Globalizing Confederation brings together original research from 17 scholars to provide an international perspective on Canada’s Confederation in 1867. In seeking to ascertain how others understood, constructed or considered the changes taking place in British North America, Globalizing Confederation unpacks a range of viewpoints, including those from foreign governments, British colonies, and Indigenous peoples.
Exploring perspectives from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, France, Latin America, New Zealand, and the Vatican, among others, as well as considering the impact of Confederation on the rights of Indigenous peoples during this period, the contributors to this collection present how Canada’s Confederation captured the imaginations of people around the world in the 1860s. Globalizing Confederation reveals how some viewed the 1867 changes to Canada as part of a reorganization of the British Empire, while others contextualized it in the literature on colonization more broadly, while still others framed the event as part of a re-alignment or power shift among the Spanish, French and British empires. While many people showed interest in the Confederation debates, others, such as South Africa and the West Indies, expressed little interest in the establishment of Canada until it had profound effects on their corners of the global political landscape.