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When it comes to North America, there are two dominant countries: Canada and the United States of America. While they share a lot in common,there is a big difference between the two countries, a difference that goes beyond just a border.
Canada is separate from the United States for historical reasons, which can be linked to the American Revolution and the Treaty of Paris that followed in 1783.
The outcome of the War of 1812 permanently sealed the separation between Canada and the United States.
Despite Canada being separate from the US, the two nations enjoy close bilateral ties. This was the result of the US’s unsuccessful attempts to annex Canada.
Scroll down even further to know more about the reasons why Canada is separate from the USA.
Historical Overview: Things That Drove US and Canada Apart
The American revolution came to an end when the United States of America and the Kingdom of Great Britain signed a treaty in Paris on September 3, 1783.
The United States negotiated advantageous terms, and the signing of this treaty provided the groundwork for its status as an independent nation. French dominance in the region decreased after the war, but Britain experienced economic growth.
Canada was still under the sovereignty of Great Britain, but by 1805, American and British tensions were on the rise and the War of 1812 was the result.
The British and local Canadian militias fiercely resisted the Americans’ incursion into Canadian territory as they attempted to outflank the British. However, by 1815, peace had taken hold and the integrity of borders was unaltered.
The Treaty of Paris
The Treaty of Paris is the document that ended the American Revolution. Signed in 1783, it recognized the independence of the United States of America and established borders between the new country and its neighbours.
For Canada, this was a time of uncertainty. The treaty didn’t mention Canada at all, and there was fear that the United States would try to annex British North America.
In 1791, two years after the treaty was signed, Canada and the United States signed the Jay Treaty. This agreement established peaceful relations between the two countries and confirmed the borders as they are today.
Difference in Loyalty and Cultural Heritage
By the 1770s, America was in a state of insurrection. Loyalty to Britain had decreased dramatically, and calls for independence were increasing. On the other hand, many Canadians still felt loyalty towards Britain.
Generations before had adapted from their European heritage to form a distinct society that was based on local customs, traditions and loyalties.
Although many Americans shared this local identity as well, this sense of community could help to convince them to stay loyal to the British monarchy. In some cases, it was what even encouraged their fight for freedom from the Crown’s oppressive rule.
This difference in attitudes ultimately helped maintain Canada’s separate identity from America; thus allowing it to eventually become its own independent nation.
American Failed Invasion
The War of 1812, which ended in 1814, had a major effect on both countries and even resulted in a failed invasion by the United States into Canada.
The war started over various issues between the two countries including US trade restrictions, and many other international disputes. The war ended with the Treaty of Ghent in December 1814 and resulted in much bloodshed and frustration between both sides.
The failed US invasion into Canada was one of the most significant incidents during this period, as it made it clear that Canada was its own separate nation from that of the United States.
Although this war occurred over 200 years ago, it is still remembered today as a key moment in Canadian history that helped to shape its independence from America.
The Quebec Act
The Quebec Act which was passed in 1774 by the British Parliament recognized the rights of French Canadians to practise their religion, language and culture.
This led to tension between English Canadians and those in Quebec, as the former felt that their sovereignty was threatened by the law.
The Quebec Act also declared that Canada would be governed separately from other British colonies in North America, allowing for more direct control from London. This further drove a wedge between Canada and the United States.
Ultimately, the Quebec Act planted a seed for independence that would eventually lead to Canada becoming an independent nation separate from the United States.
During the War of 1812, both countries had soldiers in their respective territories. This created tension between Canada and the US, which ultimately led to a divide in their territories.
Today, this physical presence is still evident in Canada and the US. In many areas, especially near the border, there are still military forces on both sides of the border.
The Canadian Forces and U.S. Military are both responsible for protecting their respective citizens from security threats from outside nations. Furthermore, military personnel from both countries work together to ensure that the border remains secure.
Recent Canada-USA Relations
Canada and the United States have maintained a strong relationship over the past few decades, working together on issues from trade to security.
The two countries have increased border security since 9/11, and have signed a number of bilateral agreements to protect the environment, promote free trade, and increase collaboration on global issues.
The Canada-U.S. relationship is unique in many ways, with both countries working together to ensure greater economic prosperity for its citizens. As neighbours who share a common language, the two countries are intertwined in ways other countries aren’t.
Despite their close ties, Canada maintains its independence while leveraging its partnership with the USA. This has enabled Canada to become an important member of the international community while maintaining strong ties with its southern neighbour.