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Victory without Triumph: Theodore Roosevelt, Honour, and the Alaska Panhandle Boundary Dispute

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This article takes a critical look at the established wisdom regarding the early twentieth century dispute between Canada and the United States over the contours of the Alaska Panhandle. In Canada, the affair is commonly recollected as having featured a sinister combination of American nationalist bullying and duplicitous British diplomacy. The result, according to a Canadian nationalist mythology that resonates to this day, is that Canada was effectively “sacrificed” by Britain at the altar of American territorial acquisitiveness. The reality, as argued in this article, is radically different from the mythology. Far from having “sold out” Canada, Britain was instrumental in securing for it a reasonably generous settlement on the part of an American administration that showed itself prepared to countenance the actual shrinkage of US territory. Rather than being motivated by a politics of bullying, the administration of Theodore Roosevelt was driven by diplomacy of honour.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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