The Imperial Federation - Should it have gone ahead? Watch

Poll: Imperial Federation?
Yes (21)
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No (6)
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Paxdax
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#1
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For those of you who don't know what the Imperial Federation is, read this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Federation

The Imperial Federation was a proposal to turn the British Empire into a federated superstate, which would combine the benefits of a large power with that of small, efficient governing. Member of this Federation would likely have been the largely British-descended dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, as well as Ireland and South Africa.

"Supporters of Imperial Federation regarded the United Kingdom as having two possible futures; imperial union and continued long-term importance or imperial dissolution and the reduction of the status of the UK to a second-class nation."

Looking back now, we know that the British Government chose the latter choice. But, should the first choice have been taken? With an Imperial Federation, Britain might have maintained its status as a big international power, instead of the decline we witnessed in the 20th century.

FACTS:

Using contemporary statistics, the Imperial Federation consisting of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland would have had:

A population of roughly 125 million

An economy with a nominal value of 5.381 trillion dollars, which would have made it the second largest in the World

Would have spanned three continents
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Teaddict
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#2
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Would have been brilliant.
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Stalin
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#3
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The Canadians, Australians, Irish, New Zealanders and South Africans wanted to be independent for a reason.
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Paxdax
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#4
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(Original post by Stalin)
The Canadians, Australians, Irish, New Zealanders and South Africans wanted to be independent for a reason.
It was more like they were given home-rule. In a federation, they would have had home-rule, with Imperial issues like foreign policy and military being decided in the Imperial parliament.
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Teaddict
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(Original post by Paxdax)
It was more like they were given home-rule. In a federation, they would have had home-rule, with Imperial issues like foreign policy and military being decided in the Imperial parliament.
Precisely.
It would have been brilliant!
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Stalin
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#6
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(Original post by Paxdax)
It was more like they were given home-rule. In a federation, they would have had home-rule, with Imperial issues like foreign policy and military being decided in the Imperial parliament.
Ask a Canadian, Australian, Irishman, New Zealander or a South African if he'd like to rejoin the good old jolly good empire, and form a federation.

As I said, they're independent for a reason, take the hint.
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Stalin
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(Original post by Teaddict)
Precisely.
It would have been brilliant!
I hardly think that the Irish, who were persecuted by the English for 800 years would find it particularly brilliant.
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Teaddict
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(Original post by Stalin)
Ask a Canadian, Australian, Irishman, New Zealander or a South African if he'd like to rejoin the good old jolly good empire, and form a federation.

As I said, they're independent for a reason, take the hint.
Depends how you ask it.

If you say would you like to rejoin the good old jolly empire of course they would say no. However, this is not an empire, it is a federation.


Give each country equal standing, and it would be great.
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Paxdax
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#9
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(Original post by Stalin)
Ask a Canadian, Australian, Irishman, New Zealander or a South African if he'd like to rejoin the good old jolly good empire, and form a federation.

As I said, they're independent for a reason, take the hint.
The possibility of an Imperial Federation today is dead and buried since long. This is if it would have been a desirable choice a hundred or more years ago, before home-rule.
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Psyk
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#10
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(Original post by Teaddict)
Depends how you ask it.

If you say would you like to rejoin the good old jolly empire of course they would say no. However, this is not an empire, it is a federation.


Give each country equal standing, and it would be great.
But doesn't that kind of go the against Britain being an important international power? In that kind of federation it would just be one part of a larger whole. Britain itself would probably be no more significant than any other part of this federation, except historically speaking.
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Stalin
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(Original post by Paxdax)
The possibility of an Imperial Federation today is dead and buried since long. This is if it would have been a desirable choice a hundred or more years ago, before home-rule.
It would've collapsed anyway, in the same fashion that the empire did.
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Paxdax
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#12
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(Original post by Psyk)
But doesn't that kind of go the against Britain being an important international power? In that kind of federation it would just be one part of a larger whole. Britain itself would probably be no more significant than any other part of this federation, except historically speaking.
It'd essentially be a 'Greater Britain', due to the fact that the population of these dominions were largely (and still constitute a decent majority today) British-descended.
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Paxdax
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#13
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(Original post by Stalin)
It would've collapsed anyway, in the same fashion that the empire did.
Has the US collapsed after 240 years, despite massive cultural mixing and so on, and a multitude of states?
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Stalin
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(Original post by Paxdax)
Has the US collapsed after 240 years, despite massive cultural mixing and so on, and a multitude of states?
There's a difference between the empire and the USA.

People in the US are American, they're not Californian or Mississippian, they're American. Moreover, these states aren't countries.

Had the Canadians, Australians etc wanted to remain part of the empire, they'd have clearly said something about forming a federation.
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Teaddict
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#15
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(Original post by Stalin)
There's a difference between the empire and the USA.

People in the US are American, they're not Californian or Mississippian, they're American. Moreover, these states aren't countries.

Had the Canadians, Australians etc wanted to remain part of the empire, they'd have clearly said something about forming a federation.
There is a clear distinction between Empire and Federation.
The Empire is for the benefit of the United Kingdom.
Federation is for the benefit of all involved.

Very different.
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Stalin
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#16
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(Original post by Teaddict)
There is a clear distinction between Empire and Federation.
The Empire is for the benefit of the United Kingdom.
Federation is for the benefit of all involved.

Very different.
Had the other nations wanted it, wouldn't they have said something?

Moreover, what's stopping it from happening? Oh wait, the fact that none of the nations mentioned other than the UK actually want it.
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Paxdax
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#17
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(Original post by Stalin)
Had the other nations wanted it, wouldn't they have said something?

Moreover, what's stopping it from happening? Oh wait, the fact that none of the nations mentioned other than the UK actually want it.
The countries involved were given home-rule by Britain in the 19th century, and didn't quite demand to be separate from Britain (except Ireland). And even though they had home-rule, they were Dominions of the British Empire, nominally part of it (and thus also allied with Britain during the World Wars).

Today the Federation is a near-impossibility, but it was not in the 19th century. If the British Governments had chosen to do so, they could have implemented home-rule as part of a federation instead of making the Dominions de-facto independent. The possibility of this is really what is being discussed, not the CURRENT political situation.
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Stalin
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(Original post by Paxdax)
The countries involved were given home-rule by Britain in the 19th century, and didn't quite demand to be separate from Britain (except Ireland). And even though they had home-rule, they were Dominions of the British Empire, nominally part of it (and thus also allied with Britain during the World Wars).

Today the Federation is a near-impossibility, but it was not in the 19th century. If the British Governments had chosen to do so, they could have implemented home-rule as part of a federation instead of making the Dominions de-facto independent. The possibility of this is really what is being discussed, not the CURRENT political situation.
I'm well aware of what we're discussing, however had this been a great system, the question: why are all of these countries now independent springs to mind immediately. Wouldn't someone have mentioned the idea and put it before the King or Queen? It would have helped the UK enormously, because let's face it the glory days are over and in today's world everything's uphill, especially for the UK, however isn't a federation meant to consist of states near each other, I couldn't have seen it actually working to be honest.

The only thing I can see stopping it from happening in today's world, is the fact that no one, and I mean not one country, other than perhaps the UK actually want it.

The glory days are over, time to move on.
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Teaddict
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#19
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#19
We may not get a full blown federation, but we can definitely increase the strength and power of the Commonwealth of Nations.

EDIT:

Also, if we had this Federation, it is possible that France would have joined. Remember that France had applied to join the Commonwealth, and also asked the British Government to join France in a Union of countries.
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sorafdfs
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(Original post by Stalin)
Had the other nations wanted it, wouldn't they have said something?

Moreover, what's stopping it from happening? Oh wait, the fact that none of the nations mentioned other than the UK actually want it.
Well France and Germany already got there through the EU lol.
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