Scott.