William R. Morrison
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Imposing the British way
The Canadian Mounted Police and the Klondike gold rush
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In the late 1890s, at the height of imperialist sentiment in Canada, an event occurred in a remote part of the dominion which illuminated a number of official Canadian attitudes current in the period. This was the Yukon, or Klondike, gold rush, which took place between the summers of 1897 and 1899. The Mounted Police were in every way the logical body to send to the Yukon to establish Canadian sovereignty and represent the federal government there. The Mounted Police equated public order with British law and justice, and disorder with the American system. In its extreme form the British connection led to enthusiasm for Joseph Chamberlain's Imperial Federation League and flirtation with the idea of eugenics. In its milder version, as displayed during the Klondike gold rush, it furnished a kind of Canadian nationalism, based largely on invidious comparisons with American social institutions.

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Policing the empire

Government, Authority and Control, 1830–1940


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