Written by a CRC Investigative Team

Alexandre Poisson did the pioneering research for this report.

Today Canada faces a choice between two systems – two conceptions of the nature of Man.  The struggle is between the British and American Systems.  This is not a new dispute in our country, but extends backwards to the time of the American War of Independence.  The period with which we are presently concerned is that of the decades prior to 1867, the year of Confederation,[1] and leading up to the adoption in 1878 of The National Policy: the protectionist measures which would see Canada through thirty-three years of unprecedented prosperity, growth and development.  There were, during this period, two dominant visions which vied for control over Canada’s future: one saw the Colony subsisting as an appendage to the British Empire – a “low-cost economy” devoted to agriculture, raw materials extraction, and the Liberal policies of the British Free Traders.  The alternative to this impoverished, no-future society was for Canada to become a sovereign nation devoted to the welfare of its people, industrialization, “internal improvements”[2] and protectionism.  The former was promoted by George Brown: populist, Father of Confederation, imperial asset, and owner/editor of the Toronto Globe.[3]  The latter was the vision of a man having not only shrewd economic insight and a charismatic personality, but also a profound sense of humanistic nationalism: Isaac Buchanan – poet, merchant, statesman, and economist, not to mention Canada’s greatest patriot.

1. Canada in the Early Nineteenth Century

04-01- buchananThe national stage upon which Isaac Buchanan and George Brown would step was in a state of flux.  The final years of the 1830’s, due to the twin rebellions of Upper and Lower Canada in 1837,[4] had seen martial law imposed upon the colony by the Queen’s representative in Canada, the Governor General; and only in 1841, after decades of agitation, did the imperial government adopt the policy of Responsible Government.[5]  Canadians were for the moment appeased, yet the colonists still had no real power over their own affairs.  At the same time, Canada was attempting to develop alongside the United States, the most enviable nation on the planet, and the one with the most progressive and prosperous people.  The policies of Alexander Hamilton and his successors were leading to widespread industrialization; whereas in Canada, free trade and the centralization of manufactures in England greatly impeded the colony from developing a mature domestic market for its own agricultural production. The British Political Economists that were behind these policies were of the Manchester School persuasion, composed of such names as John Bright and Richard Cobden, the heirs of Smith, Ricardo and Malthus.  They were the leaders of the Anti-Corn Law League which had been created in 1839 by Lord Palmerston.  The intent was to collapse the price of wheat and avoid paying the laboring class higher wages, to the benefit of the merchants and industrialists.  Ironically, for all the emphasis the British placed upon free trade over the decades, they themselves never lowered tariffs on manufactures.[6]

04-02- george brown
George Brown (1818-1880)

The majority of the population was engaged in farming, their prosperity being dependent upon the whims of capricious international markets, struggling beneath colonial governments which, despite the changes of 1841, did little to improve the conditions of the masses.  As an American observer noted in the 1840’s:

“Though the ratio of the increase of the population has been greater in Canada than in the United States, yet their increase of wealth has barely kept pace with the population, and they are as poor as they were half a century since. They have enjoyed the blessings of Free Trade with England all the time, we have only a part of the time.  Whenever we have attempted to supply ourselves by our own industry, with the comforts and necessaries of life, we have improved our condition as a people; and during the intervals of Free Trade and large importations of foreign goods, we have relapsed again into a condition bordering on bankruptcy; while the Canadians have been constantly exhausted, and kept so poor by Free Trade, as to be unable to get sufficient credit to have even the ups and downs of prosperity and bankruptcy in succession.”[7]

Yet there were people working to create a nation in British North America: those involved in building the vital canal works of the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes, the early attempts at railroad construction, and the industrialists who managed in spite of free trade[8] to start manufactures in places such as Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton; men such as William Hamilton Merritt, the father of Canada’s canal system, and a crucial railroad pioneer; Merritt’s protégé – Canada’s “Prophet of Progress” – Thomas Coltrin Keefer, the founder of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers and the impulse behind many important railroad, canal and urban projects.

04-03- Merritt
William Hamilton Merritt (1793-1862)

Then there was the little known “Father of Protectionism”, John Maclean, not to mention all of the entrepreneurs, merchants and statesmen that would draw Canada into the modern industrial era, many of whom were to be the friends and associates of Isaac Buchanan.  These were the kind of citizens who set out to create the institutions and organizations which all nations depend upon absolutely, and who saw their country’s interest as being tied not merely to Britain and the Empire, but increasingly bound up in the young American Republic to the south and the principles for which it stood.  Throughout the coming decades Canada would develop and be defined as a function of the changes occurring within the United States, the great questions of nationhood and sovereignty insistently propelling her colonial politics forward.

2. A Canadian Nation-Builder

Isaac Buchanan was born on the 21st July, 1810 in Glasgow, Scotland.  He entered business when he was fifteen under the patronage of a friend of his father.  By the time he was nineteen he was a partner in the company, and in 1833 the entirety of the firm’s Canadian operations were transferred to his care.  He entered the mercantile business, and was one of the first merchants to open branches in Upper Canada, selling dry-goods in Toronto, Hamilton and London.  Once he had determined to settle in Hamilton, he resolved upon building a railroad in South-western Ontario, eventually to be known as the Great Western Railway, connecting Toronto with Hamilton, Windsor and the Niagara region.  In 1835 Buchanan founded the Toronto Board of Trade and was its president until 1837.  That same year found him opening a branch in New York City, circulating amongst the highest echelons of the city’s merchant class, and at the same time being exposed for to the ideas of Henry C. Carey, the great American economist, who had just published his first major work, Principles of Political Economy.  Besides his mercantile business Buchanan was also the founder of, “churches, educational systems, hospitals, asylums, news rooms and commercial exchanges, boards of trade, national and immigration societies, insurance offices, banks, trust and loan companies, steam navigation, telegraphing, &c., &c., &c., and last, though not least, railroading.”[9]

04-04- carey
Henry C. Carey (1793-1879)

Buchanan is known and beloved in Hamilton, Ontario, as the principal founder of the great industrial complex of that city.  In response to the Repeal of the Corn Laws, Buchanan left Canada to organize with the working classes of Britain from 1846 until late 1851 in their fight against the Manchester School.  He was engaged in pamphleteering, lobbying, writing widely to newspapers and politicians, and organizing essay-writing contests for the working classes on questions of free trade, protectionism and labor.[10]  Buchanan ran for office in Upper Canada and was elected in 1854.  From the beginning, being a man of principle and humor, he was favored by the press in proportion to the vitriol he drew from his political rivals.  Buchanan was fond of saying that the reason he could remain aloof of the colony’s petty rivalries and work for the common good arose from his “being possessed of enough of the Scottish character to have the fear of God, and to have no other fear – to be able to realize [himself] as being perpetually in a higher presence than that of statesmen or kings.”[11]  Such Christian and patriotic sensibilities would be instrumental in forming his economic and political thought in the years to come, and is perhaps most elegantly expressed in the following selection from his biography:

“Of the many subjects which seem to have occupied Mr. Buchanan’s mind, the great cause of labor is that to which he has devoted the greatest amount of thought and effort.  He maintains that mere production, or the mere existence of food, is not the first necessary of life, under a state of civilization.  He says that employment is the first necessary in our state of society, seeing that it in no degree relieves the poor man to know that all the granaries of the neighborhood are full of breadstuffs, if he is without the employment, which is the only key to these granaries.  “He holds the question of our home labor to be unspeakably more important than the question of our external trade; the labor being the necessity, the trade the incident.  He has striven that men should really eat and be satisfied with the bread they may earn by the sweat of their brow or of their brain, and not be perpetually offered up as a holocaust at the shrine of mammon, or become a mere part of the machinery which he oils and drives, and be looked upon by his employers with as little interest as the cranks and wheels of the world’s great power loom, in the din of which all uncertain sounds are drowned, together with the moans of the toil-worn.  Mr. Buchanan differs from the Free Traders and Political Economists not only as denying that theirs is in truth a system of free exports, while it certainly is a systems of free imports; but in this, that their heartfelt interest is in the web, while his is in the weaver; theirs in the produce, his in the producer.”[12]

The philosophy which Buchanan would apply to his economic theories was simply a Canadian reflection of the American System.  Buchanan references a speech delivered in 1844 by Henry Clay, several excerpts of which being sufficient to demonstrate the influence in Canada of the American System economists and statesmen:

“….We must cease our sectional jealousies, and all endeavor to promote the best interests of the country…  Manufactures must have their place, commerce its centre, and agriculture its field…  By a glance at the physical constitution of this country, it is easy to see that no ambition can profit it that is not an ambition for the whole country.  No part can possibly be built up, on a sound and enduring basis, without building up the whole; and he who would by his policy retard and cripple the energies of a part, aims a blow at the whole.”[13]

04-05- clay
Henry Clay (1777-1852)

The principle of the general welfare, upon which the preceding statement was made, would subsume Buchanan’s ideas and actions as he was to struggle against powerful imperial-financial interests determined to prevent the colony from achieving sovereignty.  Those interests sought to stop industrialization, for at that time a nation lacking railroads and steel production could never entertain thoughts of independence.  So George Brown and his radical-liberal associates would attack Canada’s attempts at development, while in truth attacking the question of nationhood itself.

3. The Tariff of 1858

In the years since his return from Britain in 1851, being at the same time involved in promoting railroad and canal development and the Reciprocity Treaty,[14] Buchanan was publishing frequent articles in Ontario’s newspapers, including the Hamilton Spectator, and William Lyon Mackenzie’s Message, on reforming Canada’s monetary system with the intention of promoting domestic commerce as a priority over foreign trade.  In addition to this,

“Buchanan advocated repeal of the Union, a written constitution, elective governors, separation of the executive and legislative power, ‘and the People to keep the latter and the Power of the Purse in their own hands’…  He therefore advocated the American system ‘under which the duty of ministers [i.e. the executive] is to carry out the law, not to make it.’  The only way to avoid annexation, he concluded, was for Canada to have a written constitution giving her ‘all the advantages of the state of things in the United States [emphasis added].'”[15]

In response to the depression which had struck Canada in 1857 and Buchanan’s organizing, many influential Canadian industrialists and merchants from Toronto and Montreal were brought together to form the Association for the Promotion of Canadian Industry (APCI) in 1858.  On April 16th 1858 the Executive of the APCI, with Buchanan as “the leading force behind it”, met with Inspector General William Cayley, acting Finance Minister, the Co-Premier John A. MacDonald, George Etienne Cartier, and eleven other elected members of the government.  Together they agreed on a tariff policy that, for the first time in Canadian history, had the “avowed purpose of giving protection to home manufactures [emphasis added – RDA].”  Later that year tariffs were raised against sundry American and British goods from between 5% and 15% to an average height of 20%.[16]  This bold move was not welcomed by the British industrialists of Sheffield nor by certain elements of the imperial government, who saw the colony’s sovereign decision as a dangerous precedent.  In the United States were found some agitated interests; however Canadian tariffs were still, in the main, lower than America’s.[17]  The tariff policy, contrary to the foreboding warnings of the Liberals and Globe, proved to be a great success, as Buchanan noted during a speech in 1863:

“One result of our patriotic legislation since 1858… was the existence in Canada of over a thousand tanneries.  The manufacture of paper, of wool, of wooden ware and agricultural implements has equally increased.  By manufacturing the articles mentioned we save the necessity of sending out of the Province at least two millions of dollars in cash per annum…  By manufacturing these articles we not only cause an immensely increased employment for our own population that are not fit for other sorts of labor, but we retain in the Province the money for the use of the farming and other interests, thus not only increasing our supply of capital in the Province, but reducing the rate of interest at which it can be borrowed.”[18]

Buchanan understood that howsoever fared the colony’s farmers so fared the economy as a whole.  Therefore, in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton’s Report on the Subject of Manufactures, he promoted the industrialization of Canada and the issue of the people’s employment as inextricably bound up with agricultural success, being very clear that the development of Canada’s domestic demand was the most certain means to ensuring stable markets for the produce of agriculture.  Buchanan knew that under the current system, dominated by the free trade ideology of the Manchester School, Canada would never build that necessary domestic market, for he had witnessed,

“…the sad fate of Lower Canada, whose soil has been exhausted by over-cropping with wheat.  Lower Canada blindly followed the interested or ignorant advice of the British Political Economists, and confined herself to growing wheat for export, little dreaming how large a percentage each year it took to represent the deterioration of the soil under such treatment of it.”[19]

Buchanan had been able to rally many people to his cause over the years and this had not gone unnoticed by the powers running Canada, who responded by unleashing a cadre of agents to undermine the progress that had been achieved by Buchanan and his collaborators, their most famous asset being George Brown.

4. George Brown: Voice of the Manchester School

To understand the role Brown would play in history, it is necessary to step back and review several of the more salient points of his life.  Brown was born in 1818 into an ardently pro-Adam Smith and Manchester School family, whose views he had wholeheartedly adopted by the age of eighteen.  He was

“a consistent defender of the superiority of British institutions over American republicanism, and … a profound believer in the free-trade doctrines taught by British economic Liberals from Adam Smith to Richard Cobden.”[20]

An early hero of Brown’s was British leader Lord John Russell, the virulently anti-American grandfather and earliest mentor of philosopher Bertrand Russell.  Through Brown’s entire life he was devoted to promoting the interests of the British Empire, even at the expense of the land in which he dwelt.  In 1842 Brown and his father, Peter, had moved from England to New York. There the elder Brown wrote The Fame and Glory of England Vindicated, which included numerous attacks against the American System; in response, the anti-slavery American, Charles Edward Lester, composed The Shame and Glory of England.[21]  Afterwards, Brown and his father began publishing a weekly newspaper called The British Chronicle, as an organ of the British System inside the United States.

Being true believers in the divine authority of their favored economic laws, both were very much opposed to demands within the United States in that period for a national bank, just as they opposed any legislative regulation or interference within the realm of business.  In 1843 Brown began traveling to Upper Canada and in August of that year began publishing a small newspaper known as The Banner in Toronto.  One year later he established the Globe and began promoting his economic theories for Canada.  Brown stood for,

“[a] low-cost economy essentially shaped to benefit the primary producers who were the basis of Canadian commercial activity, for lowering trade barriers through reciprocity, limiting the expenditures of government, and above all, for no protective tariff.”[22]

A perennial populist, running campaigns from the editorial section of the Globe, he was forever enflaming the passions of the Protestant Upper Canadians against the Catholics of Lower Canada, or decrying the injustice of the parliamentary system of the time, which gave equal numbers of seats to both provinces when Upper Canada had a much larger population and generated a greater amount of government revenues, amongst other things.  Through these types of tactics Brown operated as an asset of the British Oligarchy, promoting political and cultural divisions based on what amounted to petty single issues of no real importance for Canada’s future, except insofar as by them Brown was able to convince many people to neglect the greater questions of statecraft.  Brown often attacked industrial and infrastructure development in the provinces – primarily over questions of corruption – not with the intent of encouraging honest development, but to discourage any development at all.  Despite a thoroughly rotten character and utter lack of vision,[23] by 1853 Brown had built the Globe into the most widely read and influential paper of British North America.

In 1848-9, a group of young British radical-liberals, part of an operation of global destabilization unleashed by Lords Palmerston and Russell, came to Canada and began setting up several newspapers which at the time were rivals of the Globe.  Led by William Macdougall, Charles Clarke, David Christie and Charles Lindsey, these men espoused extreme liberal views, which alarmed even Brown, who referred to them as a “Young Canada party” and a “faction linked with the rebellion and violence of earlier radicalism.”[24]

These young men began taking over the Reform movement of Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and destabilizing the Reform government of 1848-51, forcing Merritt, Baldwin and Lafontaine, who were doing many good things for the colony, to resign in 1851.  This marked the end of the first and only functional government since 1841, as colonial politics fell victim to radicalization – Canada would not see another effective government for many years.

In 1853 Macdougall assumed a policy of befriending Brown to win the support of Brownite Reformers while undermining him as a potential leader, for Brown possessed “a flourishing press enterprise with unsurpassed power to influence public opinion.”[25]  Accordingly, by 1855 MacDougall had joined the editorial board of the Globe, while Brown had bought up all the radical publications, became a full convert to the radicals’ cause, and together they had reshaped the Liberal Party in the ‘Young Canada’ image.  In 1857 Brown – as political leader and newspaper publisher – persuaded the Reformers of Upper Canada to adopt his populist platform including representation by population and free trade.

In July of 1858 Brown was asked to form a coalition government with a party from Lower Canada, which he was able to do; however two days later his Ministry collapsed, to the general amusement of the country.  For the next year a demoralized Brown retreated from politics and his paper, entrusting the Globe to his brother Gordon and to his best editor, George Sheppard.  Mr. Sheppard also happened to be a member of the APCI and a close ally of Isaac Buchanan. Sheppard seized control of the paper from Gordon, Macdougall and the other radical Liberals, and began writing many powerful editorials promoting constitutional reform modeled on the American Constitution, such as “the curtailment of executive power according to the American example.”

Sheppard denounced “the failure of cabinet government in Canada, demanding a written constitution and the separation of the executive from the legislature.”  The Liberal press was “horrified” at the complete revolution at the Globe, which seemed to have abandoned every principle for which Brown had stood.[26]  At the same time Sheppard was writing articles in other papers promoting the tariff of 1858 and defending Buchanan from the attacks which Brown sporadically made against him over this period.  However, by the late summer of 1859 Brown had recovered enough to reassert control of the paper, and launched a war of slander against Sheppard’s character.

The summer of 1862 found George Brown in Britain, where he met several times with the Colonial Secretary, the Duke of Newcastle, who made clear the imperial government’s intentions for the colony.  The imperial government desired the completion of a railroad to unite the separate British colonies which then made up Canada.  Brown acquiesced, despite having been a vociferous opponent of railway development for some years.  He met also with the shareholders of the Grand Trunk Railway, the company tasked with the building of the intercolonial, to discuss its continued financing as the project was mired in debt and corruption.  The board chairman of the Grand Trunk was Thomas Baring of the Baring banking house, the principle financiers of the world’s opium traffickers.[27]  Brown then returned to Canada in early 1863 in time to take part in two elections before the end of July.  Later that year Brown would be the primary target of Isaac Buchanan’s most famous speech, and the one which would vault Buchanan into the Presidency of the Executive Council.

04-06- rail
 The Grand Trunk Railway

 5. The Civil War and the Militia Bill of 1862

George Brown had conferred with England’s leaders in 1862, as the Civil War raged inside the United States.  The outcome of this great crisis would determine Canada’s future.  Since losing the War of Independence the British had been attempting to destroy the American Republic – to split the Union in two, the southern half residing within a sphere dominated by slavery, from Maryland to South America, while the northern states would be annexed to the provinces of British North America.  This strategy was known by Henry C. Carey and his collaborators years before the Civil War erupted.  The British had been running operations throughout the Republic, with most of the Presidents since the 1830’s being scoundrels and agents of Wall Street.  Carey commented on the worsening situation in 1859 in a letter to a friend:

“…already [the British] are congratulating themselves upon the approaching dissolution of the Union, and the entire reestablishment of British influence over this northern portion of the continent.  For proof of this, permit me to refer you to the following extracts from the Morning Post, now the recognized organ of the Palmerstonian government: “‘If the Northern States should separate from the Southern on the question of slavery – one which now so fiercely agitates the public mind in America – that portion of the Grand Trunk Railway which traverses Maine, might at any day be closed against England, unless indeed the people of that State, with an eye to commercial profit, should offer to annex themselves to Canada.  On military as well as commercial grounds it is obviously necessary that British North America should possess on the Atlantic a port open at all times of the year – a port which… will make England equally in peace and war independent of the United States… “‘…if separation is to take place – the confederated States of British North America, then a strong and compact nation, would virtually hold the balance of power on the continent, and lead to the restoration of that influence which, more than eighty years ago, England was supposed to have lost.’ “Look where we may, discord, decay, and slavery march hand-in-hand with the British free trade system – harmony and freedom, wealth and strength, on the contrary, growing in all those countries by which that system is resisted.”[28]

In December 1861 the British mail steamer Trent, traveling towards Europe, was commandeered by a U.S. warship and two confederate agents were discovered and removed from the British vessel.  “British Neutrality” was immediately exposed as a fraud, provoking uproar amongst the American public.  Using the crisis and the pretext of a potential American invasion, 15,000 British troops were sent to Canada, by Lords Palmerston and Russell, to keep the colony under control, and also to threaten the Union with a two front war.  From this point until the surrender of the Confederacy Canada was a de facto occupied country, and would serve as a base for British-protected Confederate assaults against the United States.  In the spring of 1862 the Canadian government (of which Isaac Buchanan was a member) proposed the Militia Bill.  The legislation called for a force consisting of 50,000 active militiamen and a reserve of an additional 50,000, in addition the Bill included the right to enact a draft if deemed necessary.  Buchanan himself advocated a Militia of 240,000 men.  The initial cost would be half a million pounds, although much reduced over the ensuing years.  The Globe was vehemently opposed:

“We cannot believe that with the ‘chronic deficiency’ already existing between the annual Revenue and Expenditures of the Province it can be really intended to add so enormously to the burdens of the people… for a country like Canada with a heavy debt, a large annual deficiency and the prospect of a fourth increase of taxation in four years – it seems to us totally indefensible.”[29]

Yet this was not merely a question of finances, as Buchanan would argue repeatedly, since the expense of defending the colony’s people and property could have easily been covered by a slight property tax, and whatever increased burden this entailed would have been worthwhile. Buchanan did not put a price on something as important as self-determination.  This was a question of sovereignty: with a great war raging to the south and a British army deployed along the border and garrisoned in the towns and cities, patriots such as Buchanan perceived an opportunity to advance the cause of nationhood – they argued, ironically, that in the face of a potential American invasion the country needed to arm itself and 100,000 troops seemed sufficient to protect the country from any threats posed by foreign powers. Palmerston and company, however, were not deceived; with imperial meddling and the intimidating factor of an occupying army playing a significant role, Brown and his fellow Liberals effectively defeated the Bill.  They accomplished this in part by enticing a faction of the government to desert their party over the unrelated issue of representation by population!

With this defeat the government collapsed.  In lieu of the initial Bill, a second was proposed by the subsequent government later in the year, though on a drastically reduced scale, entailing 25,000 inactive and insufficiently trained volunteers.[30]  Then in the summer of 1863 came the turning point of the Civil War – twin victories for Lincoln’s Union forces at Gettysburg and Vicksburg.  The American System of Lincoln and Carey was emerging as the most powerful system on the continent, and would soon demonstrate its vitality throughout the world. How London would respond was yet to be seen.

6. The Punctum Saliens

Meanwhile, Buchanan escalated his fight for a sovereign Canada by publishing The Relations of the Industry of Canada with the Mother Country and the United States[31], in which he proposed a North American Zollverein,[32] based on the American System which Germany imported from the United States in the 1830’s, due in great part to the work of German-American economist Friedrich List.  The adoption of a high tariff customs union had led to strong progress for the German economy and people.  This and other examples of the successful application of protectionist measures, not to mention the writings of “the great American Economist, Carey,” “than whom there is no higher authority,”[33] led Buchanan to believe that the national interest and sovereignty of Canada lay in a similar economic agreement with the United States, whereby the two nations would form a common customs union and tariff system, sharing the revenues thus collected in proportion to their populations.  The policy would be free trade between Canada and America, but tariffs against Europe and Great Britain.  The principles which would guide the arrangement would be the promotion of “internal improvements” and the further industrialization of both countries to the effect of ensuring the employment and prosperity of both peoples.  Buchanan had been building networks of “distinguished Americans [who were] delighted” with the idea and ready to press forward with the policy.  James Wickes Taylor, special agent of the U.S Treasury, who had been charged with making inquiries into the relations between Canada and America, had submitted a report to the government advocating the adoption of the Zollverein, which Buchanan published in his 1864 economic platform The Relations of the Industry of Canada, with the Mother Country and the United States.

From the early summer of 1863 and for approximately the next year there was an escalation between Buchanan and Brown, with scores of articles written by both men.  In view of Brown’s aggressive populism and political opportunism Buchanan made the following observations:

“More and more, every day it is seen that Mr. Brown is a Judas in the people’s ranks, and has betrayed true Reform and the best interests of the Province with a kiss.  He nominally goes for Reform… only while it suits his selfish purpose.”  “Mr. Buchanan calls [Brown] the Canadian Robespierre, the difference being that when the French Robespierre could not silence the arguments of his opponents he extinguished the opponents themselves; whereas the Canadian Robespierre, less manly, deprives all who dare oppose him – to the extent the Globe can – of their character.”[34]

On December 17, 1863 at a dinner in honor of the Canadian Parliamentary Opposition Convention, Isaac Buchanan gave a speech which continues to define the ongoing struggle over the destiny of Canada.  The government at the time was led by the Reformers John Sandfield Macdonald and Antoine Aimé Dorion, the party of which George Brown was the “overlord.”[35]  Earlier that month Buchanan had been celebrated as one of the Pioneers of Upper Canada, along with his old and much respected friend, the late Honorable William Hamilton Merritt.  Buchanan spoke in reply to a speech that had been made concerning “the internal improvements of the Province.”

“The most appropriate thing he could say in reply to the toast was that the internal improvements of the country would not be encouraged by the present Government [Cheers and laughter]…. “It appeared to him that there was a great and obvious determination among the lower radical statesmen (Richard Cobden and John Bright – RDA), in England, to interfere with our Responsible Government in Tariff matters, and no Ministry had ever gone so far in the direction of countenancing them as the present men.  “The true economical policy of Canada is to promote the prosperity of the Canadian farmer.  And how is this to be done is the simply political question of the Canadian patriot… “True political reform, (such as we had before the Globe came to Canada) is, in a progressive state of society such as we have in America, the truest conservatism.  We must be economical not only in applying the people’s money for their own benefit, but in securing for our own people all the employment we can, in making the articles we require, seeing that when the manufacturers live in a foreign country they are not consuming the productions of the Canadian farms.  No country can be great without having rotation of crops, and no country can have this without having a manufacturing population to eat the produce which is not exportable.  “The adoption by England for herself of this transcendental principle [Free Trade] has all but lost the Colonies, and her madly attempting to make it the principle of the British Empire would entirely alienate the Colonies.  Though pretending to unusual intelligence, the Manchester Schools (like our Clear Grits [Brown’s Liberals – RDA]), are, as a class, as void of knowledge of the world as of patriotic principle [Cheers]. “As a necessary consequence of the legislation of England, Canada will require England to assent to the establishment of two things, on the subject of which time did not permit him now further to enlarge. 1st, An American Zollverein. 2nd, Canada to be made neutral territory in time of any war between England and the United States….”[36]

The speech was widely acclaimed in the conservative press. It took almost three weeks for the Globe and its pilloried editor to patch together a response, which appeared on January 6, 1864:

“[The Conservative press] are all unanimous in their expressions of its approval.  It was a great speech, a magnificent speech a regular “screecher.”…  They endorse the sentiments it contains, the principles it sets forth, and not for many a long day has such an excellent speech been given to the world – so they all declare.  “In other words, England must give up free trade – a principle which, the farther it is carried out, the greater has her prosperity become, a principle which is seated deep down in the hearts of the people, a principle the correctness and beneficial power of which is recognized by the greatest thinkers from Adam Smith downwards, or else what?  Why the people of the colonies, smarting under the intolerable wrong done them, will rise against the Imperial authority, and foreswear for ever their allegiance to the Crown.  “‘He [Mr. Buchanan] believed that, as a necessary consequence of the free trade legislation of England, Canada would require England to assent to two things.  First, an American Zollverein. Second, Canada to be made neutral territory in time of any war between England and the United States.’  Only this can save us from annexation!  What a modest proposition!  “If not, according to Mr. Buchanan, the inevitable result is that we shall, as did the thirteen colonies, become separated from the parent State [emphasis added – RDA].  “[Buchanan intends] that Canada should be left to herself, to protect her territory…  With the power of peace or war thus given to us; with all British commercial interest in us destroyed by artificial restraints [Zollverein – RDA], what else should we be but an independent country?”[37]

The lines were unmistakably drawn between these two men. Buchanan, who had been pushing such independence for decades, was clear: this was the policy that would engender Canadian prosperity, and people in the United States, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, were prepared to listen.  Buchanan was at the height of his power and his influence.  His speech of December 17th had been universally acclaimed and published extensively, demonstrating widespread support for his policies.  The Globe launched a major campaign against Buchanan throughout January, repeatedly attacking him and the ideas he had presented in Toronto.

Despite the Globe‘s Jacobin tactics, in April of 1864 the new Macdonald-Taché Ministry appointed Buchanan to the Presidency of the Executive Council[38] for the purpose of developing a new relationship with the ascending United States of Lincoln and Carey, which was well on its way to victory.  Immediately, on April 8th, the Globe unleashed a series of slanders about Buchanan, but he was too popular and too widely known to be much harmed by anything Brown could throw at him.

However, in June of 1864, as the last in a long series of short-lived Ministries, the Macdonald-Taché government collapsed in the face of extensive disillusionment and dissatisfaction with the union between Upper and Lower Canada.  The populism that Brown and his radical collaborators had been encouraging for years had gained enough support, and had created sufficient divisions within the parties that nothing was able to function.  Several months previously, Brown had gotten himself appointed to head a special committee that would move the provinces toward confederation as a way of allegedly solving the various issues that were making it impossible to govern.  He presented the case for federation in June and managed to bring together a Grand Coalition to accomplish the necessary changes.  This amounted to an effective coup against the progress that the patriotic forces in Canada had been making since 1858, as Buchanan was forced out of the Presidency and Brown appointed in his place.

The next several years would see the assassination of Lincoln, the cancellation of the Reciprocity Treaty on the part of the United States and the subsequent raising of American tariffs, the lowering of Canadian tariffs from protectionist to revenue levels in 1865, and the creation of a country with no purpose but, in the words of the 1867 British North America Act, to “promote the welfare of the Provinces… and the interests of the British Empire [emphasis added] “. In the meantime Isaac Buchanan had fallen into bankruptcy and out of public affairs.  He would not be cleared of debt until 1878.[39]

 7. Bloody Confederation

George Brown and his allies succeeded in deposing the government of Isaac Buchanan in mid-June, 1864.  Brown himself became president of the executive council in the new government proclaimed June 22, 1864.  Brown was chosen to begin negotiations with the imperial government on the plan for union, and to confer on the defense of British North America, necessarily including the increasingly volatile issue of the use of Canada as a base for British-protected Confederate operations against the United States.  The content of Brown’s discussions with the British is of course secret.  But the timing of these talks, first those with British representatives in Canada and then across the Atlantic in England, coincided with the great drama unfolding in Canada and the USA.

George Sanders arrived in Canada from England in June, 1864, to set up the action team for assaults against the United States, together with British Colonel George St. Leger Grenfell and Confederate secret service officials such as Jacob Thompson and Nathaniel Beverly Tucker.  Col. Grenfell was the son and nephew of the founders of the family bank which later became Morgan-Grenfell, representing the financier oligarchy to whose service George Brown devoted his career.  The Kentucky-born Sanders was the chief American spokesman for Lord Palmerston’s pet revolutionary Giuseppi Mazzini.  Sanders had been hired as a paid agent of the Hudsons Bay Company by Sir John Henry Pelly, Governor of the Hudsons Bay Company and Governor of the Bank of England.

In the first week of July, the second week after George Brown’s Canadian government came into office, Sanders, Thompson, Grenfell and others of the Anglo-Confederate team were in Niagara Falls, Ontario, for a meeting with American peace advocates, led by Horace Greeley, a meeting designed by Sanders to embarrass President Lincoln.  That Niagara Falls conference became famous when Greeley wrote to Lincoln about it, and increasingly famous after the Lincoln assassination, because George Sanders at Niagara Falls was openly advocating Lincoln’s murder.[40]

Confederate secret service agent John Wilkes Booth arrived in Montreal on October 18, 1864, to begin conferences with Sanders and the action team.  The next day, October 19, Canadian-based Confederate guerrillas, deployed by Booth’s host Sanders, raided St. Albans, Vermont, robbing $200,000 from banks, wounding several and killing a pursuer.  This was the most famous act of terrorism in the American Civil War.  The raiders returned to Montreal, were arrested – and were soon released, causing a scandal throughout North America and straining U.S.-British relations.  John Wilkes Booth is known to have exchanged $455 for a bill of exchange for English money, in the Ontario Bank in Montreal on October 27.[41]  Booth was back in New York City on October 29 and in Washington on November 9, 1864.

George Brown left Canada for England early in November, 1864.  By this time Col. George St. Leger Grenfell and others of his action team had been arrested in Chicago by U.S. detectives, and were accused of planning terror attacks and assassinations in the American Midwest.  During his time in Britain, George Brown spent many hours at the Colonial Office; he met with William Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Brown had conferences at the War Office on the matter of defense.  Lord John Russell summoned him to the Foreign Office and grilled him on Canadian-American relations.  Brown met with dozens of other members of the British elite, and spent time with both John Bright and Richard Cobden.  Before leaving, Brown spent a weekend with Prime Minister Palmerston.

Meanwhile, in January, 1865, a military commission in Cincinnati, Ohio, began the trial of British Colonel Grenfell.

Brown returned to Canada in February, 1865, having settled military matters pertaining to the approaching end of the American Civil War. Brown had imperial approval for his plan for confederation, which he took to the various provinces.  Queen Victoria, after her government and military leaders had conferred with George Brown, wrote in her diary on February 12, 1865, that she had talked that day “of America and the danger, which seems approaching, of our having a war with her, as soon as she makes peace; of the impossibility of our being able to hold Canada, but we must struggle for it.”[42]  The Confederate army surrendered April 9, 1865.  The hit team led by John Wilkes Booth struck April 14, killing President Lincoln and wounding Secretary of State William Seward.  On May 2, 1865, the new President, Andrew Johnson, issued a proclamation that “It appears from the evidence in the Bureau of Military Justice that the … murder of … Abraham Lincoln [was] incited, concerted and procured by and between Jefferson Davis … and Jacob Thompson, … Beverly Tucker, George N. Sanders, … and other rebels and traitors against the government of the United States harbored in Canada.”  Booth was caught up with and shot.  A military trial of members Booth’s hit team beginning May 9, charged them with “conspiring together with … George N. Sanders, Beverly Tucker, Jacob Thompson … and others unknown to kill … Abraham Lincoln….”  Three were hanged and four imprisoned for life.  Meanwhile the military tribunal trying Col. Grenfell sentenced him to death.  British Foreign Minister Lord John Russell wrote June 17, 1865, directing the British Ambassador in Washington to urge the U.S. Government to spare Grenfell’s life.  President Andrew Johnson commuted the sentence, and Grenfell joined other members of the action team in the U.S. prison on Dry Tortugas.  In May, 1865, Brown returned to England on an official mission to settle Canada’s future.  The Prince of Wales, who would later become Edward VII, invited Brown and his entourage to a dinner for 2000 at Buckingham Palace, and afterward “gave them entrée into the cozy inner circle of 100.[43]  He invited them to private dinner parties, then kept them upstairs to all hours, smoking cigars with him, as he chatted at ease in a superb Turkish dressing gown.”[44]  They met with the Imperial cabinet, the French Royal Family, the heirs of Louis Philippe, and with Queen Victoria herself.  With these meetings concluded Confederation could go ahead and the British oligarchy could rest assured that their interests would be maintained, the policy of looting Canada remaining standard procedure.  This new relationship was much better for the empire, as the Oligarchs could avoid all the messy considerations of actually running such a vast territory and concentrate instead on what they really enjoyed – stealing.[45]  After a series of meetings and conferences, with George Brown as a driving force, and Canadians having basically thrown away their sovereignty, the “nation” of Canada was born, with the passing of the British North America Act in March 1867, by the British Parliament.

 8. Resurgence of the American System

In response to the take-down of the protective tariff in 1865, the APCI was revived to begin lobbying government to have the tariff returned to the pre-1865 levels.  Also in the late 1860’s the Manufacturers’ Association of Ontario was founded, which later became the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association in 1887, an organization which grew to include approximately 50,000 members by the 1950’s.  In addition to the response from industry, a new voice for Protection in Canada entered the arena of political-economic debate.  John Maclean,[46] one of the founders of the Manufacturers Association of Ontario (MAO), published in 1867 the first in a series of pamphlets attacking free trade and promoting protectionist measures for the young country.  The tract was eloquently written and was a thorough examination of the arguments used by the Free Traders.  Maclean argued that the widespread support of free trade in Canada was derived from,

“A superficial, only partially informed, and uncritical idea of what is English opinion on the question of Protection and Free Trade, and a weak deference to so-called commercial authority, [these] are the main supports upon which popular Free Trade public opinion rests in these Provinces…  “We are asked to believe in Free Trade because, say its advocates, if it were not the right decision, the eminent statesmen and great political economists of the day, with the nations whose opinions they lead, would not be found adopting it.”[47]

Maclean cites the authority of Henry C. Carey frequently, also referring to articles published in the New York Tribune, which was the mouthpiece of the American System in the United States, and owned by Horace Greeley, who had also been the associate of Isaac Buchanan since the early days of the APCI and the 1858 tariff.  Maclean also made numerous references to Buchanan’s writings, who was one of the most important influences on the shaping of Maclean’s own policies. Maclean uses examples of the successful application of protectionist measures by the United States as well as the German Zollverein to make the case for Canada’s adoption of similar policies.

Maclean would remain active as a journalist and pamphleteer until the adoption of the National Policy in 1879, in which he played a crucial role, being then employed by the Minister of Finance after 1878.

In the years immediately following the turmoil of the Civil War, American exports did not rise above the level reached before the war.  But after this lull, the ultra-high tariffs, the government-sponsored railroad construction and the other pro-industrial measures of the Lincoln Administration took their full, spectacular effect.  During the decade of the 1870s, America industrialized at a pace never seen in the world before or since.  The U.S. became the leading industrial country. U.S. exports tripled in the 1870s.  Soon Germany, imitating American protectionism, soared past Britain into second place.  Russia and Japan, both American allies, were advancing fast, threatening to leave Britain a minor power.  American-style nationalism was the order of the day.

In a pamphlet published in 1879, John Maclean wrote,

“Great was the change … witnessed, during the later period [1873-78], when the failure of European and other markets sent British prices tumbling down [beginning in the Depression of 1873], and when our American neighbors, but recently the most profuse and extravagant buyers in the world, suddenly stopped all that and became a nation of pushing and eager sellers instead.  A vast commercial revolution had burst upon the world, while Canadian affairs were in the hands of men who saw nothing worse than a slight temporary disturbance, that must soon blow over.”[48]

Maclean, attacking the policies of the Alexander Mackenzie government of 1874-78, which was the party of George Brown, compared them to a ship which, having sailing under prosperous trade winds, now finds itself steering directly into the middle of a hurricane.  “The storm struck the ship just when she had been taken in charge by a new captain and pilot, who thought that to steer her out of the storm’s path was no business of theirs at all.”[49]

9. Reciprocity Revisited

The response by Mackenzie to the collapse of 1873 was to send George Brown, now a member of the Canadian Senate, to the United States to secure a renewal of the Reciprocity Treaty.  Then, at the request of Canada’s “sovereign” government, the imperial government in Britain appointed George Brown and the British Minister in Washington, Sir Edward Thornton, to negotiate with the United States.

But the U.S. turned down Brown’s proposals of various concessions to American trade.  What the American government wanted was “to have differential duties against British goods inserted into a trade agreement with Canada.”  “But Brown was firmly opposed to the idea of giving American goods a privileged position in Canada through preferential duties over British goods, or to anything like a North American customs union [emphasis added].”[50]  Over this point the negotiations, for all intents and purposes came to an end.  Brown and his beloved free trade had failed.  Meanwhile the numbers calling for Protection were mounting.

 10. The Election of 1878 or “Brown’s Last Stand”

In the fall of 1877 Canada remained in the grips of depression, widespread unrest amongst the working classes, collapsing public revenues and an increasing clamor for protectionism.

“Brown’s Globe still stood unshakably for the British Cobdenite principles of free trade and economic liberalism.  Trade would right itself, it confidently proclaimed.  The harvest had been good; the world-wide slump was a necessary purge after speculation and over-indulgence that would bring a return to economic health; and Canada was suffering far less than other countries.”[51]

The paper continuously denounced the Conservatives’ National Policy, which would introduce the American system of high tariffs and national development, as heralding a disastrous fate far worse than anything experienced during the course of the current depression.  Canada was, after all, a country inevitably committed to producing “low-cost raw materials” and foodstuffs for the world market.[52]  Despite the arguments of Brown’s newspaper, the Canadian people were not prepared to wait for the invisible hand to make things right in its own good time. They wanted a government which would boldly act in a time of crisis.  The National Policy was sounding increasingly attractive to a population confronted with,

“…the Globe‘s disquisitions on the infallible working of economic laws or the Mackenzie government’s insistence that austerity and retrenchment offered the only possible way out.  The discussion went on into the bleak winter of 1877-8, as the Globe repeatedly tried to sniff out signs of recovery and prove the soundness of the sensible Liberal policy [emphasis added – RDA].[53]

But there was no recovery to be had.  In fact Canada was bleeding out its people.  Emigrants to the USA sought a better life where government protection made the native industry thrive.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 1860 and 1880 the number of Canadian-born persons living in the United States rose by 287%, from 250,000 to 717,000.  The election was set for September 19, 1878.  In the last weeks Brown himself left the confines of the Globe editorial room and toured Ontario, delivering excruciatingly long diatribes against the National Policy, ranting for hours on end.  But on election day the will of the people rang clear – the Liberal government of Brown and Mackenzie had been smashed, shattered, and routed completely; their free-trade, laissez-faire policies rejected wholeheartedly.

 11. The National Policy

The Conservatives came to power and immediately began implementing their plans for recovery.  John Maclean was hired by the Minister of Finance, Sir Francis Hincks,[54] and being a founding member of the Manufacturers’ Association of Ontario, would play a crucial role in making the Conservatives’ election promises a reality.  In 1879 a meeting was convened with the MAO in Toronto, where the leading members of the various industries met separately to draft tariffs covering their own goods.  A similar meeting was held in Montreal for the industrialists of Eastern Canada.  The two groups then met in Ottawa and agreed upon a tariff which was submitted by Hamiltonian industrialist Edward Gurney, the Association’s President, to Sir Leonard Tilley on the advice to adopt it as it stood; with few exceptions this was to be the case.  That same year a jubilant Maclean would write,

“In vain are the arguments of Adam Smith, powerful as they were against certain absurdities at the time, invoked against Protection as it is shaping itself in ours.  He denounced Protection of the few at the expense of the many, but what would he have said had he lived to see Protection demanded by the millions, and resisted chiefly by a few learned doctrinaires and by the narrower interests of mere carrying, buying and selling, as distinguished from the broader and more popular interests of actual production?”[55]

The National Policy included more than a simple tariff.  The tariff itself was designed to encourage the manufacturing of whatever Canada had the potential to produce – wheat, textiles, coal, and steel, for example; while leaving the import of such goods as coffee, tea, and cotton duty-free.  There was a special emphasis placed upon developing the country’s machining capacity for agricultural equipment, an area in which Canada remains a world leader to this day. Because of the need to move goods rapidly to all parts of such a sprawling country, the other critical feature of the National Policy was the intention to build a continental rail system, completed in 1885, after which Canada would boast of having the longest rail network in the world. The combination of tariff and railway contributed to developing a strong east-west exchange of goods; meanwhile the government’s revenues increased substantially.  Industries of all sorts began appearing.  In Toronto, the number of manufacturing companies more than doubled between 1881 and 1891, from 890 to 2109.  The number of industrial companies nationally went from 38,898 in the early 1870’s to 69,716 by 1891, and the number of people employed by these companies increased from 182,000 to 351,000.[56]  The Conservative government held power until 1896, when they fell to the Liberals under Wilfred Laurier.  These Liberals, however, maintained the essential characteristics of the National Policy, until they lost in 1911.  Thirty-three years of successful protectionism, that gave birth to modern Canada as an industrialized country – not too bad for a policy that George Brown called a “miserable will o’ the wisp”![57]

 12. A Patriotic Legacy

In 1879 John Maclean referred to the National Policy as “Canada’s declaration of independence;”[58] to a certain extent it was, even though the country remained tied to the British Crown.  But despite the events of 1864-7, something of that patriotic and visionary spirit, evinced by men such as Isaac Buchanan, has endured.  In 1876 the fruits of the legacy of Canada’s patriotic nation builders were displayed to the world, when, at the Philadelphia Centennial Celebration Exhibit, Canada displayed the third largest number of machine tools, with only America and the combined German states showing more.  Canada received an astounding amount of praise, as related by Thomas C. Keefer, noting the observations of various international figures:

04-07- Keefer
Thomas C. Keefer (1821-1915)

“No other country produced a stronger feeling of surprise by the extent and excellence of the general machinery exhibit than did [Canada]…  ‘Canadian machinery has a character of its own; unlike some of the Continental nations, theory has not gone before practice, from the circumstance that her engineering knowledge and experience, have not reached the foundry and smithy through the technological college, or classroom, but rather from the teachings of necessity… the style is a mixture of English and American, but more of the latter than the former… but with a considerable trace of original thinking interspersed throughout all’… ‘Perhaps their most perfect tool was a large slothing machine of fine proportions, most consistently carried out in all the details, with every part in good keeping with the other, which is a rare virtue, and seldom manifested by those makers who can only imitate’…  ‘There is a freshness and a youthful vigor manifested both in design and execution that foretell a future giant.'”[59]

Furthermore, Keefer, in 1899 (and at 89 years of age no less), gave a speech to the Royal Society of Canada where he “projected an ecstatic vision of the tremendous industrial future which lay ahead for Canada in the hydroelectric age, the one prospect that particularly excited his imagination was that of smokeless, high-speed, electric trains racing noiselessly between clean well-lighted conceived of progress as being tied to our ability to improve ourselves and our environment, was crucial to understanding how they were able to shape their societies imperial dictates from the mother country, but of our dynamic relationship with the Republic of the United States.  That men such as Buchanan and Keefer as they did; just as this same idea, rooted in the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, continues to be the defining factor in that nation’s greatness.  A nation without cities.”[60]  Canada, like America, was built by visionaries who purposefully set out to create a nation.  Anything good which we have today in this country is the result, not of the a purpose is no nation at all, and insofar as America has pursued that purpose, so has she prospered; to the extent that she turns from her mission she suffers.  Canada as a nation remains a nascent proposition.  Knowing this to be the case, will the young generation of Canadians take up the legacy of Isaac Buchanan and the principles he represented?  Will we create a truly sovereign nation devoted to the advancement of its people?  These are the questions held perpetually before our eyes, as we of the LaRouche Movement strive for the creation of a Canadian Republic, so we might form that more perfect union amongst our fellow men.


[1] But not the year we became a nation, for that happy time eagerly awaits the blossoming of leadership represented by Lyndon LaRouche’s Youth Movement, who are dedicated to the creation of a Republic committed to an idea: the promotion of the happiness and welfare of all Canadians and their posterity.

[2] i.e., infrastructure development.

[3] Today’s Globe and Mail, the period’s most influential newspaper.

[4] Ontario and Quebec respectively.

[5] The British decided to grant the colonies of the Empire control over any matters of trivial consequence, while the matters of true import, such as trade and defense remained in the hands of the Crown.

[6] Since that time “Manchester School” has referred to 19th century radical liberalism, meaning laissez-faire, free trade, government withdrawal from the economy, and intentional lying with regard to the “harmonious” effects of free enterprise capitalism.  The doctrine of the Manchester School has been kept alive through such morally upstanding characters as Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman and the ideologues of the Mont Pelerin Society.

[7] Ezra Champion Seaman, Essays on the Progress of Nations (1853), p. 599. The Seaman passage is quoted in Isaac Buchanan, Relations of the Industry of Canada with the Mother Country and the United States (hereafter “Relations“) (1864) p. 152.

[8] Prior to the Repeal of the Corn Laws of 1846, Canada had been a part of the Imperial Free Trade system, whereby the colonies would supply raw materials, and in return would purchase their finished goods from Britain. This was the policy of centralization of manufactures. After 1846 Free Trade was extended beyond the empire, pitting Canadian farmers against U.S. and other farmers for exports to England.

[9] Morgan, H. J.  Sketches of Celebrated Canadians (1862) (hereafter “Sketches“).

[10] “One of the greatest compliments (according to his own estimation) paid to Mr. Buchanan in Britain, was by the working classes whom he had assisted against the Free Traders, in their successful struggle for the “ten hours’ bill,” on which occasion he was waited upon by a deputation representing a hundred thousand men, at that time mostly unemployed in London, with their tribute of thanks.  A proposal was at the same time made, to purchase, if he would agree to become a party to it, a London evening daily newspaper, for sale, the Courier, to advocate their common views, which then they proposed, in his honor, to call the Currency Reformer.” Relations pp.438-439.

[11] Sketches.

[12] Sketches.

[13] Relations p. 41.  As proof of Clay’s profound influence over his own policies, Buchanan had included on page 30 of that volume his decades-earlier endorsement of that statesman as “the greatest living American.”

[14] In 1849, in the aftermath of the Repeal of the Corn Laws and the depression of 1847, a large group of colonial businessmen formed a league which published a document entitled the Annexation Manifesto.  Their argument was that due to the adoption of free trade, the British left Canada with no option, but to seek protection behind the American tariff system by joining the United States.  Eventually Britain responded to the plight of her colony and organized the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854, a ten year trade agreement, which had granted access for Canadian farmers to American markets, while at the same time giving Americans free access to Canada’s canal systems and Atlantic fisheries.

[15] Gates, Lillian F.  After the Rebellion: The Later Years of William Lyon Mackenzie.  Toronto & Oxford; Dundurn Press 1988.  p. 268.  Mackenzie, a contradictory character himself, did not necessarily endorse Isaac Buchanan’s theories, but he was engaged in an extensive dialogue with him throughout this period and felt that it was important that Buchanan’s ideas were circulated widely.

[16] Careless, J.M.S.  Brown of the Globe, Macmillan Company of Canada Limited; Toronto 1959.  Vol. 1 p. 259.

[17] American tariffs were generally higher than Canadian tariffs by anywhere from 5% to 20%. Interestingly, America actually saw its manufactured exports to Canada increase by $899 399 from 1858 to 1859.  This likely has to do with British exports being penalized by the significantly greater transportation costs required to bring British goods to Canadian markets, thus creating, in a sense, a two-tiered tariff system which gave an advantage to the proximity of American manufactures.  A hint of Buchanan’s Zollverein can be detected.

[18] Relations p. 13.  When specie (gold) was withdrawn from the country the money supply was contracted, and bankers would raise interest rates to as much as 20 – 30%, strangling the economy.

[19] Relations p. 14-15.

[20] Careless Vol. 1 p. 160.  Buchanan would refer to the Manchester School and the Free Traders, Brown included, as “holding the doctrine of Robespierre – perish the Colonies rather than our theory.”

[21] Lester, while Consul to Genoa, wrote of his travels to England, describing the widespread poverty amongst the lower classes, and the pervasive corruption of the aristocracy, all of which functioned beneath the yoke of a tyrannical monarchy.

[22] Careless Vol. 2 p. 337.

[23] Some may object to our portrayal of Brown, saying that we should not judge him so harshly; perhaps he just didn’t know any better, for he seemed to treat his friends and family well enough!  But “decent” people often perpetuate evil policies.  Look at the world-destroying policies that today’s financiers promote – slave labor systems, genocide, financial speculation – yet they probably kiss their children and wives goodnight and shake hands with their neighbors like the rest of us.

[24] Globe, December 23, 1849.

[25] Careless  p. 181.

[26] Careless Vol. 1 302-3.

[27] The railway was to run from Quebec City to Windsor.  The intention was not to promote the development of industry and infrastructure in the colony, since the policy of free trade and the centralization of manufactures continued; instead, it would seem, that the desire to have an intercolonial railroad was rooted not only in imperial cronyism, but also the Empire’s fear of American influence within British territory.  The Grand Trunk’s construction was being financed by Canadian revenues, which went directly into the pockets of the British investors who were directing this vast looting operation from London.

[28] Salisbury, W. Allen, The Civil War And the American System, EIR 1992. pp. 30-1.  Henry C. Carey, “The Financial Crisis, Their Causes and Effects,” in Miscellaneous Works pp. 21-24.

[29] Globe April 10, 1862.  Brown never supported a colonial militia.  He preferred to have Canada call upon the British army whenever defense became an issue.  Of course, a country without an effective means of defense, and lacking the capacity to manufacture the necessities of war, can never seriously consider a bid for independence.

[30] Regardless of the decisions made by the government Buchanan founded the 13th (Hamilton) Battalion of Infantry (later the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry) and held the rank of lieutenant-colonel for about two years.  He had seen service during the rebellions of 1837 and was one of the highest ranking officers in the Militia service.  Under any Canadian military operations Buchanan would have played an important role.

[31] Composed of a compilation of his speeches, pamphlets, essays and letters.  It also included excerpts from economic authorities such as Henry C. Carey, J. Barnard Byles, and the writings of other Canadians and international figures, including an 1832 essay entitled A Monarchy Surrounded by Republican Institutions, by Marquis de Lafayette, translated by James Fennimore Cooper.  This publication strongly advocated protectionism and sovereignty over economic, domestic and foreign policy.  The central feature which emerges from the text is the need for a Canadian-American Zollverein.

[32] The intention of the Zollverein, the opposite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), was to create high wage, highly industrialized economies on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

[33] Relations p. 155.  Excerpts from Henry C. Carey’s writings, sometimes at lengths of over three pages, are littered throughout Buchanan’s own work, particularly in Relations, declaring, “Of these works I trust there will soon be got up cheap Canadian Editions for the million, through the exertions of the Association for the Promotion of Canadian Industry [emphasis in original – RDA].”

[34] Relations p. 118, 144.

[35] Careless Vol. 2 p.65.

[36] Relations pp. 9-22.  See also footnotes 25, 30, 31.

[37] Globe, January 6th 1864.

[38] The President of the Executive Council was the most influential political position in the colony.  The president was second only to the Governor General himself, and thus wielded a proportional amount of power.  Merritt, as President from 1848 until 1851, had been able to launch numerous infrastructure projects, and had incredible influence over domestic and foreign affairs.

[39] His brother Peter, who ran the family’s affairs while Isaac was engaged in politics, had died in 1862 in a hunting accident in England.  Almost bankrupted in 1864, Isaac retired from Parliament on 17th January, 1865.  The business struggled on until 1867, and then collapsed completely.

[40] New York Times, Dec. 30, 1880.

[41] Gen. William A. Tidwell, Come Retribution: The Confederate Secret Service and the Assassination of Lincoln, 1988, Univ. of Mississippi Press, p. 334).

[42] The Letters of Queen Victoria, 1926, London, John Murray, Vol. I, page 250.

[43] The core of the British Oligarchy.

[44] Careless,  Vol. 2 p.195.

[45] Maclean, John.  Protection in Canada, 1879.  “When Confederation came up the people of Ontario and Quebec were called upon to make sacrifices, partly to meet the views of the people of the Maritime Provinces, but still more, it is believed, in obedience to pressure from England, political, financial, and social, brought to bear upon our public men, in favor of Free Trade.”

[46] Maclean is an enigmatic figure.  There is almost nothing written about him, except a rumored entry for the Canadian Dictionary of Biographies that was never published, and this author has not yet been able to discover.  Much of our knowledge comes from a Master’s Thesis published in 1983 by Kevin Henley, University of Quebec at Montreal.

[47] Maclean, John.  Protection and Free Trade, 1867 pp. 6-7.

[48] Maclean, John.  Protection in Canada, 1879  p.10.

[49] Ibid.  “Mr. Mackenzie and his colleagues were thoroughly imbued with the Benthamite idea that the best government is that which governs least, and that … the sphere and duties of government should be reduced to a minimum and drawn within the narrowest possible limits.”

[50] Careless Vol. 2 318-320.  The U.S. government had been fully aware for over a decade that the idea of a customs union/Zollverein was being promoted by certain leading figures such as Isaac Buchanan.

[51] Globe, October 26, 1877.  Evidently Canadians should have been thankful to experience such suffering!

[52] Globe, September 3-8, 12, 1877.

[53] Careless 352-3.  Globe, November 20, December 14, 24, 1877.

[54] Hincks had been a close associate of Merritt, Baldwin and Lafontaine, holding an important position in the 1848-51 government; he was an enemy of Brown and had been the target of numerous personal attacks from said personage over the years.

[55] “The Alliance of Democracy and Protection” Rose-Bedford’s Canadian Monthly and National Review, II (1879) 275.

[56] Couturier, J.P. en collaboration avec Un Passé Composé – Les Canadas de 1850 à nos jours.

[57] Globe, September 16, 1878.

[58] Protection in Canada p. 27.

[59] Keefer, T.C.  Universal Exhibition 1878 Paris: Canadian Section; Handbook and Official Catalogue.

[60] Railroads p. xxii.