- Dec 24, 2006
With the Collapse of Royalist control in the British Isles and the uprooting of the rich and a great deal of the middle classes, the integration of British political elites in the Canadian political sphere has been characterized by its own unique problems.
THE CANADIAN EXPERIENCE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE WAR:
When Canadian troops returned to their country after the conclusion of the peace with honour treaty, Canadian Prime Minister Robert Laird Borden received a marching column of troops headed by the tenacious and well-beloved Canadian general Sir Arthur Currie GCMF, KCB. Currie, esteemed heavily by both the Allies and the Central Powers for his brilliant leadership of the Canadian Corps, had quickly established a reputation for the Canadians as some of the most effective troops on the Western Front.
PM Borden, dogged and tired after holding a Union Government together for the duration of the war, appeared visibly strained and prematurely aged as he proclaimed: "I welcome you home from the fields of war, from which you knew no defeat!" Canadian attitudes to the war were divided. While Patriots and Imperialists took comfort some comfort in the fact that the Empire had not been defeated per se, the fact that the war ended in a unfavourable "draw" heavily in the German favour kindled great resentment, espicially in Quebec where conscription riots and opposition to the war seemed to be justified in the light of German dominance of the European continent.
In the immediate aftermath of the war, all the Union liberals who had not left the government quickly rejoined their fellow party members in the opposition and the government fell apart, divided as to how to take Canada into the future. Former liberal PM Sir Wilfrid Laurier's optimistic prediction that the 20th century would be Canada's century seemed laughable now to most Canadians. Laurier himself had passed away during the war, seemingly taking with him to the grave the sunny prosperity that had affected Canada during his leadership in the late 19th century.
Shortly after calling the election, PM Borden lay in his room at the Chateau Laurier (named in honour of the former liberal PM) and passed away. His last words were of regret that he had never returned to his native Nova Scotia to rejoin the Celtic Diaspora.
With many of the heavyweights of the old 19th century and pre-war political traditions dead, Canada weaved in and out of political obscurity and a deep sense of national malaise. All of this would be grimly impacted by the loss of the Home Islands.
With the loss of the Home Isles, the British liberals, still tarred with having lost the war under the leadership of Herbert Asquith and David Lloyd George (at least in Canada), the liberal tradition of Britain did not impact the Canadian liberal party as much as some thought it would. William Lyon MacKenzie King, who became liberal leader in 1919, had previously been Minister of Labour under Laurier and came from an interesting family. His maternal grandfather had been the leader of the Upper Canadian rebellion and had died in the United States in exile. After serving under Wilfird Laurier as Labour minister for a brief time in 1907, King took time to travel the United States and wrote extensively on Labour relations, becoming well acquainted with many leading American industrialists such as the Rockerfellers while doing his best to aid them in successfully resolving their labour disputes. He returned to Canada at the outbreak of the Weltkrieg.
With the Conservatives led by Arther Meighan after the death of Borden, King has met with mixed success in rallying the forces of Canadian liberalism. His greatest success has been painting Meighan as a yes-man to the British lords and exiles blamed for losing the Empire, but his policy of urging a peaceful foreign policy based on mutually dependent, integrated economies with other the nations within “The Anglo-Saxon World” (as he calls it) has antagonized the British and Canadian military elites and has proven difficult to reconcile with Canada’s massive fleet and imperial obligations in Delhi and the Caribbean. One of King’s highest priority both as Opposition Leader and Prime Minister seems to be helping the traditional political parties in the USA retain control as part of the Anglo-Saxon World. It is rumoured that if civil war comes to the USA, King may side with the America First movement if they legitimately take power, if only to prevent the growth of syndicalism in North America…
An economic upturn and expansion of industrialization was brought about by the infusion of British gold and technology brought by the British exiles but it has not brought a corresponding rise in worker’s rights due to suspicions of Syndicalism. Left wing elements in the Prairies organized a general strike in Winnipeg which was brutally repressed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, egged on by the British and Canadian elites who desired to stamp out any possibility of another revolution occurring. However the extent that many of the RCMP officers went to shocked many within the Canadian body politic (it was rumoured that the RCMP has been infiltrated by a group of men who are the sons of former members of the old Special Branch), and the Liberals under King reached out to members of the Canadian Commonwealth Federation (CCF) declaring that they were merely ‘Liberals in a hurry.’ King’s charm and reaching out to the left-wing in order to form a united opposition to the Conservatives has resulted in Canadian socialism and liberalism adopting a policy of gradual, legal reform. With this alliance, King was able to win the next federal election and regain the Premiership.
This has not endeared King to many conservatives in Canada. While King’s policies are clearly constructed in view of how much the Canadian people will tolerate, his oppurtunism and accumulation of political alliances among the respectable members of the Left has built a powerful counterpoint to conservatives such as Arthur Meighen and R.B. Bennett. As dangerous as it seems, King is no fool. While his eccentricities are well known, (his doting love for his Scottish Terrier Pat, his interest in séances and the occult and his devotion to his mother) he maintains an iron grip on his party’s discipline and arranges for himself to carry a safe riding every election.
Relations with the Liberals and the Royal family are strained. The King has no time for the Liberal leader, leading wags in the press to talk about the war between the King’s of Canada. The Prince of Wales, the darling of Canada’s media, finds King to be nothing but a mere colonial and spends most of his time putting in valuable facetime for the Monarchy in Canada, especially in Quebec where he is doing his best to woe the French Canadians with his charm (rumours are swirling that he is involved with a Roman Catholic Frenchwoman, a commoner no less, and may in fact cost him the crown). His brother Albert however, possessed of a powerful sense of duty, has granted King a great deal of mutual respect, if not public endorsement, especially in regards to King’s contention that each British Dominion is a separate state with equal rights within a larger Empire, each with its separate crown for its head of state.
The other sons of King George V, HRH Henry Duke of Gloucester and HRH George Duke of Kent have kept a low profile in the Canadian public life, though the Duke of Kent’s interest in the development of airpower has lead to his active engagement and elevation within the Royal Canadian Airforce. He has been instrumental in establishing the Empire Air Training Program in the Province of Alberta where pilots from all over the Empire, from the Pacific, South Africa (though less and less are coming from this troubled part of the Empire), the Caribbean and even some from India.
Henry has remained in the army and patronizes the Royal Military College in Kingston as an honorary colonel. It is suspected that he will be dispatched to one of the other Dominions as Governor-General to increase the connection between the Crown and its subjects.
CANADIAN ELECTIONS FROM 1917
1917 - Conservatives, led by Borden, are re-elected with a majority as part of a pro-conscription unionists coalition, which had former Liberals and Conservatives in the cabinet. The Unionists defeat Laurier's anti-conscription Liberals in the most bitter campaign in Canadian history.
1922 - Liberals, led by William Lyon Mackenzie King, win a minority government, defeating Conservative prime minister Arthur Meighen. The Conservatives are reduced to third place in the House as many Center Left wing MP’s win elections in the West and British Columbia under the new Progressive party. However, the Progressives decline the title of official opposition, leaving open the possibility of a coalition with the Liberals. Meighen becomes opposition leader.
1925 - Mackenzie King's Liberals hold on to power with the help of Progressive Robert Forke, despite Conservatives, led by Arthur Meighen, winning more seats. The Revolution in Britain occurs and the Union of Britain is proclaimed. A political crisis ensues as a flood of British political refugees pours into Canada. The Progressives, painted with the brush of Syndicalism are viciously attacked by the Conservatives in the media. Some street fighting is reported between members of the Right and Left wing militias. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police restores order and Prime Minister King declares a National Emergency and invokes the War Measures Act. The Royal Navy re-establishes itself in Canada as the Union of Britain consolidates its control of the Home Isles. Without a centralized Imperial government, the Empire is thrown into confusion, the Royal Navy, acting mostly of its own initiative is able to maintain control of the Caribbean. The British Indian Army re-groups in Delhi and salvages as much of the former Raj as it can. Australia and New Zealand, without the protection of the Royal Navy (later to become a point of great contention between Ottawa and Canberra) merge into a political union. The German Empire seizes most of the Strategic naval stations of the British Empire, allegedly to prevent a world crisis, but it becomes clear as most of the Empire plunges into rebellion and civil war that the British fleet cannot insure order and the German presence becomes permanent. The declaration of a National emergency plays into King’s hands as he is now able to stifle accusations of corruption and patronage within his government (that actually turned out to have much validity) and the more centrist of the Progressives jump ship to the Liberal party which wraps itself in the flag to weather the Crisis. With a stronger Liberal party and a emasculated Progressive party, the Conservatives bide their time, constantly criticizing King’s failure to secure more of the Empire (though realistically, the tiny Canadian army was only able to send a token force to the Caribbean). King, realizing that the Empire is lost but that the admission of such a fact is political suicide, embarks upon a new Imperial Policy as the most powerful British state left standing. The presence of a British government in exile is a threat to Canadian unity and King’s power, and under the provisions of the War Measures Act and Martial Law, King promulgates a legislative union act, merging the two governments into one under his control. He is able to outmanuver and replace all British leaders who could conceivably try to become PM of Canada in the highly charged emotional mindset of the fall of Britain. After asserting his control over the Cabinet and parliament and making sure that only British MP’s who will follow his line and get elected in their own right in Canadian ridings, King moves on to the armed forces. Seeing the Royal Navy as the only common institution of the Empire still intact, the Fleet is ordered to divide up and deploy squadrons to Karachi, Australasia and South Africa. This does much to reassure the Australasians and South Africans, though it won’t be permanent.
1930 - Conservatives, led by R.B. Bennett, win a majority, defeating the Liberals under Mackenzie King. With the influx of many British Conservatives such as Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill, the Conservatives have been able to present themselves as the party of Imperial unity. The endorsement of King George V, blatantly meddling in Canada’s political affairs seals the election for Bennett whose cabinet is 100% Canadian. However, Bennett relies on the financial, political and philosophical guidance of British Exiles who exist in a ‘shadow cabinet’ of Canada’s traditional clubs for the Elite such as the Empire Club in Toronto, the Orange Order of Ontario and the Chateau Clique in Montreal. Even under the Liberal government of King, the Army and Navy staffs were packed with many of Britain’s top generals and admirals. Though a few generals such as Vanier (the top ranking French Canadian in the army), Crerar and McNaughton have attained positions of influence in the army, the Navy is firmly in the hands of British admirals. The Air Force is the only Canadian institution to remain almost equally divided between Canadians and British Exiles. Proclaiming that the ultimate goal of Canada is the reclaimation of Britain, Bennett recalls much of the British Fleet from the Pacific and the entire South African station, causing great resentment in the other Dominions and wages a inconclusive (though popular) war of skirmishes with the Syndicalist Navy in the Atlantic. While the Navy seems well prepared to renew the war against the Union of Britain, the Canadian army remains small and is in need or reorganization if it is to become capable of forcing a landing in Britain. Many Canadian officers look enviously at the Australasian army, which is no more advanced, but is larger, better organized and better led as several of the more progressive British generals settled in Australasia.
1935 - Liberals, led by Mackenzie King, defeat Bennett's Conservatives with a majority. The election was seen mainly as a referendum on Bennett’s Imperial Policy. While it played well at home to wage a tit for tat naval war in the Atlantic for a about a year or so, the public has become weary of a struggle with no conclusive end or objective in sight. The Australasians, whose own economic expansion brought about by its own influx of British Exiles and currency (though much less than the one that affected Canada) has stalled and continues to resent the loss of the majority of the Australasian station of the Royal Navy. Many in Canada fear that the larger Australasian army may not march for the Empire if it means leaving their shores undefended. King’s sensitive balancing of the old Entente Alliance to keep the Dominions firmly within an Global Anglo-Saxon Bloc has resulted in many tense negotiations between Ottawa and Canberra to re-deploy some of the Royal Navy back to the South Pacific, especially in light of the expanding Japanese Navy, which is still technically an “ally”.
FOREIGN POLICY AND DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH THE OLD EMPIRE STATES
Abroad, the old Boer nemesis in South Africa has resurfaced. South Africa was the one Dominion of the Old Empire to receive only a trickle of Exiles and the share of the spoils they were able to save from Britain was miniscule. Even King may not be able to bring the South African’s back into the Empire, though he hopes that they will at least remain as an associated power and maintain the preferential trading agreements that see many of South Africa’s raw materials head to feed Canada’s large industrial appetite.
The British Naval Station in Delhi remains strong enough to be threatening, but too weak to maintain Order in the Indian Ocean and is growing old in the face of the German Naval Squadron based at Ceylon, the Canadians maintain it to maintain a link with the aging British technocrats in the Delhi government.
The fall of the Old Empire and the rebellion of several subject peoples has resulted in a great deal of racism in Canada and Australasia against people who are visibly Non-British, and the Conservative party, back when it was still in power, urged the Australasians to deploy a sizable portion of its army to Delhi to “keep the natives in line”. This further antagonized the rocky relationship between Canberra and Ottawa, and King astutely dropped the matter. While they are not Anglo-Saxon, King has made a point of declaring on no less than 7 public occasions that India has “been a part of the Empire longer than most of Canada and that there exists a special place for them, side by side with their fellow citizens of the Empire…” The fact that King used the word citizens, as opposed to subjects has caused a great deal of debate over the future of the Empire in political circles. With the advent of more sophisticated communication technology, many proponents of a global federation of Imperial British states is gaining more prominence within Liberal circles, especially as it would place a reclaimed Britain on an equal footing with Canada within such a political arrangement.
In Quebec Maurice Duplessis, as leader of the paternal-authoritarian-like Union Nationale, stands unopposed in provincial politics and successfully eliminated overt support syndicalism and ensuring the survival of the Catholic identity of Quebec. His party has used the election slogan "Survival" in every provincial election to paint Quebecois self-image as a religious struggle for God.
Duplessis however has been more than willing to let Anglo companies build branch plants within Quebec and build up an impressive commercial presence so long as they did not allow unions and did not try to intervene in politics at all. He has even allowed some of them to have English-only workplaces. He maintains cheerful and amicable relations with the corrupt and patronage driven government of Mitch Hepburn, the scandalous "Liberal" premier of Ontario.
In light of the fall of the Empire, Duplessis has enhanced relations with the Italian federation and its dominant Catholic political culture, especially in hopes that a weak pope will be elected when the current incumbent dies. If such an election took place and the Pontiff would not interfere with Quebec, Duplessis is eager to maintain his close alliance with the Catholic Church. The Church essentially runs education and social welfare as a result of this arrangement and very few Quebecois receive a higher education. Duplessis also maintains a relationship with National France, not because of a kinship to the European French (whom many Quebecois accuse of abandoning them to the English), but to stamp out any possible Syndicalist infiltration by Commune agents.
Assuming a strong Pope like Innitzer gets elected... Duplessis may be forced to reconsider his alliance as he would not want the Holy Father looking over his shoulder. King has long given up on trying to engineer a liberal government for the Province of Quebec and both Conservative and Liberal governments have refrained from interfering in Quebec politics so long as Duplessis does not stoke disloyalty or interferes with Federal politics.
While R.B Bennet and the British elites wanted to also recapture Ireland, King has embarked on a policy of reconciliation with the “Lost Dominion.” In the event of war, King have suggested sending a diplomatic offer to Michael Collins that offers a public, binding, international decree by the British crown to recognize the sovereignty of the Irish Republic and a vow to never violate that sovereignty, and in return for port rights and airstrips in Ireland to carry out the war against the UoB.
(Amazing Canadian Backstory by UnitedEmpireLoyalist, Cheers)
1936, The Present
Ever since the Proclamation of the Union of Britain, King George V has been plagued with sickness, a sickness which has intensified in recent months. The fate of both the King and of the Empire is unsure, both have begun to slowly wither and die. Next in line for the throne is Edward, Prince of Wales, while R.B. Bennet and the Exiles are waiting for their chance to use the Prince to their advantage. No matter what happens in the first few months of 1936, God Save the King!
- Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg 1.0
- Settings on Normal/Normal
Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg is a mod for HoI2 Doomsday and Armageddon which asks the question: "What if the Germans won WWII?" As you have read, Revolutions at home have forced the British Royal Family to flee to Canada and for the French Nationalists to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Africa.
Now, a decade later, Berlin's economy is in recession and political divisions run deep in the United States. General Strikes by the IWW bring the economies of Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay to a halt while the "American First Council" agruably has more power in the Midwest and Texas than the Federal Government while the West Coast of the United States prospers.
The Commune of France is the leader of a Worldwide radical movement whose goal is to bring down the Reactionary governments in Europe and abroad and establish rule by Trade Unions across the World.
In Russia, political dissent has reached its boiling point and divisions are begin to appear in Spain while the Ausgleich, the Re-Negotiation of the Austro-Hungarian Comprimise is nearing closer.
The economies of South America are dependent on Berlin, its anyones bet what would happen to the Continent if the recession in Germany was to stop sliding and to plunge.
Success or Failure; Whether London is retake or the Revolution follows the Royal Family across the Atlantic, I hope you'll be entertained.