Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way Through Tea

Leslie Holmes

Abstract


The government of the Dominion of Canada hoped their western territory would be filled with immigrants eager to work the land and further strengthen the British Empire in the early 20th century. British stock were viewed as ideal settlers as they would be able to represent and maintain the customs and behavior of the British Empire. Many brought with them to the Canadian frontier a variety of traditions - one of which was the habit of drinking tea. How did tea reinforce British identity and Empire in the Canadian West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? This paper contends that tea was a powerful tool for nation builders because it reinforced British identity and empire.

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