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Subject > Armed Forces > Naval Forces and Merchant Navy

Date > 1900 > 1900-1909

Sir Wilfrid Laurier National Historic Site of Canada: End of a Long Reign

Type: Document

Wilfrid Laurier's penchant for compromise allowed him to remain in power for 15 years, earning him the nickname of the "Great Conciliator". But in 1911, this talent proved inadequate to the task of winning elections.

Site: Parks Canada

Belmont Battery at Fort Rodd Hill, British Columbia

Type: Image

Built in 1898-1900 to protect the entrance to the Royal Navy (and later the Royal Canadian Navy) base on the Pacific, the battery has been restored to its appearance during the Second World War 1939-45. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

The Empire's Naval Strategy

Type: Document

Imperial naval defence policy sought a united and centralized fleet in 1902 to counter the German threat, a change from defending the Empire in the colonies and dominions. While British attempts for total control over all naval ships was opposed in Canada, domestic efforts to create a Canadian navy languished. The first Canadian patrol boats were purchased as a contribution to the Imperial naval policy, but used for fisheries protection rather than for defence needs.

Site: National Defence

The Canadian Navy League

Type: Document

The Canadian branch of the (British) Navy League lobbied for a Canadian Navy Militia to complement the Army, but found little political support due to the financial cost.

Site: National Defence

HMS Monarch, iron screwship with turrets, Royal Navy

Type: Image

This Royal Navy warship, launched in May 1868, was one of the first iron-built battleships fitted with turrets enclosing and rotating its four 25-ton (25.4 mt) 12-inch (30.4 cm.) guns. One of the largest and fastest battleships of its day, HMS Monarch had a displacement of 8820 tons (8962 mt), armour six to seven inches (15-18 cm) thick and a top speed of 15 knots (27.8 kph).

Site: National Defence

Canada within the Empire - Military Reform. 1903-1914

Type: Document

In 1904, Ottawa decided to modernize and reform Canada’s military establishment , which included replacing the British General Officer Commanding with a Canadian appointee. Defence spending rose, militia training accelerated, and the authorized strength of the Permanent Force increased to 4000.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Seldom Seen Guardians

Type: Document

The Royal Navy was crucial in the defence of British North America in the 19th century, even though Canadians seldom saw warships. The threat of a naval blockade and raids by the British fleet helped American politicians to find diplomatic solutions to Anglo-American disputes.

Site: National Defence

The Royal Navy

Type: Document

As an island state, Britain gave priority to its navy. The Admiralty (the appointed committee of admirals which made all strategic decisions) governed hundreds of ships worldwide. The Royal Navy used its bases in Canada to help control the Northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Site: National Defence

Organization in North American Waters

Type: Document

The Royal Navy had several squadrons based in North America throughout the 19th century. The Newfoundland Squadron was a small detachment responsible for protecting the fisheries. The North American Squadron, based in Halifax, patrolled the American coastline.

Site: National Defence