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Restocking the British world: Empire migration and anglo-Canadian relations, 1919–30

Fedorowich, Kent


Kent Fedorowich
Associate Professor in British Imperial & Comnwealth History


Throughout the 1920s Canadian politicians, immigration officials, eugenicists and political commentators talked about the need to ‘Canadianize’ all migrants who arrived in the dominion, including those from the mother country. This did not mean that Ottawa was out to ‘de-Britannicize’ those arriving from the United Kingdom. British migrants were given preferred status because their common heritage and shared cultural values mirrored those of most Anglo-Canadians. In other words, ‘Britishness’ made up the bedrock of Anglo-Canadian ‘national’ identity prior to the Second World War. Nonetheless, tensions existed between the competing notions of what it was to be ‘British’, ‘Canadian’ or what John Darwin has posited, the formation of a ‘Britannic’ identity. Using the formulation and implementation of assisted migration and empire settlement between 1919 and 1930 as a backcloth, this paper chronicles the long forgotten controversy surrounding the competing national and imperial interests that exacerbated relations between London and Ottawa after the Great War.


Fedorowich, K. (2016). Restocking the British world: Empire migration and anglo-Canadian relations, 1919–30. Britain and the World, 9(2), 236-269.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 31, 2016
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2016
Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Journal Britain and the World
Print ISSN 2043-8567
Electronic ISSN 2043-8575
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 2
Pages 236-269
Keywords Anglo-Canadian relations, empire settlement, immigration, emigration, migration, external affairs, Mackenzie King, Leo Amery
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the accepted version of an article published in Britain and the World, the final version is available online at


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