Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; as of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 964,743 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada. Founded in 1826 as Bytown, incorporated as Ottawa in 1855, the city has evolved into the political centre of Canada, its original boundaries were expanded through numerous annexations and were replaced by a new city incorporation and amalgamation in 2001 which increased its land area. The city name "Ottawa" was chosen in reference to the Ottawa River, the name of, derived from the Algonquin Odawa, meaning "to trade". Ottawa has the most educated population among Canadian cities and is home to a number of post-secondary and cultural institutions, including the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery, numerous national museums. Ottawa has the highest standard of living in low unemployment.
With the draining of the Champlain Sea around ten thousand years ago, the Ottawa Valley became habitable. Local populations used the area for wild edible harvesting, fishing, trade and camps for over 6500 years; the Ottawa river valley has archaeological sites with arrow heads and stone tools. Three major rivers meet within Ottawa, making it an important trade and travel area for thousands of years; the Algonquins called the Ottawa River Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi meaning "Great River" or "Grand River". Étienne Brûlé regarded as the first European to travel up the Ottawa River, passed by Ottawa in 1610 on his way to the Great Lakes. Three years Samuel de Champlain wrote about the waterfalls in the area and about his encounters with the Algonquins, using the Ottawa River for centuries. Many missionaries would follow the early traders; the first maps of the area used the word Ottawa, derived from the Algonquin word adawe, to name the river. Philemon Wright, a New Englander, created the first settlement in the area on 7 March 1800 on the north side of the river, across from the present day city of Ottawa in Hull.
He, with five other families and twenty-five labourers, set about to create an agricultural community called Wrightsville. Wright pioneered the Ottawa Valley timber trade by transporting timber by river from the Ottawa Valley to Quebec City. Bytown, Ottawa's original name, was founded as a community in 1826 when hundreds of land speculators were attracted to the south side of the river when news spread that British authorities were constructing the northerly end of the Rideau Canal military project at that location; the following year, the town was named after British military engineer Colonel John By, responsible for the entire Rideau Waterway construction project. The canal's military purpose was to provide a secure route between Montreal and Kingston on Lake Ontario, bypassing a vulnerable stretch of the St. Lawrence River bordering the state of New York that had left re-supply ships bound for southwestern Ontario exposed to enemy fire during the War of 1812. Colonel By set up military barracks on the site of today's Parliament Hill.
He laid out the streets of the town and created two distinct neighbourhoods named "Upper Town" west of the canal and "Lower Town" east of the canal. Similar to its Upper Canada and Lower Canada namesakes "Upper Town" was predominantly English speaking and Protestant whereas "Lower Town" was predominantly French and Catholic. Bytown's population grew to 1,000 as the Rideau Canal was being completed in 1832. Bytown encountered some impassioned and violent times in her early pioneer period that included Irish labour unrest that attributed to the Shiners' War from 1835 to 1845 and political dissension evident from the 1849 Stony Monday Riot. In 1855 Bytown was incorporated as a city. William Pittman Lett was installed as the first city clerk guiding it through 36 years of development. On New Year's Eve 1857, Queen Victoria, as a symbolic and political gesture, was presented with the responsibility of selecting a location for the permanent capital of the Province of Canada. In reality, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald had assigned this selection process to the Executive Branch of the Government, as previous attempts to arrive at a consensus had ended in deadlock.
The "Queen's choice" turned out to be the small frontier town of Ottawa for two main reasons: Firstly, Ottawa's isolated location in a back country surrounded by dense forest far from the Canada–US border and situated on a cliff face would make it more defensible from attack. Secondly, Ottawa was midway between Toronto and Kingston and Montreal and Quebec City. Additionally, despite Ottawa's regional isolation it had seasonal water transportation access to Montreal over the Ottawa River and to Kingston via the Rideau Waterway. By 1854 it had a modern all season Bytown and Prescott Railway that carried passengers and supplies the 82-kilometres to Prescott on the Saint Lawrence River and beyond. Ottawa's small size, it was thought, would make it less prone to rampaging politically motivated mobs, as had happened in the previous Canadian capitals; the government owned the land that would become Parliament Hill which they thought would be an ideal location for the Parliament Buildings. Ottawa was th
Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, was a British statesman and Conservative Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1902 to 1905. As Foreign Secretary under David Lloyd George, he issued the Balfour Declaration in November 1917 on behalf of the cabinet. Entering Parliament in 1874, Balfour achieved prominence as Chief Secretary for Ireland, in which position he suppressed agrarian unrest whilst taking measures against absentee landlords, he opposed Irish Home Rule, saying there could be no half-way house between Ireland remaining within the United Kingdom or becoming independent. From 1891 he led the Conservative Party in the House of Commons, serving under his uncle, Lord Salisbury, whose government won large majorities in 1895 and 1900. A brilliant debater, he was bored by the mundane tasks of party management. In July 1902 he succeeded his uncle as Prime Minister, he supported Jackie Fisher's naval innovations. He secured the Entente Cordiale with France.
He cautiously embraced the imperial preference championed by Joseph Chamberlain, but resignations from the Cabinet over tariffs left his party divided. He suffered from public anger at the stages of the Boer war and the importation of Chinese labour to South Africa, he resigned as Prime Minister in December 1905 and the following month the Conservatives suffered a landslide defeat at the 1906 election, in which he lost his own seat. After re-entering Parliament at a by-election, he continued to serve as Leader of the Opposition throughout the crisis over Lloyd George's 1909 budget, the narrow loss of two further General Elections in 1910, the passage of the Parliament Act, he resigned as party leader in 1911. Balfour returned as First Lord of the Admiralty in Asquith's Coalition Government. In December 1916 he became Foreign Secretary in David Lloyd George's coalition, he was left out of the inner workings of foreign policy, although the Balfour Declaration on a Jewish homeland bore his name.
He continued to serve in senior positions throughout the 1920s, died on 19 March 1930 aged 81, having spent a vast inherited fortune. He never married. Balfour trained as a philosopher – he originated an argument against believing that human reason could determine truth – and was seen as having a detached attitude to life, epitomised by a remark attributed to him: "Nothing matters much and few things matter at all". Arthur Balfour was born at Whittingehame House, East Lothian, the eldest son of James Maitland Balfour and Lady Blanche Gascoyne-Cecil, his father was a Scottish MP. His godfather was the Duke of Wellington, he was the eldest son, third of eight children, had four brothers and three sisters. Arthur Balfour was educated at Grange Preparatory School at Hoddesdon and Eton College, where he studied with the influential master, William Johnson Cory, he went up to the University of Cambridge, where he read moral sciences at Trinity College, graduating with a second-class honours degree. His younger brother was the Cambridge embryologist Francis Maitland Balfour.
Balfour met his cousin May Lyttelton in 1870 when she was 19. After her two previous serious suitors had died, Balfour is said to have declared his love for her in December 1874, she died of typhus on Palm Sunday, March 1875. Lavinia Talbot, May's older sister, believed that an engagement had been imminent, but her recollections of Balfour's distress were not written down until thirty years later; the historian R. J. Q. Adams points out that May's letters discuss her love life in detail, but contain no evidence that she was in love with Balfour, nor that he had spoken to her of marriage, he visited her only once during her serious three-month illness, was soon accepting social invitations again within a month of her death. Adams suggests that, although he may have been too shy to express his feelings Balfour may have encouraged tales of his youthful tragedy as a convenient cover for his disinclination to marry. In years mediums claimed to pass on messages from her – see the "Palm Sunday Case".
Balfour remained a lifelong bachelor. Margot Tennant wished to marry him, but Balfour said: "No, not so. I rather think of having a career of my own." His household was maintained by Alice. In middle age, Balfour had a 40-year friendship with Mary Charteris, Lady Elcho Countess of Wemyss and March. Although one biographer writes that "it is difficult to say how far the relationship went", her letters suggest they may have become lovers in 1887 and may have engaged in sado-masochism, a claim echoed by A. N. Wilson. Another biographer believes they had "no direct physical relationship", although he dismisses as unlikely suggestions that Balfour was homosexual, or, in view of a time during the Boer War when he replied to a message while drying himself after his bath, Lord Beaverbrook's claim that he was "a hermaphrodite" whom no-one saw naked. In 1874 Balfour was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Hertford until 1885. In spring 1878, he became Private Secretary to his uncle, Lord Salisb
Stanley Melbourne Bruce, 1st Viscount Bruce of Melbourne, was the eighth Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1923 to 1929. He made wide-ranging reforms and mounted a comprehensive nation-building program in government, but his controversial handling of industrial relations led to a dramatic defeat at the polls in 1929. Bruce pursued a long and influential diplomatic career as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and chairman of the Food and Agriculture Organization. Born into a wealthy Melbourne family, Bruce studied at the University of Cambridge and spent his early life tending to the importing and exporting business of his late father, he served on the front lines of the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I and returned to Australia wounded in 1917, becoming a spokesperson for government recruitment efforts. He gained the attention of the Nationalist Party and Prime Minister Billy Hughes, who encouraged a political career, he was elected to parliament in 1918, becoming treasurer in 1921 and prime minister in 1923, at the head of a coalition with the Country Party.
In office Bruce pursued an diverse agenda. He comprehensively overhauled federal government administration and oversaw its transfer to the new capital city of Canberra, he implemented various reforms to the Australian federal system to strengthen the role of the Commonwealth, helped develop the forerunners of the Australian Federal Police and the CSIRO. Bruce's "men and markets" scheme was an ambitious attempt to expand Australia's population and economic potential through massive government investment and closer ties with Great Britain and the rest of the British Empire. However, his endeavours to overhaul Australia's industrial relations system brought his government into frequent conflict with the labour movement, his radical proposal to abolish Commonwealth arbitration in 1929 prompted members of his own party to cross the floor to defeat the government. In the resounding loss at the subsequent election the prime minister lost his own seat, an event unprecedented in Australia and one that would not occur again until 2007.
Although he returned to parliament in 1931, Bruce's service in the Lyons Government was brief. Instead he pursued an international career, accepting appointment as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in 1933. Bruce became an influential figure in British government circles and at the League of Nations, emerging as a tireless advocate for international cooperation on economic and social problems those facing the developing world. Passionate on improving global nutrition, Bruce was one of the key figures in the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization, serving as the first chairman of its governing council, he was the first Australian to sit in the House of Lords, as well as the first Chancellor of the Australian National University. Although his diplomatic career went unnoticed in Australia, he continued throughout his life in London to vociferously advocate for Australian interests and asked that his remains be returned to Canberra when he died in 1967. Stanley Melbourne Bruce was born on 15 April 1883 in St Kilda, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne, was the youngest of five children.
His father, John Munro Bruce, was of Ulster Scottish descent and had emigrated from Ireland to Australia in 1858 at the age of 18. His mother, Mary Ann Henderson, was Irish and had married her cousin John after emigrating to Australia in 1872 at the age of 24. John Bruce became a talented businessman with "a flair for buying and selling", which would secure him a partnership in an established Melbourne importing firm that in 1868 became known as Paterson and Bruce; as his wealth grew, John Bruce became influential in colonial Victoria's political life. An avid golfer, he was one of the founders of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club, he was prominent in the liberal protectionist political movement within the state and an early supporter of future prime minister Alfred Deakin. John Bruce's success ensured that Stanley Bruce, his sister Mary and his brothers Ernest and Robert were born into affluence. Shortly after Stanley Bruce's birth the family relocated to the stately Wombalano manor, built by John Bruce, in Toorak.
However, John Bruce was an aloof and remote figure in the lives of his children, as his son Stanley recounted. Despite their family's Presbyterian back-ground, Stanley Bruce was sent to Melbourne Church of England Grammar School and subsequently Stanley Bruce would come to identify principally as Anglican. Bruce was an average student but active in the sporting life of the school and captain of its football team, of the school itself in 1901. Today, the school honours him with his own house, Bruce House, the colours of which are magenta and white; the house's mascot is a lion. The economic depression of the 1880s and 1890s hit the Bruce family fortunes hard. John Bruce lost much of his fortune in the Victorian bank collapse of 1894 and incurred large debts to buy out his partners in the importing business in 1897; the family suffered a great deal more tragedy over the coming decades. Stanley's brother William committed suicide in 1899, shortly after seeking treatment for mental illness. Just two years John Bruce took his own life during a business trip to Paris.
His sister Mary endured a long illness before succumbing in 1908, his mother died too in 1912. Bruce's beloved brother Ernest shot himself in 1919, suffering from physical and mental injuries sustained during his military service in Wo
The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their sub-divisions. Ill-defined, the term has different meanings depending on context, it is used to designate the monarch in either a personal capacity, as Head of the Commonwealth, or as the king or queen of his or her realms. It can refer to the rule of law. A corporation sole, the Crown is the legal embodiment of executive and judicial governance in the monarchy of each country; these monarchies are united by the personal union of their monarch. The concept of the Crown developed first in England as a separation of the literal crown and property of the kingdom from the person and personal property of the monarch, it spread through English and British colonisation and is now rooted in the legal lexicon of the United Kingdom, its Crown dependencies, the other 15 independent realms. It is not to be confused with any physical crown, such as those of the British regalia; the term is found in various expressions such as "Crown land", which some countries refer to as "public land" or "state land".
The concept of the Crown took form under the feudal system. Though not used this way in all countries that had this system, in England, all rights and privileges were bestowed by the ruler. Land, for instance, was granted by the Crown to lords in exchange for feudal services and they, in turn, granted the land to lesser lords. One exception to this was common socage—owners of land held as socage held it subject only to the Crown; when such lands become owner-less they are said to escheat. Bona vacantia is the royal prerogative; the monarch is the living embodiment of the Crown and, as such, is regarded as the personification of the state. The body of the reigning sovereign thus holds two distinct personas in constant coexistence: that of a natural-born human being and that of the state as accorded to him or her through law; the terms the state, the Crown, the Crown in Right of, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of, similar are all synonymous and the monarch's legal personality is sometimes referred to as the relevant jurisdiction's name.
As such, the king or queen is the employer of all government officials and staff, the guardian of foster children, as well as the owner of all state lands and equipment, state owned companies, the copyright for government publications. This is all in his or her position as sovereign, not as an individual; the Crown represents the legal embodiment of executive and judicial governance. While the Crown's legal personality is regarded as a corporation sole, it can, at least for some purposes, be described as a corporation aggregate headed by the monarch. Whilst the Crown refers to the monarch, this reference is made in re the monarch this reference is to the monarch in their capacity as monarch, does not refer to that individual in their totality of ownership interests and actions; the monarch can act in a private capacity. This duality of characterisation can be illustrated in several ways. In property ownership for example, although both are royal residences, Buckingham Palace is the property of the Crown via the Crown Estate whilst Balmoral Castle is the property of Elizabeth II and not of the Crown.
The latter property can be alienated by the Queen, whereas any disposition of the former property would need to be done via instrument of government as an act of state. The Queen's bank accounts at Coutts contain components of her private wealth only, whilst the resources of the monarch acting as the Crown are dispensed from HM Treasury and the Crown Estate to the Royal Household. A third example is in employment relationships; however those who assist as employees of the monarch as the Crown do so on employment from the Royal Household, the official department charged with supporting the monarch. Those who a
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, Canada's head of government. The current, 23rd, Prime Minister of Canada is the Liberal Party's Justin Trudeau, following the 2015 Canadian federal election. Canadian prime ministers are styled as The Right Honourable, a privilege maintained for life; the Prime Minister of Canada is in charge of the Prime Minister's Office. The Prime Minister chooses the ministers that make up the Cabinet; the two groups, with the authority of the Parliament of Canada, manage the Government of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces. The Cabinet and the Prime Minister appoint members of the Senate of Canada, the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and federal courts, the leaders and boards, as required under law, of various Crown Corporations, selects the Governor General of Canada. Under the Canadian constitution, all of the power to exercise these activities is vested in the Monarchy of Canada, but in practice the Canadian monarch or their representative, the Governor General of Canada approves them and their role is ceremonial, their powers are only exercised under the advice of the Prime Minister.
Not outlined in any constitutional document, the office exists only as per long-established convention that stipulates the monarch's representative, the governor general, must select as prime minister the person most to command the confidence of the elected House of Commons. The position of prime minister is not outlined in any Canadian constitutional document and is mentioned only in passing in the Constitution Act, 1982, the Letters Patent, 1947 issued by King George VI; the office and its functions are instead governed by constitutional conventions and modelled on the same office in the United Kingdom. The prime minister, along with the other ministers in cabinet, is appointed by the governor general on behalf of the monarch. However, by the conventions of responsible government, designed to maintain administrative stability, the governor general will call to form a government the individual most to receive the support, or confidence, of a majority of the directly elected members of the House of Commons.
While there is no legal requirement for the prime minister to be a member of parliament, for practical and political reasons the prime minister is expected to win a seat promptly. However, in rare circumstances individuals who are not sitting members of the House of Commons have been appointed to the position of prime minister. Two former prime ministers—Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott and Sir Mackenzie Bowell—served in the 1890s while members of the Senate. Both, in their roles as Government Leader in the Senate, succeeded prime ministers who had died in office—John A. Macdonald in 1891 and John Sparrow David Thompson in 1894; that convention has since evolved toward the appointment of an interim leader from the commons in such a scenario. Prime ministers who are not Members of Parliament upon their appointment have since been expected to seek election to the commons as soon as possible. For example, William Lyon Mackenzie King, after losing his seat in the 1925 federal election "governed from the hallway" before winning a by-election a few weeks later.
John Turner replaced Pierre Trudeau as leader of the Liberal Party in 1984 and subsequently was appointed prime minister while not holding a seat in the House of Commons. Turner was the last serving prime minister to not hold a commons seat. Should a serving prime minister today lose his or her seat in the legislature, or should a new prime minister be appointed without holding a seat, the typical process that follows is that a junior member in the governing political party will resign to allow the prime minister to run in the resulting by-election. A safe seat is chosen. However, if the governing party selects a new leader shortly before an election is due, that new leader is not a member of the legislature, he or she will await the upcoming election before running for a seat in parliament. In a poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid following the first prorogation of the 40th parliament on December 4, 2008, it was found that 51% of the sample group thought the prime minister was directly elected by Canadians.
The Canadian prime minister serves at Her Majesty's pleasure, meaning the post does not have a fixed term. Once appointed and sworn in by the governor general, the prime minister remains in office until he or she resigns, is dismissed, or dies; the lifespan of parliament was limited by the constitution to five years, though the governor general may still, on the advice of the prime minister, dissolve parliament and issue the writs of election prior to the date mandated by the Canada Elections Act. As of 2007, with an amendment to the Elections Act, Section 56.1 was changed
William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King commonly known as Mackenzie King, was the dominant Canadian political leader from the 1920s through the 1940s. He served as the tenth prime minister of Canada in 1921–1926, 1926–1930 and 1935–1948, he is best known for his leadership of Canada throughout the Second World War when he mobilized Canadian money and volunteers to support Britain while boosting the economy and maintaining morale on the home front. A Liberal with 21 years and 154 days in office, he was the longest-serving prime minister in Canadian history. Trained in law and social work, he was keenly interested in the human condition, played a major role in laying the foundations of the Canadian welfare state. King acceded to the leadership of the Liberal Party in 1919. Taking the helm of a party bitterly torn apart during the First World War, he reconciled factions, unifying the Liberal Party and leading it to victory in the 1921 election, his party was out of office during the harshest days of the Great Depression in Canada, 1930–35.
He handled complex relations with the Prairie Provinces, while his top aides Ernest Lapointe and Louis St. Laurent skillfully met the demands of French Canadians. During the Second World War, he avoided the battles over conscription and ethnicity that had divided Canada so in the First World War. Though few major policy innovations took place during his premiership, he was able to synthesize and pass a number of measures that had reached a level of broad national support. Scholars attribute King's long tenure as party leader to his wide range of skills that were appropriate to Canada's needs, he understood the workings of labour. Keenly sensitive to the nuances of public policy, he was a workaholic with a shrewd and penetrating intelligence and a profound understanding of the complexities of Canadian society. A modernizing technocrat who regarded managerial mediation as essential to an industrial society, he wanted his Liberal Party to represent liberal corporatism to create social harmony. King worked to bring compromise and harmony to many competing and feuding elements, using politics and government action as his instrument.
He led his party for 29 years, established Canada's international reputation as a middle power committed to world order. King's biographers agree on the personal characteristics, he lacked the charisma of such contemporaries as Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, or Charles de Gaulle. He lacked a commanding oratorical skill. Cold and tactless in human relations, he had many political allies but few close personal friends, he never lacked a hostess whose charm could substitute for his chill. He kept secret his beliefs in spiritualism and use of mediums to stay in contact with departed associates and with his mother, allowed his intense spirituality to distort his understanding of Adolf Hitler throughout the late 1930s. A survey of scholars in 1997 by Maclean's magazine ranked King first among all Canada's prime ministers, ahead of Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier; as historian Jack Granatstein notes, "the scholars expressed little admiration for King the man but offered unbounded admiration for his political skills and attention to Canadian unity."
On the other hand, political scientist Ian Stewart in 2007 found that Liberal activists have but a dim memory of him. King was born in Ontario, to John King and Isabel Grace Mackenzie, his maternal grandfather was William Lyon Mackenzie, first mayor of Toronto and leader of the Upper Canada Rebellion in 1837. His father was a lawyer, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. King had three siblings, he attended Berlin High School. Tutors were hired to teach him more politics, math and French, his father was a lawyer with a struggling practice in a small city, never enjoyed financial security. His parents lived a life of shabby gentility, employing servants and tutors they could scarcely afford, although their financial situation improved somewhat following a move to Toronto around 1890, where King lived with them for several years in a duplex located on Beverley Street while studying at the University of Toronto. King became a lifelong practising Presbyterian with a dedication to applying Christian virtues to social issues in the style of the Social Gospel.
He never favoured socialism. King earned five university degrees, he obtained three degrees from the University of Toronto: B. A. 1895, LL. B. 1896 and M. A. 1897. B. in 1896 from Osgoode Hall Law School. While studying in Toronto he met a wide circle of friends, he was an early member and officer of the Kappa Alpha Society, which included a number of these individuals. It encouraged debate on political ideas, he met Arthur Meighen, a future political rival. King was concerned with issues of social welfare and was influenced by the settlement house movement pioneered by Toynbee Hall in London, England, he played a central role in fomenting a students' strike at the university in 1895. He was in close touch, behind the scenes, with Vice-Chancellor William Mulock, for whom the strike provided a chance to embarrass his rivals Chancellor Edward Blake and President Jam
The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during World War I announcing support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. It read: His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; the declaration was contained in a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The text of the declaration was published in the press on 9 November 1917.
Following their declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire in November 1914, the British War Cabinet began to consider the future of Palestine. A committee was established in April 1915 by British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith to determine their policy toward the Ottoman Empire including Palestine. Asquith, who had favored post-war reform of the Ottoman Empire, resigned in December 1916; the first negotiations between the British and the Zionists took place at a conference on 7 February 1917 that included Sir Mark Sykes and the Zionist leadership. Subsequent discussions led to Balfour's request, on 19 June, that Rothschild and Chaim Weizmann submit a draft of a public declaration. Further drafts were discussed by the British Cabinet during September and October, with input from Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews but with no representation from the local population in Palestine. By late 1917, in the lead up to the Balfour Declaration, the wider war had reached a stalemate, with two of Britain's allies not engaged: the United States had yet to suffer a casualty, the Russians were in the midst of a revolution with Bolsheviks taking over the government.
A stalemate in southern Palestine was broken by the Battle of Beersheba on 31 October 1917. The release of the final declaration was authorised on 31 October; the opening words of the declaration represented the first public expression of support for Zionism by a major political power. The term "national home" had no precedent in international law, was intentionally vague as to whether a Jewish state was contemplated; the intended boundaries of Palestine were not specified, the British government confirmed that the words "in Palestine" meant that the Jewish national home was not intended to cover all of Palestine. The second half of the declaration was added to satisfy opponents of the policy, who had claimed that it would otherwise prejudice the position of the local population of Palestine and encourage antisemitism worldwide by "stamping the Jews as strangers in their native lands"; the declaration called for safeguarding the civil and religious rights for the Palestinian Arabs, who composed the vast majority of the local population, the rights and political status of the Jewish communities in other countries outside of Palestine.
The British government acknowledged in 1939 that the local population's views should have been taken into account, recognised in 2017 that the declaration should have called for protection of the Palestinian Arabs' political rights. The declaration had many long-lasting consequences, it increased popular support for Zionism within Jewish communities worldwide, became a core component of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founding document of Mandatory Palestine, which became Israel and the Palestinian territories. As a result, it is considered a principal cause of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict described as the world's most intractable conflict. Controversy remains over a number of areas, such as whether the declaration contradicted earlier promises the British made to the Sharif of Mecca in the McMahon–Hussein correspondence. Early British political support for an increased Jewish presence in the region of Palestine was based upon geopolitical calculations; this support began in the early 1840s and was led by Lord Palmerston, following the occupation of Syria and Palestine by separatist Ottoman governor Muhammad Ali of Egypt.
French influence had grown in Palestine and the wider Middle East, its role as protector of the Catholic communities began to grow, just as Russian influence had grown as protector of the Eastern Orthodox in the same regions. This left Britain without a sphere of influence, thus a need to find or create their own regional "protégés"; these political considerations were supported by a sympathetic evangelical Christian sentiment towards the "restoration of the Jews" to Palestine among elements of the mid-19th-century British political elite – most notably Lord Shaftesbury. The British Foreign Office encouraged Jewish emigration to Palestine, exemplified by Charles Henry Churchill's 1841–1842 exhortations to Moses Montefiore, the leader of the British Jewish community; such efforts were premature, did not succeed.