17 Facts About Dominion status


Term Dominion was used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,460

Dominion status was formally accorded to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State at the 1926 Imperial Conference to designate "autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".

FactSnippet No. 2,098,461

At the time of the founding of the League of Nations in 1924, the League Covenant made provision for the admission of any "fully self-governing state, Dominion, or Colony", the implication being that "Dominion status was something between that of a colony and a state".

FactSnippet No. 2,098,462

Foundation of "Dominion" status followed the achievement of internal self-rule in British Colonies, in the specific form of full responsible government.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,463

From 1870 the Dominion status included two vast neighbouring British territories that did not have any form of self-government: Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory, parts of which later became the Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the separate territories, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,464

In connection with proposals for the future government of British North America, use of the term "Dominion status" was suggested by Samuel Leonard Tilley at the London Conference of 1866 discussing the confederation of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into "One Dominion status under the Name of Canada", the first federation internal to the British Empire.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,465

However, neither the Confederation nor the adoption of the title of "Dominion status" granted extra autonomy or new powers to this new federal level of government.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,466

At its inception in 1867, Canada's colonial Dominion status was marked by political and legal subjugation to British Imperial supremacy in all aspects of government—legislative, judicial, and executive.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,467

For example, matters concerning visas and lost or stolen passports of Dominion status citizens were carried out at British diplomatic offices.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,468

Irish Free State, set up in 1922 after the Anglo-Irish War, was the third Dominion status to appoint a non-UK born, non-aristocratic Governor-General when Timothy Michael Healy, following the tenures of Sir Gordon Drummond in Canada and of Sir Walter Davidson and Sir William Allardyce in Newfoundland, took the position in 1922.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,469

Dominion status was never popular in the Irish Free State where people saw it as a face-saving measure for a British government unable to countenance a republic in what had previously been the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,470

However, the government of Newfoundland "requested the United Kingdom not to have sections 2 to 6[—]confirming Dominion status[—]apply automatically to it[, ] until the Newfoundland Legislature first approved the Statute, approval which the Legislature subsequently never gave".

FactSnippet No. 2,098,471

Term Dominion status is employed in the Constitution Act, 1867, and describes the resulting political union.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,472

Frank Scott theorised that Canada's status as a Dominion ended when Canadian parliament declared war on Germany on 9 September 1939, separately and distinctly from the United Kingdom's declaration of war six days earlier.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,473

For India, dominion status was transitory until its new republican constitution was drafted and promulgated in 1950.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,474

Nevertheless, the United Kingdom and other member states of the Commonwealth continued to regard Ireland as a Dominion status owing to the unusual role accorded to the British Monarch under the Irish External Relations Act of 1936.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,475

The term "Dominion status" is still found in the Canadian constitution where it appears numerous times, but it is largely a vestige of the past, as the Canadian government does not actively use it.

FactSnippet No. 2,098,476