Due to the nature of relations with USA, it was argued in the past that Canada was a cousin of the United States. Some Canadians believe so and even denote United States their Cousin while others do not. It is however evident that these two nations are actually more close than any other nations that have bilateral relationships. Though there have been strains and enormous challenges in relation between these nations, the two are closely related as they share the same past including immigration patterns, colonial powers and language. This paper is aimed at determining whether Canada is cousin of the United States or not.
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For more than two centuries, it cannot be doubted that Canada is very closely related to the United States. In documented sources, some Canadian politicians like Robert Thompson said that United States would remain the best friend of Canada whether Canadian people accepted it or not. He commented that United States was Canada’s best friend for its amazing qualities such as openness, idealism, friendship and generosity. Norman Hillmer and J.L. Granatstein note that American attitude, ideas, models and failures shaped the nature of Canadian people and Canada as a nation. Though Canada had some doubts about some American policies, America greatly influenced who Canada really is. This is one instance that shows how these nations maybe related as cousins (Norman and Granatstein, 2007).
The Canadian and American cultures are more or less the same. In fact, some Canadians acknowledge that United States and Canada share what is commonly known as the American culture. The origin of similarity in culture of these two nations stems from their history. USA and Canada share a lot of history from immigration patterns, same colonizers and the same language. Despite these factors, the two countries have changed significantly. Canada is a multicultural state which is dominated by foreigners; in fact Canada relies on immigrating people for its growth. Due to its multicultural nature, there are many questions about Canada’s identity. According to most people, each cultural group retains its identity and while standing side by side with other cultural groups thereby forming Canadian cultural mosaic (Lisa, 2010).
Many people in Canada and other from various nations have different perspectives on the issue of multiculturalism in Canada. Some argue that this makes Canada lack identity. In fact, most people from other nations argue that Canada does not have identity. While some believe in this point of view, others believe that Canada has its own identity despite a lot of influence from United States. Mandy mallet believes that influence from United States and Canadian multiculturalism makes this nation and defines its identity. She says “The many cultures within Canada are its diversity and I think that is a big part of who Canada is”. She believes that though the United States influences Canadian culture, USA takes a large part of Canadian culture as well (Mandy, 2009).
Conversely, some sources indicate that some Canadians are anti-American. On the other hand, some professionals argue that if Canada was really anti-American, the Canadians would denounce themselves, their country and their place in it. These professionals observed that many Canadians say something about the United States and do exactly the opposite of what they said. They go ahead to lament that if Canadians felt the way they usually say they do and self aware people integrity, they would not have made the choices they always make. They would not have consumed the American culture, would not have welcomed American trade and they would not have contracted their defence to the Americans. In fact, they would have differentiated themselves from the United States through this but they did not.
There are several postulations as to how Canada and United States related. Canada was colonized by Britain and France leading to two distinct populations. English speaking Canadians emphasized on British roots while the French Speaking Canadians were more open minded. In fact, the English speaking Canadians did not differentiate themselves from the Britons and did not have allegiance to any other country apart from United Kingdom. However, in early1920, Canada started to seek independence from Great Britain. Since Britain had been greatly weakened by the wars they participated in, she had no desire to continue babysitting Canada as she could not afford. Due to this occurrence, Canada was forced to seek closer ties with United States, her neighbour. This is where a closer relationship developed since the era of migration and colonization (Indopedia, 2004).
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Due to the way Canadians behave and make policies, there were threats of takeover by the Americans. This was especially when the government made policies that were more or less similar to those in the United States. However, the left political wing of Canada has played a pivotal role in criticizing American like policies made within the Canadian government. Despite lots of influence from the American culture, Canada has been able to distinguish itself by defining its identity. Though Canadian culture is adversely affected especially when there is a strained relationship between the two nations, most Canadians believe that there is a distinct Canadian culture at all times.
Technological advancements especially in media led to imminent influence on Canadians from American culture. In response to this, Canadian government in conjunction with province governments have tried to accentuate Canadian culture. The Canadian government has been offering money to Canadian programmers making Canadian shows. These measures have led to a domestically and internationally recognized Canadian literature and television shows. Most Canadians have idealized views of what Canada is and what it should become. These factors show that Canada is really working to retain their culture despite many influences from Americans though termed as their cousins.
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