Canada and the United States

Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies

John Herd Thompson
Stephen J. Randall
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 4
Pages: 464
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46nj2k
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  • Book Info
    Canada and the United States
    Book Description:

    The United States and Canada have the world's largest trading relationship and the longest shared border. Spanning the period from the American Revolution to post-9/11 debates over shared security, Canada and the United States offers a current, thoughtful assessment of relations between the two countries. Distilling a mass of detail concerning cultural, economic, and political developments of mutual importance over more than two centuries, this survey enables readers to grasp quickly the essence of the shared experience of these two countries. This edition of Canada and the United States has been extensively rewritten and updated throughout to reflect new scholarly arguments, emphases, and discoveries. In addition, there is new material on such topics as energy, the environment, cultural and economic integration, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, border security, missile defense, and the second administration of George W. Bush.

    eISBN: 978-0-8203-3725-8
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. List of Maps
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Preface to the Fourth Edition
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    John Herd Thompson and Stephen J. Randall
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    The first edition of Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies, published in 1994, began with our comment that “the inclusion of a volume on Canada in a series on The United States and the Americas is an ironic reflection of changing international realities.” Since we wrote that sentence, the justification for discussing Canada as an “American” nation has become much more obvious. Canada’s manifest ties to the Western Hemisphere grew more evident with the 1987 Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States, with Canada’s decision to join the Organization of American States, and most particularly with the...

  6. 1 Building North American Nation-States, 1774–1871
    (pp. 9-40)

    Between 1774 and 1783 the American War of Independence fragmented the North American centerpiece of the first British Empire. From the turmoil two countries eventually emerged: with no little irony, the war that created the United States also created Canada. Twice in one generation, from 1776 to 1781 and again from 1812 to 1815, the American colonies and then the fledgling United States fought the world’s most powerful nation-state in two wars that determined the fate of the continent. As Canadian historian A. R. M. Lower wrote melodramatically: “Of greater moment than the boundary settlement was the parting itself. Here...

  7. 2 Canada in the Shadow of Industrial America, 1871–1903
    (pp. 41-70)

    The triumph of Union nationalism and industrialism over Confederate decentralization and agrarianism in the United States coincided not only with the Canadian Confederation but also with movements of national unification elsewhere in the world. Germany, Italy, Argentina, and—most significant to the United States and Canada—Mexico all emerged from mid-nineteenth-century turmoil as unified nation-states and passed into periods of rapid economic growth and development. Confronted in Europe, Africa, and Asia by Germany as a rival imperial power, Britain disengaged from the Western Hemisphere. The Treaty of Washington signaled the withdrawal of the Royal Army from North America, despite Canadian...

  8. 3 Beginning a Bilateral Relationship, 1903–1918
    (pp. 71-98)

    The first two decades of the twentieth century witnessed dramatic changes in the world context of U.S.-Canadian relations. Britain and its European rivals—France, Germany, Austria, and Russia—declined in relation to an emergent America. During the Republican presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, the United States came to terms with its newly won status as a world power, built a battleship navy, and consolidated its political and economic influence in the Caribbean and in Central and South America, and extended it in the Pacific. The upheavals of World War I made the United States an international creditor...

  9. 4 A Relationship Matures, 1919–1938
    (pp. 99-133)

    World War I was a watershed for both Canada and the United States. In the interwar decades Canada took its tentative first steps into the international community with a seat in the new League of Nations. The British Statute of Westminster in 1931 made Canada technically autonomous within the empire, but Britain remained a significant third presence in Canadian calculations about the United States. In these same decades, the United States affirmed its world power. U.S. foreign policy in the postwar decades seemed paradoxical: a trend toward political isolationism, best exemplified by U.S. rejection of the League of Nations, at...

  10. 5 World War to Cold War, 1939–1947
    (pp. 134-170)

    The United States and Canada moved suddenly to the embrace of alliance between 1938 and 1941. The world context of U.S.-Canadian relations changed fundamentally in the 1930s, as Japan, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany destroyed the capacity of the international community to control aggression. President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King thus laid the foundations of a formal U.S.-Canadian defense alliance in the late 1930s. By the time Canada joined Britain in war against Germany in September 1939, King could be assured of U.S. goodwill and cooperation, even though America remained neutral until the attack on Pearl Harbor in...

  11. 6 Canada in the New American Empire, 1948–1960
    (pp. 171-198)

    The modern U.S.-Canadian relationship dates from the intensified cold war that began in 1948. Britain’s military and economic weakness, made painfully obvious in 1946–47, created new dilemmas for the other two sides of the “North Atlantic Triangle.” Canada lost its historic British counterweight to the United States, and the United States was forced into Britain’s old imperial role. With dizzying rapidity, the American-led struggle against the Communist specter brought a degree of intimacy between Canada and the United States that the war against Germany had never demanded. Both countries became charter members of the multilateral North Atlantic Treaty Organization...

  12. 7 The Moose That Roared, 1961–1968
    (pp. 199-227)

    The cinematic surprise of 1959 was the British comedy The Mouse That Roared. In the movie, a tiny European kingdom named the Grand Duchy of Fenwick, governed by Peter Sellers in three roles, attacks the United States. It must have seemed to the U.S. government at that time as if Canada had borrowed the Grand Duchy’s tactics. From Washington’s perspective a sudden and perplexing pattern of confrontation supplanted fifteen years of Canadian accommodation to U.S. wishes. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and his Conservative colleagues were, alas, much less amusing company for Americans than Peter Sellers. The Canadian “moose” roared about...

  13. 8 The Ambivalent Ally, 1968–1984
    (pp. 228-260)

    Pierre Elliott Trudeau was prime minister of Canada longer than any other save Sir John A. Macdonald and William Lyon Mackenzie King. With Trudeau as its leader, the Liberal Party held power in Ottawa for fifteen years, broken only by the brief Conservative interregnum of Joe Clark in 1979–80. The parliamentary system permits longer political careers; after Franklin Roosevelt successfully defied the two-term tradition, a constitutional amendment limited U.S. presidents to eight years in office. Trudeau served opposite five presidents: Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. None of them liked him very much except...

  14. 9 Republicans and Tories, 1984–1993
    (pp. 261-283)

    After 1984, with Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the White House, and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s majority Conservative government in power in Ottawa, U.S.-Canadian relations shifted toward significantly greater ideological affinity that paved the way to accommodation on once-divisive issues. The international context for the relationship during the decade began with an escalation of the cold war and ended with the toppling of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Two developments symbolized the transformation in North America: Canada and the United States transcended the political barriers that had long defeated efforts to...

  15. 10 A North American Trajectory? 1994–2000
    (pp. 284-301)

    The conclusion of the North American Free Trade Agreement seemed at last to answer definitively the century-old questions that had tormented Canadians about their country’s relationship to the United States. Whether for better, as NAFTA’s Canadian supporters maintained, or for worse, as its critics insisted, the three countries had taken a major step toward the economic integration of North America, and the continental economy was not about to go away. The official relationship between Canada and the United States was “comfortable and unruffled,” concluded two professors who examined it; “the big bilateral issues have been dealt with, and the current...

  16. 11 Playing by New American Rules, 2001–2007
    (pp. 302-332)

    The presidential election of 7 November 2000 was not decided until 12 December, when a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court awarded Florida’s electoral votes to Republican George W. Bush, former governor of Texas. Democratic candidate Al Gore, Clinton’s vice president, won 543,816 more popular votes than Bush, but Bush’s four-vote majority in the Electoral College sent him to the White House. The November election had also given Republicans control over both houses of Congress. Sustained by this legislative majority, the new president boldly announced that in the post–cold war environment the United States would no longer be...

  17. Epilogue: “Plus ça change . . .”
    (pp. 333-342)

    No other pair of international neighbors can claim as successful and mutually prosperous a relationship as has evolved between the United States and Canada over the past two hundred years. The two countries share not only a continent but also an interwoven cultural, political, and economic heritage. Because it is impossible to depict U.S.-Canadian relations within the framework of a traditional diplomatic narrative, in this fourth edition of Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies—as in the first three editions—we have thus also considered the political, economic, and especially the cultural and social considerations that inform the bilateral...

  18. Appendix: U.S.-Canadian Trade
    (pp. 343-348)
  19. Notes
    (pp. 349-408)
  20. Bibliographical Essay
    (pp. 409-428)

    The endnotes to Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies provide the reader with the sources for specific references in the text, in particular to the archival and government sources that have been used in preparing the four editions of this book. This bibliographical essay will guide those who wish to read more widely on a particular aspect of U.S.-Canadian relations. It is not all encompassing and includes neither M.A. and doctoral theses nor all relevant academic periodical literature.

    There is a wide range of general studies of U.S.-Canadian relations, of U.S. and Canadian foreign policy, and of the social,...

  21. Index
    (pp. 429-448)