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McDowell4

Goveror-General John McDowell.

The First Imperial Conference was a meeting of representatives of the various governments of the British Empire held in London in 1881. The conference was arranged by Prime Minister Geoffrey Cadogan of Great Britain and Governor-General John McDowell of the Confederation of North America in response to the economic disruption of the Great Depression and the wave of revolutionary activity unleashed in Europe by the French Revolution.

Geoffrey Cadogan

Prime Minister Geoffrey Cadogan.

Although Sobel does not mention which nations other than Britain and the C.N.A. participated in the conference, it presumably included the British colonies of Australia and New Zealand, and may also have included India, Egypt, and Victoria.

The delegates to the conference agreed to maintain free trade between the member nations; affirmed their loyalty to Queen Victoria; established the Imperial Monetary Fund, which had the power to make low-interest loans to member governments; and initiated discussions on the creation of a common defense force.

The success of the conference led to a Second Imperial Conference in New York City in 1882.

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