Canada purchase?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by RiseOfAmerica, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. ArKhan ಠ_ಠ dance monkey. dance. ಠ_ಠ

    Jun 12, 2007
    Land of the weirdos
    Maybe part of it, but not the whole thing. Much more plausible before confederation, or in a TL where confederation never happened and each province remains separate.
  2. Grimbald Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2011
    Plano, Texas
    I wonder why

    I wonder why James Polk did not offer GB ten or twenty million dollars as part of the Oregon settlement to get more of Oregon.

    I also believe that a financially aggressive posture towatd BC in the late 1860's could have netted much of western Canada pre confereration.

    Likewise an aggressive financial offer could have gotten Newfoundland in 1949.
  3. pieman97405 I need a Ford Nucleon.

    Apr 19, 2011

    Can I get a source on that first bit please?
  4. Marc Pasquin 43 % pure, 57 % recycled sins

    Aug 18, 2011
    I live in da land down unda'
    In addition to which, the french canadian/irish catholics worries about the preservation of their identity and religion were felt even within a united province of canada that was roughly 50/50, I can't see how suddenly finding itself within a country that was never overly tolerant of their values much more reassuring.
  5. Bureaucromancer Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    I've heard this one before, but all the evidence I've seen is more that the idea was very briefly talked about and dismissed without ever being presented to the Americans. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the American's didn't care about BC at the time, given that the Oregon claim included for all intents & purposes all of BC. My impression is that it is much more a case of Britain not seeing the value, between settling for the 49th parallel, even contemplating letting the mainland go and not even actually organizing a mainland colony until 1858.

    As for Canada forming without BC, I can't imagine that it wouldn't have. BC didn't join Confederation until 1871 after all, and it was not a sure thing that that would happen. Remember that a lot of the justification for Confederation was defence against the Americans, IMO that sort of feeling is only going to be strengthened by being cut off from the Pacific and more or less abandoned by Britain. If anything I'd think you'd end up with a Canada that is much more independent minded from Britain than OTL, though what happens in the west is going to be interesting. I have to think it would make the Arctic (or at least Hudson Bay) coast a lot more important come the 20th century.
  6. Tyr air in space

    Jan 2, 2004
    Its not a question of making money. North America's initial settlement was about making money but by the 19th century things had changed and it was a land where people lived. Canada was a pretty developed and modern place with a huge degree of responsible self government. No way is Britain going to sell British subjects to a foreign power. Especially when they would be vehemently opposed to such a sale- a hefty part of the Canadian population were after all descendent of those who left the US because of the revolution.
    Its just not tenable at all to sell Canada to the US. At the most you'll see a few small areas being sold for extortionate prices.
    The far more likely thing to happen is the reverse. That Britain buys American states. (not likely but more likely)

    I just dislike this cliched AH idea that America is somehow special in the world and can just buy any territory it likes. Things don't work that way. Those territories that America did buy historically had special circumstances around them.
  7. RiseOfAmerica Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2012
    Me too, would any of those scenarios be plausible?
  8. Bureaucromancer Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    There's also the whole responsible government issue. We had it by 1850, and while foreign affairs were still under British control there are real questions about how independent these colonies were in law, and every possibility that no sale would be legal without the colonial parliament's approval.
  9. Falastur Fighting Swiss-wank since 1291

    Jan 16, 2009
    Hitchin, Herts
    The Hudson's Bay Company held the Rupert's Land territory under charter from the British crown. Even if the US did manage to subvert its board structure in order to engineer a board offer for the US to purchase the company, the British crown would simply find the HBC to be in contravension of the very document which gave it legitimacy, and would liquidate the company with no compensation to the shareholders. Kind of the same way that they were able to disband the EIC when the crown got jumpy about their ability to govern India effectively in 1857-58.
  10. Prime Minister I'm not Harper

    Jan 22, 2012
    Abbotsford, British Columbia Canada
    That had been talked about. And, around the time of Canadian Confederation the British were willing to have Canada annexed into the United States. The issue however is that it needed to be a democratic Canadian choice on what our future was. Canadians like the British, were seen as a being Born Free. And there for could not be traded or sold against their will.

    Not to mention that the UK saw the US as a potential rival oneday. And didnt want to hand them a leg up.
  11. Sucrose Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    The idea of buying and selling territory is way, way overblown in my opinion. As far as I can see, states sold overseas territory for two reasons:

    1. Their claim over the territory was almost purely on paper only, and they were in reality selling vast amounts of wilderness and lands inhabited by tribes not acknowledging their authority.

    2. They were about to lose the territory anyway, and figured they might as well get some money for it, or they chose to trade it away for other territory in negotiations ending a war they lost. See the Mexican-American War, and various colonial wars.

    Alaska was a combination of 1 and 2, the Russians thought the British would seize the territory sometime soon.
  12. BlondieBC Kaiser of Ozarks

    Oct 4, 2011
    There is also swaps like Zanzibar for Helgioland. Note: I have canuck friends who claim UK sold them out on Alaska border for concessions elsewhere.

    Now to the main idea, I can't see the USA buying all of Canada expect as some fig leaf after some a major win in some USA/UK war. So just to pull out something, the USA joins CP in WW1 for whatever reason, and takes Canada. Then, sure the USA might "buy" Canada in a peace deal, but the types of things I can see happening.

    1) Cash is exchange in relationship to the Maine border dispute. Maybe same as OTL, maybe bit bigger USA.

    2) Could see cash exchange in Oregon settlement.

    3) Like the purchase of Southern Arizona, the could come something the USA needs a small border adjustment on for some reason. Cash is exchanged for mostly empty land.

    4) USA gets empty land like central Canada plains. If you get a POD where these area is less developed (no trans Canadian RR), then it becomes lot more likely.

    5) USA had concession on things like landing to dry cod in Canada. I could see this being trade if the USA wanted something in particular and it was small enough. Say, if for some reason USA coveted part of Yukon territory that does not contain Gold or wants northern half of Vancouver Island or something else small.

    6) USA had concession on part of what is now Malaysia. Maybe trade for something closer to USA. Since this is near the time of the Alaska deal, I am not sure say part of Borneo for Yukon territory is ASB on the UK side. Or part of BC for fishing rights. Or slightly expanded Alaska. Just avoid major Canadian population centers.

    But for the big concessions, you either need UK fear war with USA which is probably dual POD involving USA avoiding Civil war and UK need help somewhere else, which sounds a lot like USA avoids civil war and WW1 comes early.