British French relations in "The New Age"

In looking for an example of British-French relations before the war, I decided to look through "The New Age" to find an example.  "The New Age" is a British literary magazine, and it specifically describes at the top that it focusses on politics, literature and art.  The fact that it includes politics gave me the sense that there would be some reference to the relationship with the French.  The pre-war issue that I found is from May 16, 1907.  In browsing through the issue I found that there are references to political topics such as problems with the Irish and liberals and adult suffrage.  The section that I found a reference to the French in was not in the content produced by the magazine, but in the Correspondence section.  This is like a "Letter to the Editor" section of a paper and it gives readers an opportunity to express their views.  It may refer to what "The New Age" included in an issue; negative or positive.

The letter that I read through was called "Imperial Federation," and it was signed by M.D. Eder on page 47.  The author brings up the idea that Imperial Federation is a stage towards International Federation.  The writer questions whether this would cause a barrier that joins already existant ones.  The letter specifically states, "Why seek to gather the Canadians to ourselves sooner than the French, the Australian before the German ? (Eder, 47).  This implies that there is no rush to implement anything before other powerful countries of this time have, including France.  One of the reasons that he mentions that would make it ideal is that there is common language and literature, and that acts as a sufficient reason.  I take this to mean that because the British speak the same language as the colonists means that they should attempt to gain control.

The author goes on to give examples of why just a communiry spirit would not be a good enough reason enough on its own.  He says, "When a Frenchman is as keen as myself about the discoveries of Pastor Gregor Mendel, I have found a friend" (Eder, 47).  This implies that the general similarity in interest would make action more understandable.  It also mentions what would consist of a friendship with the French. 

The overall British-French relationship that I gathered through using context clues in this letter to "The New Age," is that British readers are looking towards the Fench actions in determining what their country should do itself.  This can be seen in the way that the writer wrote that if the French haven't done it yet, why should they?  There was also a small anecdote included that showed how a friendship with a Frenchman could be formed and how that relates to the topic of Imperial Federation.



Interesting observation about the notion of an Imperial Federation. Would that be different from the Commonwealth? I think this is a great opportunity to do some contextual research and find out what this idea of an Imperial Federation was all about, in what circles it had favor and disfavor, whether it had any currency in France, etc. Also, you might want to search the MJP for that phrase to see how it was discussed elsewhere, either in The New Age or other magazines.

Also, thanks for posting a link to the PDF file at the end of your piece. However, I'd like you to consider posting a link to the page image of any items you discuss right there at the first mention. That will help your readers go directly to the thing you're talking about, so they can understand what you're saying in what follows. You can find illustrated instructions on inserting links in the Toolbox area at the very top right.