to what degree has the recent history of Canada resembled or contrasted with that of its close neighbor the United States?
History of Canadian and the United States
Being very close neighbours, Canada and the United States tend to have a number of similarities as far as recent history is concerned. Despite these similarities, however, several differences in recent history have uniquely defined each country differently and set them on separate ideological inclinations. The proximity of Canada to the United States means that just like in most cases where nations share borders, there are physical, cultural, economic, and social interactions that happen across the border.
One of the key similarities between the two countries is a common foreign affairs policy (Duiker, 2021). For many years, the United States has taken increasingly decisive measures concerning the international conflicts that have occurred since the end of the two World Wars. The interventionist approach has meant that the United States has continued to partner with most of the countries with which they allied to bring to an end the world wars. In recent years, Canada has more often than not sided with the United States in its wars abroad, contributing troops and strategic cooperation with the United States in attempting to resolve some of the emerging global conflicts.
The other similarity is with regards to the closeness in a culture that is heightened by the border crossings that occur each day at unguarded border and entry points along the U.S.-Canadian border. This has meant that some of the most popular cultural icons in the United States, including pop stars, Television presenters, and even movie stars are of Canadian citizenship and vice versa. The fact that some television stations broadcast across the two borders further entrench the similarities.
A key difference between the two countries is in the direction of national politics. In the United States, the differences that exist ideologically between the major two political parties have grown deeper and deeper; so much so that they are almost irreconcilable. In fact, the political discourse has popularized the notion of the Blue States and the Red States, a testament to the deep divide. The political outfits are complete with their favorable broadcast TV and radio stations, social media sites, and websites (Duiker, 2021). The Canadian political landscape has these differences too, but among the five major political parties, the differences are not perceived as steeply as they are with the United States context.
Another key difference that exists between the two is with regards to new immigrants. Canada has a surprisingly low population relative to its geographical size. It is, therefore, imperative that new immigrants are welcomed each year to make up for the increasingly aging population. This fact has changed the perception of immigration in the country, making the country more tolerant to new arrivals who make up over 350,000 every year. The politics in America has greatly changed perceptions on immigration and made it an emotive issue. The immigration rates are, therefore, lower in the US than in Canada.
The nature of politics in the two countries has also made sure that Canadian recent history is marked by more consistent progress in terms of the progressive agenda and priorities that include climate change, LGBTQ rights, social security, and national healthcare policies. Even while such issues are a priority in the United States too, there always periods when the politics are so conservative that most of the progressive policy agenda suffers greatly.
In conclusion, it is true that countries that coexist next to each other experience probable cultural exchange because of the influences from either side. The United States and Canada are no exception. The cultural and foreign policy similarities are testament to their continued cooperation and shared history. However, some differences come down to national and provincial priorities in both countries. It is these dynamics that the paper sought to explain.
Duiker, W.J. (2021). Contemporary World History. Cengage.