‘Annexation’ versus ‘Confederation’; ‘Imperialism’ and ‘Colonialism’; ‘Invasion’


Canada 1867

Map showing the four provinces of the Dominion of Canada — Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, 1867 – 15 July 1870. The provinces had been created by the confederation of the two British North American colonies of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, with the Province of Canada, with its Upper (Ontario) and Lower (Quebec) division.


rupert's land map 1857

John Arrowsmith, map, “Map of North America. Drawn by J. Arrowsmith,” (1857), showing, as coloured green, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s ‘plantation’ of Rupert’s Land that Canada sought to annex. Other British territories are shaded pink, some of which also fell under the governance of the HBC — at one point, the Company oversaw almost three million square miles of land (one-twelfth of the earth’s surface). Russian territory is shaded yellow. Source: Library and Archives Canada, CARTO24287, Copyright: Expired = Domaine public. For a close-up image, see facsimile map, http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~204933~3002214:-Facsimile—Map-of-North-America–.


More Definitions


To annex something is to “1. append or attach, especially to a larger or more significant thing; 2. incorporate (territory) into an existing political unit such as a country”; “Add (territory) to one’s own territory by appropriation”; “to take possession of an area of land or a country, usually by force or without permission.”

Annexation is “the formal act of acquiring something (especially territory) by conquest or occupation.”

Farlax, “annex,” and “annexation,” The Free Dictionary online (accessed 23 September 2014); “annex,” Oxford Dictionaries online (accessed 23 September 2014);annex,” Cambridge Dictionaries online (accessed 23 September 2014). See also “annexation,” OneLook dictionary search online (accessed 25 September 2014).



is the “union of political organizations”; “A confederation, also known as confederacy or league, is a union of political units for common action in relation to other units”; “When a group of people or nations form an alliance, it is called a confederation, allowing each member to govern itself but agreeing to work together for common causes.”

Farlax, “confederation,” Free Dictionary (accessed 23 September 2014); “Confederation,” Wikipedia (accessed 23 September 2014); “confederation,” dictionary, Vocabulary.com (accessed 23 September 2014).



Edward W. Said defines imperialism as “the practice, the theory, and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan centre ruling a distant territory.”



Said adds that “‘colonialism,’ which is almost always a consequence of imperialism, is the planting of a settlement in a distant territory.”

Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York: Vintage Books, 1994), 9.



“is a military offensive in which large parts of combatants of one geopolitical entity aggressively enter territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a territory, … altering the established government or gaining concessions from said government, or a combination thereof. … The term invasion usually denotes a strategic endeavor of substantial magnitude; because the goals of an invasion are usually large-scale and long-term, a sizeable force is needed to hold territory, and protect the interests of the invading entity. … The term does not imply the presence or lack of justification for the action, and the morality or immorality of a military operation does not determine whether it is so termed.”

Invasion,” Wikipedia (accessed 23 September 2014).


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