Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

[BRIEF NOTE] Is there such a thing as Canadian history?

Via optimussven, the discussion in history, "Does Canada have a history?". I'll quote brotherj, the originator of the thread.

If someone were to ask you whether Canada has a history, how would you respond? Especially if that someone had just finished reading an article* that suggested that Canada has no particular reason to exist as a distinct political entity, and has ceased to exist as a distinct social entity. That someone, a former Washington Post Canada corrospondent, later commented that if a world history course was given, outside of North America, “I’m not sure how often Canada would come up. Does it come up in American history courses? No.”

So if someone were to ask you, "Does Canada have a history?" what would you say?

Me, I'd say that Canadian history constitutes a fairly coherent and distinct unit cemented by four centuries of political and other separation from what's now America. I'd also say that it bears somewhat the same relationship to American history as Austrian history to German, or Scottish to English history, since there's clearly a strong relationship between America and Canada that privileges the larger and more powerful partner.


* Steven Pearlstein's "O Canada! A National Swan Song?".
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