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Norway "must really drop their absurd claims such as that to the Otto Sverdrup Islands." Bi-polar international diplomacy: The Sverdrup Islands question, 1902-1930

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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This thesis examines the international context of Norway’s acknowledgement of Canadian title to the Sverdrup Islands in 1930. By drawing on a hitherto unpublished combination of British and Norwegian primary sources plus a wide range of secondary material this thesis offers new perspectives on the historical background of Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic Archipelago. The Sverdrup agreement was deeply embedded in the wider context of British expansion in Antarctica and Norwegian actions in both the Arctic and Antarctica. Arctic and Antarctic policies were intrinsically connected as political moves in either of the continents could, and did, develop legal precedents in the wider bi-polar context. The agreement reached over the Sverdrup Islands was an intricate compromise that involved no transaction or sale of territory. Rather, the settlement represented a confirmation of existing claims and policies in the bi-polar context that served to further the expansionist objectives of Norway, Canada and Britain.
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