Today's Multi polar Potential & the Missed Chance of 1867
Today’s world is shaped in many ways by similar dynamics shaping the world of 1867.
Today, just as in 1867, two systems pull mankind in two opposing directions while a global system of empire teeters on the brink of collapse.
Today, just as in 1867, the center of that failing empire is found in the City of London and its junior partners on Wall Street and even though it wasn’t known as “deep state” in 1867, the Anglo-American operations that assassinated Lincoln from Montreal Canada, while manipulating wars globally was essentially the same perverse force mis-shaping the natural tendency of civilization to cooperate, learn and progress together.
Just as in 1867, today’s world will either face a hellish slide into chaos by holding onto that dying imperial system, OR a new multi polar system may yet become the hegemonic replacement ushering in a new age of progress and cooperation amongst sovereign nations of the world.
While today’s defenders of the nation state system are based principally in Eurasia, the 19th century champions of this multi polar system had names like Henry C. Carey, William Seward, Ulysses Grant, Czar Alexander II and William Gilpin.
Whether we observe today’s Belt and Road Initiative, International North South Transport Corridor and Polar Silk Road as well as the 19th century global spread of Lincoln’s system of protective tariffs, productive credit, rail building and inter-connectivity, the British Empire was (and is) desperate to destroy this potential by any means. How could breaking this emergent system occur when the bonds of Russian-American friendship were at their apex by the end of the Civil War? Russia had, after all, saved the Union via the deployment of Russian fleets to San Francisco and New York while American engineers were offering their gratitude by assisting in vast Russian rail projects modeled on Lincoln’s Trans Continental Railway. It was known by leading statesmen of the time that the world’s two first continental rail systems (trans Siberian and America) would soon link together via the Bering Strait tunnel and this grand project was brought ever closer to realization by Russia’s 1867 sale of Alaska to the USA.
Britain was moving fast to keep control of her prized American colonies which were strategically vital not only to run operations on the lost colonies of 1776, but also to maintain a wall of division between the historic affection between the great Eurasian cultures and rebellious republic. The fact that the British North America Act was written out while America’s Civil War was still waging to the south in Charlottetown in 1864 (though would not be enacted until July 1, 1867) should not be lost on anyone.
It was a race against time, however as 9 out of 10 British Columbians living in the isolated colony of the Pacific rejected joining the newly confederated eastern colonies with whom they had no connection and were separated by 3000 km of Private Hudson Bay Company land. These British Columbians, living in abject squalor after the collapse of the Gold Rush bubbles of 1858, clamored loudly for annexation to the USA and even formally presented two annexation petitions to the Queen in 1867 and again in 1869.
Why did the planned rail connection from America to Russia via the Bering Straits fail? Why did British Columbia end up joining Confederation in 1871 and why did Lincoln’s allies in Canada fall from power before the Civil War had ended? While Britain’s “Southern Confederacy” failed, her “Northern Confederacy” succeeded. Why? How did Russia save America during the war and how do these lessons help us navigate through the tumultuous waters of our present age?
All of these questions and more will be addressed in this Untold History of Canada lecture:
Supplementary Reading Material
Matthew Ehret the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , and Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow. He is author of the ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series and Clash of the Two Americas trilogy. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation .