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Canada and the United States

Ambivalent Allies

John Herd Thompson and Stephen J. Randall

Publication Year: 2008

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.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Series: The United States and the Americas


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pp. ix-x

List of Maps

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface to the Fourth Edition

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pp. xiii-xvi

Nation-states have no friends, only interests. Historians are much luckier; this fourth edition of Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies is the work of two friends of thirty-five years. But many others in addition to the two men credited on the cover participated in the creation of this and previous versions. Lester Langley conceived...

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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...

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1. Building North American Nation-States, 1774-1871

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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...

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2. Canada in the Shadow of Industrial America, 1871-1903

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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...

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3. Beginning a Bilateral Relationship, 1903-1918

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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...

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4. A Relationship Matures, 1919-1938

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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...

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5. World War to Cold War, 1939-1947

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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...

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6. Canada in the New American Empire, 1948-1960

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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...

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7. The Moose That Roared, 1961-1968

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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...

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8. The Ambivalent Ally, 1968-1984

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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...

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9. Republicans and Tories, 1984-1993

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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...

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10. A North American Trajectory? 1994-2000

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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...

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11. Playing by New American Rules, 2001-2007

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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...

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Epilogue: "Plus ça change..."

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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...

Appendix: U.S.-Canadian Trade

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pp. 343-348


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pp. 349-408

Bibliographical Essay

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pp. 409-428


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pp. 429-448

E-ISBN-13: 9780820337258
E-ISBN-10: 0820337250
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820331133
Print-ISBN-10: 0820331139

Page Count: 464
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: Third Edition
Series Title: The United States and the Americas