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92   DAYS OF PREPARATION

reference to the supposed danger. The Civil War had converted the United States into one of the foremost military powers in the world. Its people were believed to be burning with military ardour and eager for adventure and conquest. And it was believed, too, that American feeling toward Great Britain, because of the Alabama Affair, and other incidents of the Civil War, was unfriendly, and that Canada might be made to suffer the consequences. For thirty years after the Canadian provinces were federated, those who urged the need for greater military preparation in Canada in-variably pointed, not to Europe but to the United States, as the source of danger.

But as time went on the relations between the British Empire and the United States improved. There were controversies which occasionally threatened to provoke conflict—arising out of such international issues as the Venezuela Boundary Question and the North Atlantic fisheries—but one by one these perils were passed, and British statesmen ceased to be anxious about North America. The great armies raised during the Civil War were dispersed. In our time the United States, which in its youth was regarded as thirsting for conquest, has been reproached for its tendency to pacificism.

As the apprehension of conflict in America passed away, the sky in Europe darkened. The withdrawal of the British fleets from Halifax and Esquimalt was an evidence of lessening anxiety as to any conflict having its origin in America, and greater anxiety from another source—mainly from Germany, with its armies far exceeding in strength those of any other European Power, and with a navy rising to the second place, and in the opinion of many aspiring to the first and challenging British supremacy on the sea. The German peril, as it was pictured in the early years of this century, was of a direct attack on England—an invasion rendered possible by evading or defeating the British Navy. Hence the war which was predicted was one which would be


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