Friday, April 5, 2013

Canadian Feeling Towards the United States

The Quebec Chronicle, a short time ago, was most rabid in its prognostications of war, and predicted that, even though Mason and Slidell were given up the breaking up of the blockade by the British Government would furnish another casus belli.  It has now however copied the example of the Leader and moderated its tone amazingly.  In a recent article the Chronicle says:

There were hardly a dozen men in Canada who were not rejoiced when they heard that the American Government had removed the likelihood of war.

We feel that if unfortunately there should ever be actual hostilities between England and America Canada would suffer severely.  Canada would be what Virginia now is, the battleground of contending armies, and the worst consequences of war would fall upon us.  Our best blood would be shed like water, and sorrow and mourning would be brought to the door of every family in the country.  Our property would fall in value everywhere, our [fairest internal] commerce would cease, our revenue would diminish to a trifle.  The States would suffer too, and we believe we should eventually be successful in repelling their invading forces.  But we know how dearly that result would certainly be bought.

In the event of a simple war of tariffs and the repeal of the Reciprocity treaty, too we should also suffer for a time.  Established business connections would be broken up every new trade opening would be the consequence of the closing of another, and it would be a poor consolation for the loss of the American market to our cereals to know that we had closed ours to the Western States, and prohibited the Eastern seamen from fishing on our coasts.

So we strongly deprecate all feelings of enmity to our neighbors, for political and commercial reasons not to speak of those higher ones which we too often neglect.  We would rather Canada would be a bond of union between Britain and the States than the occasion or pretext for war.  If there should be an international contest, we shall have to choose our side, the Americans will not allow us to be neutral.  But the people of the United States ought not to look upon this as a fault of ours, it is the only drawback to the advantages of our connection with the country we love and honor.

We write these words in all sincerity, and command them, as the opinions by far, of the largest portion of the Canadian public to the press of the United States.  We feel sure that our American contemporaries with whom we exchange will be doing good service both to their country and ours, by reproducing them with such comments as to them may seem fit and proper.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, February 1, 1862, p. 2

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