Prelude to Alliance: Britons and Yankees in the Far Northwest, 1867–1917
Keywords:Alaska, Yukon Territory, Dawson City, Gold Rush, American Empire, British Empire
The Northern Review 44 (2017): 293–326
In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries the United States became a significant imperial power with which an overstretched British Empire did not want conflict. The planting of numerous American flags in the Canadian Yukon, and especially in Dawson City, symbolized this dynamic, which was accompanied by some tension and apprehension on the part of British-Canadian authorities. At the same time, hints at a future friendly alliance between the United States and Britain can be seen in the mingling, in the Yukon Territory, of Yankees, Britons, and Canadians who all shared (among other things) a common literary heritage. Among these hints was an implausible but sincere proposal on the part of a US Congressman for the United States to cede the Alaska Panhandle to Canada. This article is part of a special collection of papers originally presented at a conference on “The North and the First World War,” held May 2016 in Whitehorse, Yukon.
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