- Canada–United States relations
Relations between Canada and the United States span more than two centuries, marked by a shared British colonial heritage, conflict during the early years of the U.S., and the eventual development of one of the most successful international relationships in the modern world. The most serious breach in the relationship was the
War of 1812, which saw an American invasion of then British North Americaand counter invasions from British-Canadian forces. The border was demilitarized after the war and, apart from minor raids, has remained peaceful. Military collaboration began during the World Warsand continued throughout the Cold War, despite Canadian doubts about certain American policies. A high volume of trade and migration between the U.S. and Canada has generated closer ties, despite continued Canadian fears of being overwhelmed by its neighbour, which is ten times larger in population and wealth. [ James Tagg reports that Canadian university students have a profound fear that "Canadian culture, and likely Canadian sovereignty, will be overwhelmed." Tagg, "'And, We Burned down the White House, Too': American History, Canadian Undergraduates, and Nationalism," "The History Teacher," Vol. 37, No. 3 (May, 2004), pp. 309-334 [http://www.jstor.org/stable/1555672 in JSTOR] ; J. L. Granatstein. "Yankee Go Home: Canadians and Anti-Americanism" (1997)]
Canada and the United States are currently the world's largest trading partners, share the world's longest shared border, [cite web|url=http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/long263.html|title=The world's longest border|accessdate=2008-04-01] and have significant interoperability within the defence sphere. Modern difficulties have included repeated trade disputes (despite a continental trade agreement), environmental concerns, and debates over immigration and the movement of people across the shared border. While the foreign policies of the neighbours have been largely aligned for much of the post-war era, significant disputes have arisen, including over the
Vietnam War, the status of Cuba, the Iraq War, and the War on Terrorism.
As part of the British Empire
At the outset of the
American Revolution, the American revolutionaries hoped the French Canadiansin Quebec and the Colonists in Nova Scotiawould join their rebellion and they were pre-approved for joining the United States in the Articles of Confederation. When Canada was invaded during the American Revolutionary War, only a few joined the invaders. Most French Canadians understood that the British Empire already enshrined their rights in the Quebec Act, which the Americans declared as being one of the Intolerable Acts. French Canadians thus could see that within the British Empire their language, law, customs, interests and religion would be protected, while within the United States these would all be opposed. Canadians clearly decided against joining the revolution. The American effort was a fiasco and Britain tightened its grip on its northern possessions. In peace negotiations, Benjamin Franklinunsuccessfully attempted to convince British diplomats to cede Canada to the United States. The British refused, and used Canada as a refuge for those Loyalists who wanted to leave the U.S. Thomas Jefferson saw the nearby British imperial presence as a threat to republicanism in the United States. Thousands of Americans who were loyal to the Empire gave up their lands in the United States and opted to start anew in Canada. These Loyalists represented only part of the large minority of Americans who opposed the revolution.
Among the original Loyalists, who were of many ethnic backgrounds, there were African Americans. In the following decades, more and more African American slaves continued to look north to British North America (Canada) as a land of freedom where they received welcome and lands.
Upper Canada(Ontario) became the first territory to outlaw the slave trade, in 1793 with the passage of the Act Against Slavery, soon after being formed in the 1780s; the entire British Empire outlawed the slave trade in 1807.
Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the war, called for the British to vacate all their forts south of the Great Lakesborder. The British refused to do so, citing failure of the United States to provide financial restitution for Loyalists who had lost property in the war. The Jay Treatyin 1795 with Great Britain resolved that lingering issue and the British departed the forts, including Fort Detroit. This, however, also meant that British Loyalists living in the territory had to relocate and abandon their property.
Tensions mounted again after 1805, erupting into the
War of 1812, when the Americans declared war on Britain. The Americans were angered by British harassment of U.S. ships on the high seas and seizure ("impressment") of 6,000 American sailors, as well as severe restrictions against neutral American trade with France. The Americans were out gunned by more than 10–1 by the Royal Navy, and so a land invasion of Canada was proposed as the only feasible means of attacking the British Empire. Americans on the western frontier also hoped an invasion would bring an end to British support of American Indian resistance to the westward expansion of the United States, typified by Tecumseh's coalition of tribes. (The British policy recognized the Indians as Nations while the American policy pushed Indians off their lands.) The early strategy was to temporarily seize Canada as a means of forcing concessions from the British. As in 1775, many Americans hoped the Canadians would welcome the chance to overthrow their British rulers. However, the American invasions were incompetent and were defeated primarily by British regulars with support from Indians and militia. A major British invasion of New York in 1814 was poorly handled and the British retreated.
In later years, Canadians, who remained loyal to the Empire well into the 20th century, viewed the War of 1812 as a successful resistance against invasion and as a victory that defined them as a people. A common theme in Canadian political rhetoric ever since has been the protection of Canadian culture from American influence and possible integration into the American political, cultural and economic realm.
Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 in internal affairs while Britain controlled diplomacy and defence policy. Strained relations with the United States continued, however, due to a series of small-scale armed incursions named the
Fenian raidsby Irish-American Civil War veterans across the border from 1866 to 1871 in an attempt to trade Canada for Irish independence. The American government, angry at Canadian tolerance of Confederate raiders during the American Civil War, moved very slowly to disarm the Fenians, who in any case were never a serious threat to anyone. The British government, in charge of diplomatic relations, protested cautiously, as Anglo-American relations were tense.
Disputes over ocean boundaries on
Georges Bankand over fishing, whaling, and sealing rights in the Pacific were settled by international arbitration, setting an important precedent.
Much more controversial was the
Alaska boundary dispute, settled in favor of the U.S. in 1903. At issue was the exact boundary between Alaska and Canada, specifically whether Canada would have a port near the present American town of Haines that would give access to the new Yukon goldfields. The dispute was settled by arbitration, and the British delegate voted with the Americans--to the astonishment and anti-British disgust of Canadians who suddenly realized that Britain considered its relations with the U.S. paramount to those with Canada. [John A. Munro, "English-Canadianism and the Demand for Canadian Autonomy: Ontario's Response to the Alaska Boundary Decision, 1903." "Ontario History" 1965 57(4): 189-203. Issn: 0030-2953 ]
1907 saw a minor controversy over USS "Nashville" sailing into the Great Lakes via Canada without Canadian permission. Partly in response, in 1909 the two sides signed the
International Boundary Waters Treatyand the International Joint Commissionwas established to manage the Great Lakes.
Economic ties and migration had deepened by this era, but were not equal. In 1911 there were 49,000 US-born people in Canada and 1.21 million Canadian-born people in the US.
Canada finally achieved independence from Britain when it took control of its own diplomatic and military affairs in the 1920s. Relations with the U.S. were cordial, except in the matter of tariffs in the 1930-32 period of the Great Depression.In the 1930s, the United States Army War College developed hypothetical war plans for a possible war with Canada; they featured an invasion in
War Plan Red; it was merely an academic exercise. Similarly, Canada developed Defence Scheme No. 1to counteract a U.S. invasion. Canadian defence was organized against an American invasion until the onset of World War II.
Following co-operation in the two World Wars, Canada and the United States lost much of their previous animosity. As Britain's influence as a global superpower declined, Canada and the United States became extremely close partners. Canada was a close ally of the United States during the
In World War II the U.S. built large military bases in Newfoundland (then a British colony), and the business community there sought closer ties with the U.S. as expressed by the
Economic Union Party. Ottawa took notice and wanted Newfoundland to join Canada, which it did after hotly contested referendums. There was little demand in the U.S. for the acquisition of Newfoundland, so the U.S. did not protest the British decision not to allow an American option on the Newfoundland referendum.
Nixon shock 1971
The US had become Canada's largest market, and after the war the Canadian economy became dependent on smooth trade flows with the US so much that in 1971 when the US enacted the "
Nixon Shock" economic policies (including a 10% tariff on all imports) it put the Canadian government into a panic. This led in a large part to the articulation of Prime Minister Trudeau's " Third Option" policy of diversifying Canada's trade and downgrading the importance of Canada – US relations. In a 1972 speech in Ottawa, Nixon declared the "special relationship" between Canada and the US dead. [ Bruce Muirhead, "From Special Relationship to Third Option: Canada, the U.S., and the Nixon Shock," "American Review of Canadian Studies," Vol. 34, 2004 [http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst?docId=5008438189 online edition] ]
Defense and international conflict
The Canadian military, like forces of other NATO countries, fought along side the U.S. in most major conflicts since
World War II, including the Korean War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, and most recently the war in Afghanistan. The main exceptions to this were the Canadian government's opposition to the Vietnam Warand the Iraq War, which caused some brief diplomatic tensions. Despite these issues, military relations have remained close.
U.S. defence arrangements with Canada are more extensive than with any other country. The
Permanent Joint Board of Defense, established in 1940, provides policy-level consultation on bilateral defence matters. The United States and Canada share North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) mutual security commitments. In addition, U.S. and Canadian military forces have cooperated since 1958 on continental air defence within the framework of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). There is also an active military exchange program between the two countries under which Canadian Forcespersonnel have been involved in Iraq. Moreover, interoperability with the American armed forces has been a guiding principle of Canadian military force structuring and doctrine since the end of the Cold War. Canadian navy frigates, for instance, integrate seamlessly into U.S. carrier battle groups.
War in Afghanistan
JTF2unit joined American special forces in Afghanistan shortly after the Al-Qaeda attacks on September 11, 2001. Canadian forces joined the multinational coalition in Operation Anacondain January 2002. On April 18, 2002, an American pilot attacked Canadian forces involved in a training exercise, killing four and wounding eight Canadians. A joint US-Canadian inquiry determined the cause of the incident to be pilot error, in which the pilot interpreted ground fire as an attack; the pilot ignored orders that he felt were "second-guessing" his field tactical decision.cite web
title=U.S. 'friendly fire' pilot won't face court martial
accessdate=2004-01-28] cite web
title=Pilots blamed for 'friendly fire' deaths
accessdate=2007-01-28] Canadian forces assumed a six-month command rotation of the
International Security Assistance Forcein 2003; in 2005, Canadians assumed operational command of the multi-national Brigade in Kandahar, with 2,300 troops, and supervises the Provincial Reconstruction Teamin Kandahar, where Al-Qaeda forces are most active. Canada has also deployed naval forces in the Persian Gulf since 1991 in support of the UN Gulf Multinational Interdiction Force.cite web
title=CANADIAN NAVY TEAMS UP WITH U.S. CARRIER BATTLE GROUPS
publisher=Department of National Defence
The Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC maintains a
public relations web sitenamed [http://www.canadianally.com CanadianAlly.com] , which is intended "to give American citizens a better sense of the scope of Canada's role in North American and Global Security and the War on Terror".
New Democratic Partyand some recent Liberal leadership candidates have expressed opposition to Canada's expanded role in the Afghan conflict on the ground that it is inconsistent with Canada's historic role (since the Second World War) of peacekeeping operations.
2003 Invasion of Iraq
According to contemporary polls, the vast majority of Canadians were opposed to the
2003 invasion of Iraq. The Canadian government, under current Prime Minister Stephen Harper, maintains a position with emphasis on UN authority. Many Canadians, and the former Liberal government of Paul Martin(as well as many Americans such as Bill Clinton),cite web
title=Clinton speaks on Afghanistan, and Canada listens
publisher=The Globe and Mail
accessdate=2007-01-28] made a policy distinction between conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, unlike the
Bush doctrine, which links these together in a "Global war on terror".
Canadaand the United States have the world's largest trading relationship, with huge quantities of goods and people flowing across the border each year. Since the 1987 Canadian–American Free Trade Agreementthere have been no tariffs on most goods passed between the two countries.
With such a massive trading relationship, trade disputes between the two countries are frequent and inevitable. American officials have placed ongoing tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber despite losing various appeals placed by Canada in the NAFTA and WTO panels. The softwood lumber dispute remains a growing issue between the two countries and is degrading the trade relationship on both sides of the border. Other notable disputes include the
Canadian Wheat Board, and Canadian cultural "restrictions" on magazines and television (See CRTC, CBC, and National Film Board of Canada). Canadians have been criticized about such things as the ban on beefsince a case of Mad Cow disease was discovered in 2003 in cows from the United States (and a few subsequent cases) and the high American agricultural subsidies. Concerns in Canada also run high over aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) such as Chapter 11.
One ongoing and complex trade issue involves the importation of cheaper
prescription drugsfrom Canada to the United States. Due to the Canadian government's price controlsas part of their state-run medical system, prices for prescription drugs can be a fraction of the price paid by consumers in the unregulated U.S. market. While laws in the United States have been passed at the national level against such sales, specific state and local governments have passed their own legislation to allow the trade to continue. American drug companies—often supporters of political campaigns—have obviously come out against the practice.
According to a 2003 study commissioned by the Canadian Embassy in the United States, based on 2001 data, Canada–U.S.
tradesupported 5.2 million U.S. jobs.
A long-simmering dispute between Canada and the U.S. involves the issue of Canadian sovereignty over the
Northwest Passage(the sea passages in the Arctic). Canada’s assertion that the Northwest Passage represents internal (territorial) waters has been challenged by other countries, especially the U.S., which argue that these waters constitute an international strait (international waters). Canadians were incensed when Americans drove the reinforced oil tanker "Manhattan" through the Northwest Passage in 1969, followed by the icebreaker Polar Seain 1985, both without asking for Canadian permission. In 1970, the Canadian government enacted the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, which asserts Canadian regulatory control over pollution within a 100-mile zone. In response, the United States in 1970 stated, "We cannot accept the assertion of a Canadian claim that the Arctic waters are internal waters of Canada…. Such acceptance would jeopardize the freedom of navigation essential for United States naval activities worldwide." A compromise of sorts was reached in 1988, by an agreement on "Arctic Cooperation," which pledges that voyages of American icebreakers "will be undertaken with the consent of the Government of Canada." However the agreement did not alter either country's basic legal position. In January 2006 David Wilkins, the American ambassador to Canada, said his government opposes Stephen Harper's proposed plan to deploy military icebreakers in the Arctic to detect interlopers and assert Canadian sovereignty over those waters. [Matthew Carnaghan, Allison Goody, [http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/prb0561-e.htm "Canadian Arctic Sovereignty"] (Library of Parliament: Political and Social Affairs Division, January 26, 2006); [http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/01/26/wilkins-harper060126.html 2006 news] ] In August 2007, former US ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, stated that in 2005 he informed his government that it should re-evaluate its assertion that the Northwest Passage is an international sea body, and should belong to Canada. His advice was rejected and in 2007 Bush and Harper took opposite positions. [ [http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070817/qp_cellucci_070819/20070819?hub=Politics CTV.ca | Cellucci: Canada should control Northwest Passage ] ]
The two countries work closely to resolve trans border environmental issues, an area of increasing importance in the bilateral relationship. A principal instrument of this cooperation is the
International Joint Commission(IJC), established as part of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909to resolve differences and promote international cooperation on boundary waters. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972is another historic example of joint cooperation in controlling trans border water pollution. However, there have been some disputes. Most recently, the Devil's Lake Outlet, a project instituted by North Dakota, has angered Manitobans who fear that their water may soon become polluted as a result of this project.The two governments also consult semi-annually on trans border air pollution. Under the Air Quality Agreement of 1991, both countries have made substantial progress in coordinating and implementing their acid rain control programs and signed an annex on ground level ozone in 2000. Despite this trans border air pollution remains an issue, particularly in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed during the summer. The main source of this trans border pollution results from coal fired power stations, most of them located in the American Midwest.
Currently neither of the countries' governments support the
Kyoto Protocol, which set out time scheduled curbing of greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike the United States, Canada has ratified the agreement. Yet after ratification, due to internal political conflict within Canada, the Canadian government does not enforce the Kyoto Protocol, and has received criticism from environmental groups and from other governments for its climate change positions. [ [http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/national/article.jsp?article=2006_11_16_1163698971 The fight for the sextuplets | Macleans.ca - Canada - Features ] ]
In 2003 the American government became concerned when members of the Canadian government announced plans to decriminalize marijuana. David Murray, an assistant to U.S. Drug Czar
John P. Walters, said in a CBC interview that, "We would have to respond. We would be forced to respond." [ [http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2003/05/02/us_pot_rxn030502.html U.S. warns Canada against easing pot laws ] ] . However the election of the Conservative Party in early 2006 halted the liberalization of marijuana laws for the foreseeable future. The Canadian government currently grows marijuana for medicinal purposes only in former copper mines.
On September 26, 2002, U.S. officials, acting upon a tip from Canadian law enforcement, detained
Maher Araron suspicion of terrorist links. Arar is a dual citizen of Canada and Syria and was travelling through New York as part of a trip from Tunisiato Canada.
Despite travelling on a Canadian passport, Arar was deported to Syria, his country of birth. He was imprisoned there for over a year and tortured repeatedly. The decision by U.S. officials to deport him to Syria, his imprisonment and torture there, and the extent of collaboration between U.S. and Canadian officials became a major political issue in Canada at the time.
Canadian officials have since said that Arar was not linked in any way to terrorism, and the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, has issued a formal apology and a $10.5 million (CAD) settlement to Arar, who nonetheless remains on an American terrorist watchlist.
These include maritime boundary disputes:
Strait of Juan de Fuca
San Juan Islands
Machias Seal Islandand North Rock
Territorial land disputes:
Aroostook War( Maineboundary)
Alaska Boundary Dispute
and disputes over the international status of the:
Canada and the United States both hold membership in a number of multi-national organizations such as:
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Food and Agriculture Organization
International Chamber of Commerce
International Development Association
International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
International Olympic Committee
North American Free Trade Agreement
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
North American Aerospace Defense Command
Organization of American States
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
United Nations Security Council
World Health Organization
World Trade Organization
The current state of relations
Shortly after being congratulated by U.S. President
George W. Bushfor his victory in February 2006, Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harperrebuked U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkinsfor criticizing the Conservatives' plans to assert Canada's sovereignty over the Arctic Oceanwaters with armed forces. Harper's first meeting with the U.S. President occurred at the end of March, 2006; and while little was achieved in the way of solid agreements, the trip was described in the media as signalling a trend of closer relations between the two nations.
John F. Kennedy: "Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies. Those whom nature hath so joined together, let no man put asunder." [ John F. Kennedy. " [http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=8136 Address Before the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa] ". The American Presidency Project.]
* Canadian Prime Minister
Pierre Trudeaucompared relations to "sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt." [From a speech by Trudeau to the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on March 25, 1969; authorship of the speech was later attributed to Ivan Head, Trudeau's adviser. (It should be noted, as well, that Trudeau's quote is commonly, although incorrectly, remembered as casting Canada as a mouse; this was in fact the creation of an editorial cartoonthat followed Trudeau's speech.)]
* Canadian Prime Minister
John Sparrow Thompson: "These Yankee politicians are the lowest race of thieves in existence." - made during sensitive trade talks with US in 1893
* Canadian Prime Minister
John A. Macdonald, speaking at the beginning of the 1891 election (fought mostly over Canadian free trade with the United States), Macdonald said: "As for myself, my course is clear. A British subjectI was born—a British subject I will die. With my utmost effort, with my latest breath, will I oppose the ‘veiled treason’ which attempts by sordid means and mercenary proffers to lure our people from their allegiance." - , Feb 3, 1891. [Histor!ca [http://www.histori.ca/prodev/article.do;jsessionid=8D3831D48EE489EBCF46813C8427E685.tomcat1?id=15356 "Election of 1891: A Question of Loyalty"] , James Marsh.]
* U.S. President
Richard Nixon, during his visit to Ottawa in 1972, declared that the "special relationship" between Canada and the United States was dead. "It is time for us to recognize," he stated, "that we have very separate identities; that we have significant differences; and that nobody's interests are furthered when these realities are obscured."Canad and the World]
* Canadian Prime Minister
Pierre Trudeau, speaking in the Soviet Union in 1971, said that the overwhelming American presence posed "a danger to our national identity from a cultural, economic and perhaps even military point of view." Nixon responded in Ottawa in 1972, declaring that the special relationship between Canada and the United States was dead and Canada could not expect to continue to receive special economic favors.
Canadian and American economies compared
Canadian and American politics compared
Foreign relations of Canada
Foreign relations of the United States
Etiquette in Canada and the United States
* Doran, Charles F., and James Patrick Sewell, "Anti-Americanism in Canada," "Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science," Vol. 497, Anti-Americanism: Origins and Context (May, 1988), pp. 105-119 [http://www.jstor.org/stable/1045764 in JSTOR]
* Stephen Clarkson, "Uncle Sam and Us: Globalization, Neoconservatism and the Canadian State" (University of Toronto Press, 2002),
* J. L. Granatstein. "Yankee Go Home: Canadians and Anti-Americanism" (1997)
* J. L. Granatstein and Norman Hillmer, "For Better or for Worse: Canada and the United States to the 1990s" (1991)
* John W. Holmes. "Impact of Domestic Political Factors on Canadian-American Relations: Canada," "International Organization," Vol. 28, No. 4, Canada and the United States: Transnational and Transgovernmental Relations (Autumn, 1974), pp. 611-635 [http://www.jstor.org/stable/2706227 in JSTOR]
Graeme S. Mountand Edelgard Mahant, "An Introduction to Canadian-American Relations" (1984, updated 1989)
* Graeme S. Mount and Edelgard Mahant, "Invisible and Inaudible in Washington: American Policies toward Canada during the Cold War" (1999)
* Bruce Muirhead, "From Special Relationship to Third Option: Canada, the U.S., and the Nixon Shock," "American Review of Canadian Studies," Vol. 34, 2004 [http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst?docId=5008438189 online edition]
* Reginald C. Stuart. "Dispersed Relations: Americans and Canadians in Upper North America" (2007) [http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0801887852/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link excerpt and text search]
* James Tagg. "'And, We Burned down the White House, Too': American History, Canadian Undergraduates, and Nationalism," "The History Teacher," Vol. 37, No. 3 (May, 2004), pp. 309-334 [http://www.jstor.org/stable/1555672 in JSTOR]
* C. C. Tansill, "Canadian-American Relations, 1875-1911" (1943)
* John Herd Thompson and Stephen J. Randall, "Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies" (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1994), 387pp
* [http://www.vizu.com/poll-vote.html?n=117214 Should the Provinces of Canada become part of the United States?]
* [http://www.canadianembassy.org Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.]
* [http://canada.usembassy.gov Embassy of the United States of America in Ottawa, Ontario]
* [http://www.canadian-society.com/gallery/gala2003/ Canadian Society of New York] - formed in 1897 to foster a spirit of good will between Canada and the United States. For 106 years it held an annual [http://www.canadian-society.com/image/NationalPost12-5-03.pdf gala] to honour distinguished Canadians or Americans who devoted their careers to strengthening the ties between the two countries.
* [http://www.canadianassociationny.org/ Canadian Association of New York]
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