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-   -   Controversial Idea: The US as (Anglo-)Canada's Mother Country? (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=240642)

Acajack Oct 15, 2019 4:29 PM

Controversial Idea: The US as (Anglo-)Canada's Mother Country?
 
I have been thinking about how the US's influence on Canada (and especially Anglo-Canada) is often brought up and is the focus of heated debate. (At least for some of us on here.)

Perhaps one of the reasons for the constant haranguing over this is that it's being framed in the wrong way?

I mean, the way it's usually approached is that the US and Canada are supposed to be entities that are relatively foreign to each other, a kind of ying vs. yang opposition. Canada exists precisely because it didn't want to be like the US. And yet paradoxically it has become extremely similar to the US over time, and the evolution suggests growing integration, in a three steps forward, one step back kind of way.

But what if we think of the US as Canada's Mother Country? Or at least as a country that plays the Mother Country role for Canada? (The latter point being a concession to the fact that we may not have come into this relationship in the way that these things normally happen.)

Then the fascination with and mimicking of goings-on in the US, be they cultural, political, societal, etc. suddenly makes a lot more sense.

Even if on an institutional level, Canada certainly has British as opposed to American foundations - though the US's foundations are also British. They're just more distant than ours.

But even our institutions have slowly evolved and continue to evolve subtly towards more American norms in many cases. Just look at how our constitutional framework has become more American-style with a codified document and a Supreme Court that rules on the constitutionality of laws and such. As opposed to the UK’s unwritten constitutional conventions and parliamentary supremacy?

It's almost like a case of mistaken identity, driven by the maintaining of the monarchical ties to the UK.

I realize that I am asking people to think way outside the box, which has always given us the impression that there were pretty much two dual, parallel "vectors" (those arrow diagram thingies) that shot out from the UK with each one landing distinctly into what are today Canada and the U.S.

That's actually not how the history played out.

When you think about it, except for Newfoundland, British "stuff" and people initially arrived in this part of the world mostly from the south, not from the east. Even the monarchy was something that the U.S. had, that they jettisoned, and that was transported to Canada so that it could live on on North American soil.

Early British settlement and military incursions into what was then primarily French controlled territory mostly came from the south as well, prior to and during the milestone events which were the Treaty of Paris (1763) and the American Declaration of Independence (1776).

The Loyalists, who were eventually outnumbered by people coming directly from the British Isles, and later from all over the world, nonetheless laid almost all of the groundwork and set the tone for the Anglo-Canadian society that would eventually spread from that Atlantic to the Pacific.

The more I think of it, the more it seems clear that "No U.S., no (Anglo-)Canada".

Without the presence of the U.S. to the south, the British presence was limited to some fur trade activity in the far north with no permanent settlement, and a tiny population in Newfoundland of maybe 5,0000-10,000, half of which was seasonal.

In addition to the northward migration of the Loyalists that implanted the roots of Anglo-Canadian society, the U.S. was also the launching pad for all of the British attacks and offensives that the led to their eventual conquest of all of France's possessions in this part of the world. Without the populated and developed (for the era) U.S. - or what was to become the U.S. - as a staging area to organize the attacks, gather supplies, resources and men, it's unclear that the "Conquest" would have been possible.

Take the British colonies to the south (the future USA) out of the equation and what is today Canada might probably still be French in some way. Similar to how most of Latin America is "Spanish".

Again, it's not a standard "Mother Country" evolution, though in a way the founders of what was to become Anglo-Canada did "break away" from the fledgling United States. They refused to a part of it and moved to largely unoccupied land that was still part of Britain's North American colonial empire but had not joined the movement led by George Washington.

I know that one of the counter-arguments when it comes to culture will be that it's actually a two-way relationship and that we "share" this stuff with the US, but the "traffic" and "gaze" figuratively speaking is overwhelmingly in one direction. Americans overwhelmingly don't think they "share" Hollywood with us. Hollywood is theirs and if we're good enough to make it there is a place for us there just like there is for Brits, Aussies or Croatians.

And all of the talk of Canada's influence in the US (which does exist) does not contradict the Mother Country theory. It's very common for the "colonies" (for lack of a better term) to contribute to the culture of the Mother Country.

As I asked before: how could Anglo-Canada have come into existence if the 13 Colonies/United States did not provide a whole host of historical figures, people, events, etc. to the tableau?

someone123 Oct 15, 2019 4:53 PM

It's not true that only Newfoundland was mostly settled from the British Isles. Nova Scotia and PEI were as well. This is quite well documented; the settler ships in the 1700's mostly came directly from the British Isles. All of the original Halifax and Lunenburg settlers were from Europe for example, and in areas like Pictou the first settlers came from Scotland.

When the American Revolution happened, New Brunswick was created to give Loyalists their own colony. Nova Scotia had already been settled for almost 2 centuries at that point and the British colony was about 70 years old (1713).

Another problem with this type of reasoning is that there wasn't much of a cultural distinction between the US and UK in the late 1700's. There wasn't really a distinct American culture for English Canada to be spawned from. Plenty of American revolutionaries were themselves born in Britain.

TorontoDrew Oct 15, 2019 5:05 PM

Outside of Toronto throughout most of central and southwestern Ontario the same could be said just like Atlantic Canada. The U.S could never be our Mother Country as it's always been our sibling from birth. It ran away from home where as we kept a close ties.

Acajack Oct 15, 2019 5:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8717610)
It's not true that only Newfoundland was mostly settled from the British Isles. Nova Scotia and PEI were as well. This is quite well documented; the settler ships in the 1700's mostly came directly from the British Isles. All of the original Halifax and Lunenburg settlers were from Europe for example, and in areas like Pictou the first settlers came from Scotland.

When the American Revolution happened, New Brunswick was created to give Loyalists their own colony. Nova Scotia had already been settled for almost 2 centuries at that point and the British colony was about 70 years old (1713).
.

Both PEI and NS were part of French Acadia and the launching pad from which these parts of Acadia were conquered and made British was nonetheless the "13 Colonies". That's kinda my point.

Acajack Oct 15, 2019 5:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8717610)

Another problem with this type of reasoning is that there wasn't much of a cultural distinction between the US and UK in the late 1700's. There wasn't really a distinct American culture for English Canada to be spawned from. Plenty of American revolutionaries were themselves born in Britain.

This is also kinda my point. British Canada was a child spawned by the 13 Colonies.

someone123 Oct 15, 2019 5:16 PM

This gives some information on 18th century print culture in Quebec City and Halifax, which we still have lots of records of:

https://earlycanadianhistory.ca/2015...nting-britain/

You can read a quote from somebody in Nova Scotia complaining of the insularity of American media back in 1789.

someone123 Oct 15, 2019 5:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8717629)
This is also kinda my point. British Canada was a child spawned by the 13 Colonies.

Depending on how you count, Nova Scotia was either the 0th colony, 4th colony, or 11th colony. The 13 colonies weren't the oldest British colonies, they were the ones that participated in the revolution.

Nova Scotia already had an elected assembly by the time of the American Revolution and voted not to participate.

Maldive Oct 15, 2019 5:24 PM

Hard pass on the thread title. For so many reasons. List to follow. ;-)

Acajack Oct 15, 2019 5:28 PM

This *is* meant to be controversial.

kwoldtimer Oct 15, 2019 5:34 PM

Hardly a new idea. It's valid (or was) wrt Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, Or valid(ish) in that the Loyalists were as much British colonials as "Americans". Whether it accounts for anything today, I'd have my doubts, but I guess that's the bit that might be "controversial".

wave46 Oct 15, 2019 5:39 PM

I think Mother Country is not necessarily the correct term. Perhaps 'foster parent' who we've drifted closer to over time is the appropriate term for our relationship with the United States.

The British have always been the Mother Country - one might be inclined to forget that today, but in the past Anglo-Canadians defined ourselves in the sense of being a British subject. The United States may have fostered our development as an independent country, but it didn't originate it.

The British didn't want to defend us anymore, but didn't want to lose face either in North America. The solution: create a Dominion offspring that could care for itself. All the loyalty of British subjects without any of the costs of upkeep.

But, like parents and children who no longer live together, we've both gone on our own ways rather independently. The British Empire dissipated and they drifted into the EU orbit and we drifted towards our brethren to the south. Such is the power of geography and economics.

someone123 Oct 15, 2019 5:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wave46 (Post 8717662)
But, like parents and children who no longer live together, we've both gone on our own ways rather independently. The British Empire dissipated and they drifted into the EU orbit and we drifted towards our brethren to the south. Such is the power of geography and economics.

It seems like Canada used to be very Commonwealth oriented at one point and this has been weakening in recent decades. I would not be surprised if Queen Elizabeth was the biggest celebrity in Canada in the 1950's.

I wonder how much European integration had an impact on this. In some ways the UK maintains a special relationship with Canada but in other areas where it follows EU rules, Canada is treated like any other country.

wave46 Oct 15, 2019 6:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8717692)
It seems like Canada used to be very Commonwealth oriented at one point and this has been weakening in recent decades. I would not be surprised if Queen Elizabeth was the biggest celebrity in Canada in the 1950's.

I wonder how much European integration had an impact on this. In some ways the UK maintains a special relationship with Canada but in other areas where it follows EU rules, Canada is treated like any other country.

You can see the change in our definition of conservatism.

Someone like John Diefenbaker would be aghast at the modern Canadian Conservative Party.

Definitely the formation of the EU cause the British to move closer to them - not being a part of that huge economic bloc would leave them cold on the outside, economically speaking.

Trying to keep trade going with the remnants of a former Empire spanning a globe whose members had stronger ties with regional partners would be a fool's errand. That's not how logistic networks operate in the late-20th and early 21st centuries.

Acajack Oct 15, 2019 6:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wave46 (Post 8717700)

Definitely the formation of the EU cause the British to move closer to them - not being a part of that huge economic bloc would leave them cold on the outside, economically speaking.

Trying to keep trade going with the remnants of a former Empire spanning a globe whose members had stronger ties with regional partners would be a fool's errand. That's not how logistic networks operate in the late-20th and early 21st centuries.

Well, I guess we'll see how the opposite view to that one works out for the Brits over the next little while! :haha:

CityTech Oct 15, 2019 6:14 PM

I'm not really sure this is the best view. While Anglo-Canada nowadays is very US-oriented, earlier on, Anglo-Canada was much more UK-oriented.

Anglo-Canadians don't talk about their history much so most don't know this, but if you talk to some of the oldest people (like people born pre-1930) about this, they'll tell you that back in the day we used to be way more into British stuff. We talked about British news way more than American news, consumed British media more, etc.

Just dig through the archives of any English-language newspaper of record in Canada. Before about 1960 or so, events in the UK made headlines a lot more often than events in the USA.

It's hard to see now, but there really was a time when Anglo-Canada was "British", in every sense of the word.

CityTech Oct 15, 2019 6:29 PM

If you look at the history of Ontario, the "old stock" Anglo-Canadian population arrived in the province in two distinct waves. The first wave was people of British ancestry arriving from the United States. Not just the Loyalist refugees, but quite a few economic migrants came from the United States to Ontario in the early 19th century. During the War of 1812, something like 80% of Ontarians were either USA-born or had USA-born parents. This is part of the reason why Jefferson thought Ontario would be so easy for the US to invade and annex.

This wave of American immigration largely ended after the 1820s, when the US began its first westward expansions.

However, in the mid to late 19th century there was a big uptick in economic immigration to Ontario from the United Kingdom and that was the main form of immigration to Ontario after 1830. By 1900, those of "direct" British ancestry probably surpassed those of British-via-the-USA ancestry.

There is a fascinating divide in Eastern Ontario that receives very little attention, to the point where very few know about it. That initial wave of "American" immigration largely skipped the Ottawa Valley; only the part of Eastern Ontario adjacent to Lake Ontario & the St. Lawrence saw any meaningful development before 1830. So the Ottawa region was essentially "founded" by the later wave of direct-British immigrants.

Acajack Oct 15, 2019 6:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8717692)
In some ways the UK maintains a special relationship with Canada but in other areas where it follows EU rules, Canada is treated like any other country.

Without there being even a whit of animus, I'd say there isn't much left of that special relationship outside of a few select corridors of power in London.

Beyond that, out there on the ground, the special relationship that's top of mind for everyone is with the U.S.

And if the Brits think of their best Commonwealth buddy, that's Australia.

CityTech Oct 15, 2019 6:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wave46 (Post 8717700)
You can see the change in our definition of conservatism.

Someone like John Diefenbaker would be aghast at the modern Canadian Conservative Party.

The "old" Conservative tradition in Canada, represented pre-2003 by the Progressive Conservative Party, was very much a manifestation of the British conservative tradition. Even the term "Tory" is inherited from Britain.

By contrast, the Reform Party, and the heart & soul of the post-2003 Conservative Party, is a manifestation of the American conservative tradition.

Acajack Oct 15, 2019 6:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CityTech (Post 8717732)
If you look at the history of Ontario, the "old stock" Anglo-Canadian population arrived in the province in two distinct waves. The first wave was people of British ancestry arriving from the United States. Not just the Loyalist refugees, but quite a few economic migrants came from the United States to Ontario in the early 19th century. During the War of 1812, something like 80% of Ontarians were either USA-born or had USA-born parents. This is part of the reason why Jefferson thought Ontario would be so easy for the US to invade and annex.

This wave of American immigration largely ended after the 1820s, when the US began its first westward expansions.

However, in the mid to late 19th century there was a big uptick in economic immigration to Ontario from the United Kingdom and that was the main form of immigration to Ontario after 1830. By 1900, those of "direct" British ancestry probably surpassed those of British-via-the-USA ancestry.

There is a fascinating divide in Eastern Ontario that receives very little attention, to the point where very few know about it. That initial wave of "American" immigration largely skipped the Ottawa Valley; only the part of Eastern Ontario adjacent to Lake Ontario & the St. Lawrence saw any meaningful development before 1830. So the Ottawa region was essentially "founded" by the later wave of direct-British immigrants.

Thanks for posting this.

OldDartmouthMark Oct 15, 2019 8:26 PM

I think rather than starting in the 1700s and moving forward, you should probably start with current times and move backward. How Canada is today is more a reflection of those currently living, and how recent previous generations have influenced them/us.

A few ideas:
- Today, Canada (anglo and franco) is more influenced than ever by the US, mostly through the influence of media, popular culture, and business. I think most of this can be traced back to the advent of TV, or more aptly, cable TV and US networks.

- The industrialization of the US, which Canada became part of, had a large influence on how business is done in Canada. Perhaps the largest influence of them all, since economics seems to create many of the other influences (i.e. advertising, consumerism, etc.).

- The Second World War. Canada entered it in 1939 pretty much automatically as a British Colony, whereas the US was officially trying to remain neutral (though was actually sending ["selling"] arms to help keep Britain from collapsing to Nazi Germany behind the scenes). The 1941 invasion of Pearl Harbour left no doubt as to the direction the US would take when war was finally declared, and the US became Britain's and Canada's strongest and closest ally. Before the world wars, Canada and the US had very different paths, although with some overlap. Afterwards, we were well on our path to becoming a 'mini US'...

IMHO, looking back to pre-20th century tells us how we got to those stepping stones mentioned above, but in reality those times really don't have much in common with, or influence on, where we are today.

So I don't look at America as the 'motherland' of Canada, but more the 'cool cousin' that we tried to emulate, but were never able to do it completely because we have our own background influencing how we see the world...

Just my opinion, of course.

Architype Oct 15, 2019 10:58 PM

Both countries have influenced each other but with the influence being greater from the US because of their overwhelmingly larger population and world influence. To say that the entire world has been under American influence for more than half a century is an understatement. But to say that they are our motherland is a gross misunderstanding; both cultures, originally offshoots of European culture, have evolved into a North American culture. Considering this, it was still a bit eye opening to see the reaction to Andrew Scheer's dual citizenship "crisis". Is Celine Dion a dual citizen?

SpongeG Oct 15, 2019 11:09 PM

I think it's different when it's a politician and potential leader of a country when they have dual citizenship and especially when his party has been outspoken on the issue in the past.

I find more differences in Canada between west and east. When I moved to Ontario for a couple years in the early 90s for school I felt it to be very American, BC didn't have that American vibe going on.

Even the differences between BC and Alberta stand out to me, Ukrainians and Russians, Germans etc their influences in Alberta are quite strong, whereas I find BC influences to be more British. Perogies and Sausage are easily found on menus in Alberta for example, and Fish & chips or Roast Dinner is popular on BC menus.

urbandreamer Oct 15, 2019 11:39 PM

Anglos, quite literally those of English descent are still closer to England than the USA. What you call allophones, if applied to the ROC: yes I would agree are more influenced by America.

I'm half American yet I still get most of my mainstream news from the BBC.

Earlier this year I read an interesting book about the Scots who built Montreal: (controversial idea) Montreal is the most British large city in North America.

The American revolution was really a Scots Irish rebellion.

I agree Vancouver and Vancouver Island feel more upper class English than anything between Ontario and BC; in Ontario, Barrie and London feel very English to me.

re: Empire Loyalists. Consider the context: Montreal was really their "mother" city, the largest city closest to them. Read COMPTON IN RETROSPECT: 1880-1950 - the English (often Scottish) from Vermont and NH built the eastern townships with trade centered around Montreal. As French Canadians moved in, the Empire Loyalists moved to Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver.

Northern Light Oct 15, 2019 11:44 PM

I have to say I'm not buying it.

I would actually take issue w/the notion that Canada has grown to be more like the United States.

I would suggest we've become LESS like the United States in the last 4 decades in particular.

***

If one examined religiosity in society; Canada used to be far more religious.

Today, Canada is not only relatively secular across the nation; but in fact much more so than the United States.

This owes in part to the lesser presence and influence of evangelical Christians in Canada who are less than 10% where the U.S. number is 35%

**

Lets consider the constitution; sure we went 'codified' as is normative throughout much of the world these days........

But we didn't merely exclude a right to bear arms; we excluded property rights.

We chose to include equalization payments to the provinces; something with which there is no U.S. parallel.

We have also seen a vastly different Canadian Supreme Court than its U.S. counterpart, not merely in demeanour, selection process or broad societal endorsement..........but in the means of interpreting the constitution itself as a 'living tree'; rather than the U.S. emphasis on 'founding fathers'.

Our court has made decisions you have not seen nor are likely to see in the U.S. not merely on gay rights, but on assisted dying, marijuana, prostitution, and the rights of first nations.

When one examines views towards immigrants; its not merely than Canadians are more tolerant or welcoming; but how much 'race' is not an issue to the degree it is in the U.S., at least in most parts of Canada.

I would again suggest this has marked a clear shift from the Canada of the past; but also from the present U.S. with the trend lines in opposite directions.

Canada is certainly not the polar opposite of the United States; but nor is it all that similar.

So many aspects of cultural difference seem to pass unnoticed in day to day life; but would strike you clearly from afar.

At the same time, I don't think of Britain as a singular 'mother country' either.

I think Canada is one of handful of nations with diverse parentage and diverse influences.

Canada feels very much like a project of Britain and France with increasing First Nations recognition and influence; but its also influenced both by the United States but also by its very diversity.

I've had the great pleasure to travel outside of Canada and North America a fair bit.

I have to tell you there are so few places that have great Italian Food, great Thai Food, great Syrian Food, great Punjabi food etc etc. all in one place.

Yes, that's more reflective of Toronto and Vancouver than the country as a whole; but those are the 2 biggest centres in English Canada and that same influence can be seen, albeit in lesser amounts in smaller centres throughout the country.

I would argue the U.S. is not our mother country, Britain was only the more influential co-parent and the country has evolved into new directions no longer linked to those parents or to the U.S. to the south.

CityTech Oct 15, 2019 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbandreamer (Post 8718097)
Anglos, quite literally those of English descent are still closer to England than the USA. What you call allophones, if applied to the ROC: yes I would agree are more influenced by America.

I'm half American yet I still get most of my mainstream news from the BBC.

Earlier this year I read an interesting book about the Scots who built Montreal: (controversial idea) Montreal is the most British large city in North America.

The American revolution was really a Scots Irish rebellion.

I agree Vancouver and Vancouver Island feel more upper class English than anything between Ontario and BC; in Ontario, Barrie and London feel very English to me.

Canadians of Scottish & Irish descent, combined, are more numerous than Canadians of English descent. Most of those of English descent have roots in northern or western England. Very few people in Canada have roots in Southeast England, despite that being the dominant region economically & culturally within the modern day United Kingdom.

I believe this is the case with all of Britain's settler colonies. Of the 15 million people who emigrated from the British Isles in the 19th century, about half were from Scotland or Ireland, despite those regions having much smaller populations than England. The fact that in today's times England is far more densely populated than Scotland or Ireland and dominates the UK population-wise is primary the result of this phenomenon. In 1841, Scotland & Ireland, combined, had about the same population as England; by 1901, England had three times more than both combined.

urbandreamer Oct 16, 2019 12:20 AM

If it wasn't for the Scots and Scots-Irish there would be no America or Canada as we know it today. A good read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_Fighting

Really the dividing line in Canada has been religion not language: Catholic vs Protestant vs non conformist.

someone123 Oct 16, 2019 1:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Light (Post 8718102)
Yes, that's more reflective of Toronto and Vancouver than the country as a whole; but those are the 2 biggest centres in English Canada and that same influence can be seen, albeit in lesser amounts in smaller centres throughout the country.

It's true that we tend to focus on pop culture and media but these are only one small part of life.

It's hard to generalize about the two countries but when it comes to food I think the average American has a more "whitebread" palate than the average Canadian. There is a much higher prevalence of diner style food and bland processed food south of the border. This definitely holds in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest vs. Ontario.

Another really interesting area is architecture. Canadian cities were building copies of European-style buildings up until the late 1800's or so, at which point American styles became more popular. Richardsonian Romanesque is an example of an American style.

These days, in terms of architecture, I think Canadian cities are diverging more and more from American cities. Toronto is not really developing like a Midwestern city, Vancouver is not that similar to the US West Coast, and development in Halifax is nothing like the New England cities.

Loco101 Oct 16, 2019 1:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpongeG (Post 8718068)
I think it's different when it's a politician and potential leader of a country when they have dual citizenship and especially when his party has been outspoken on the issue in the past.

I find more differences in Canada between west and east. When I moved to Ontario for a couple years in the early 90s for school I felt it to be very American, BC didn't have that American vibe going on.

Even the differences between BC and Alberta stand out to me, Ukrainians and Russians, Germans etc their influences in Alberta are quite strong, whereas I find BC influences to be more British. Perogies and Sausage are easily found on menus in Alberta for example, and Fish & chips or Roast Dinner is popular on BC menus.

It depends which part of Ontario. Southwestern Ontario seems to have the most American influence. Northern Ontario doesn't really at all except for maybe somewhat in a few places right on the border.

Architype Oct 16, 2019 1:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8718182)
...

Another really interesting area is architecture. Canadian cities were building copies of European-style buildings up until the late 1800's or so, at which point American styles became more popular. Richardsonian Romanesque is an example of an American style.

These days, in terms of architecture, I think Canadian cities are diverging more and more from American cities. Toronto is not really developing like a Midwestern city, Vancouver is not that similar to the US West Coast, and development in Halifax is nothing like the New England cities.

But our cities today are more like American cities than like European cities, we still have a century of North American style development. However I see this as a natural result of developing a new continent, and not as something originating entirely from the US.

LakeLocker Oct 16, 2019 2:39 AM

The elephant in the room is that we are both Anglo-Americans.

Canadians dislike the term because there is no form of "Canadian" in that phrase because overall the term is a huge lie. Canada never has and never will exist in reality. The French Anglo divide in this country isn't a lovers quarrel it's a fact that hasn't changed in 250 years.

Americans dislike the term because they are obsessed with the idea they are some unique nation not remotely attached to a "anglo" tradition. One of my favorites is the popular use of the term "western culture/civilization". Americans fetish the idea that they have just as much in common with Germans, Italians and Spaniards as they do Brits. The reality is an American is no closer to German culture than an American, and latino's wouldn't stand out if the US had a stronger Mediterranean heritage.

We're Anglo Americans plain and simple.

someone123 Oct 16, 2019 2:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Architype (Post 8718213)
But our cities today are more like American cities than like European cities, we still have a century of North American style development. However I see this as a natural result of developing a new continent, and not as something originating entirely from the US.

I was trying to get at the idea that the trend hasn't been for Canada to move inexorably closer and closer to the United States. Structurally I think Canadian cities were closer to American cities in 1900 than they are today in 2019. Partly that's just because bigger and wealthier cities (and countries or cultures) become more differentiated.

Since 1900 many of the major urban development phenomena have played out differently in the two countries. White flight and school issues (which we don't think about much in Canada), urban renewal, highway construction, modern transit, segregation of uses and development of central business districts, gentrification and urban infill.

Northern Light Oct 16, 2019 2:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LakeLocker (Post 8718249)
The elephant in the room is that we are both Anglo-Americans.

Except for the fact you've made that up and it isn't particularly true; that statement is otherwise fine.

Quote:

Canada never has and never will exist in reality.
This explains much about your posts and their anti-Canadian bias and the fact you clearly aren't one of us. I don't know that you would fit in anywhere else, but feel free to give it a try.

Northern Light Oct 16, 2019 2:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8718264)
I was trying to get at the idea that the trend hasn't been for Canada to move inexorably closer and closer to the United States. Structurally I think Canadian cities were closer to American cities in 1900 than they are today in 2019.

Since 1900 many of the major urban development phenomena have played out differently in the two countries. White flight and school issues (which we don't think about much in Canada), urban renewal, highway construction, modern transit, segregation of uses and development of central business districts, gentrification and urban infill.

No worries; you made your point well; and you're entirely correct.

hipster duck Oct 16, 2019 2:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8718182)
These days, in terms of architecture, I think Canadian cities are diverging more and more from American cities. Toronto is not really developing like a Midwestern city, Vancouver is not that similar to the US West Coast, and development in Halifax is nothing like the New England cities.

[English] Canada and America are rapidly diverging - or at least as rapid a divergence as one could imagine in an era of the internet, globalization and given all the other things we share.

On the urbanization front, this is obvious, as you mention: 25 years ago, the average Canadian 30-something would buy a suburban tract house for their starter home just like their American peers. American millennials still buy suburban tract homes en masse; Canadian millennials - if they can buy at all - live in condo neighbourhoods which are quite different even from the new-build midrise rental apartment neighbourhoods that their millennial professsional counterparts in the more expensive coastal American cities would live in if they can afford decent housing.

The other, huge difference is the presence of Hispanics/Spanish in the US, which is essentially nonexistent in Canada. The Spanish/Hispanic influence is enormous; basically the only thing close to it is the presence of all Chinese languages and cultures combined in Metro Vancouver, and even there it feels like a smaller, more scattered presence than in the more Hispanic metros of the US. The effect this is having even on white American culture is enormous; if you go to a house in the US for a football party, you're served chips and salsa and most Americans have a lexicon of Mexican foods that would completely stump your average Canadian (most Americans of all classes and backgrounds know the difference between an enchilada, a gordita and a chimichanga). Then there are Anglo Americans in lines of work like construction, social work and agricultural management who have mastered Spanish to a level beyond the French capabilities of an Ontarian who took French Immersion to at least grade 10.

I did some comparisons between the 2011 census versus the 2010 American census, and I found that there were about 200,000 Canadians who had Latin American origins - or fewer than the Hispanic population of Metro Sacramento, CA.

LakeLocker Oct 16, 2019 3:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 8718272)
[English] Canada and America are rapidly diverging - or at least as rapid a divergence as one could imagine in an era of the internet, globalization and given all the other things we share.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 8718272)
On the urbanization front, this is obvious, as you mention: 25 years ago, the average Canadian 30-something would buy a suburban tract house for their starter home just like their American peers. American millennials still buy suburban tract homes en masse; Canadian millennials - if they can buy at all - live in condo neighbourhoods which are quite different even from the new-build midrise rental apartment neighbourhoods that their millennial professsional counterparts in the more expensive coastal American cities would live in if they can afford decent housing.

This only applies if you pretend places outside of Toronto/Vancouver don't exist. Large metros are typically an exception to the trends found nation wide in either country.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 8718272)
The other, huge difference is the presence of Hispanics/Spanish in the US, which is essentially nowhere in Canada. The Spanish/Hispanic influence is enormous; basically the only thing close to it is the presence of all Chinese languages and cultures combined in Metro Vancouver, and even there it feels like a smaller, more scattered presence than in the more Hispanic metros of the US.

Again this would make sense if you assume that Sunbelt America is similar to midwestern America. Seatle to Vancouver and Chicago to Toronto are better comparisons of what is and isn't American about our culture.

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 8718272)
I did some comparisons between the 2011 census versus the 2010 American census, and I found that there were about 200,000 Canadians who had Latin American origins - or fewer than the Hispanic population of Metro Sacramento, CA.

And you'd likely find similar trends existing in the American MidWest. I don't think anyone is arguing that Anglo-Americans are monolithic. Every region has its own unique subculture.

hipster duck Oct 16, 2019 3:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LakeLocker (Post 8718281)
This only applies if you pretend places outside of Toronto/Vancouver don't exist. Large metros are typically an exception to the trends found nation wide in either country.

Greater Toronto and Vancouver alone are 10 million people, or just under 40% of English Canada. Cities like Victoria, Ottawa, the Alberta cities, Halifax, etc. are not as ridiculous in terms of their housing prices, but they aren't "cheap", either. The condo market in those places absorbs a lot of the new home starts/growth.

Sure, the average RN in Cornwall can probably afford to buy a detached new-build bungalow, the same as her counterpart in Utica, NY, but this represents a fraction of Canada.

Quote:

Again this would make sense if you assume that Sunbelt America is similar to midwestern America. Seatle to Vancouver and Chicago to Toronto are better comparisons of what is and isn't American about our culture.

And you'd likely find similar trends existing in the American MidWest. I don't think anyone is arguing that Anglo-Americans are monolithic. Every region has its own unique subculture.
No, the presence of Spanish and Hispanics/Latin Americans is everywhere in the US. On the east coast, more people are of Carribean origins, but there are huge populations in almost all major northern cities. 22.1% of Chicago's MSA is Hispanic - that's 2 million people. Where there isn't a huge Hispanic presence, there is a huge black presence, which is also markedly different from Canada.

Andy6 Oct 16, 2019 3:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8717638)
Depending on how you count, Nova Scotia was either the 0th colony, 4th colony, or 11th colony. The 13 colonies weren't the oldest British colonies, they were the ones that participated in the revolution.

Nova Scotia already had an elected assembly by the time of the American Revolution and voted not to participate.

True, like all the peripheral colonies (Quebec, Bermuda, Georgia) Nova Scotia was not really on the radar screen of the revolutionary hotheads and, as a less economically mature colony, didn't really have an established hierarchy of men of independent wealth and independent minds who might have been inclined to spearhead a political rebellion. There was also the massive British military presence at Halifax to disincentivize any revolutionaries. On top of that, because the Great Awakening had a very powerful hold on Nova Scotia at the time, religious fervour (rather than the revolutionary kind) consumed the minds of many of its residents, who readily fell under the spell of the great evangelist Henry Alline and his New Light movement.

But other than that there was nothing special about the "13 colonies". They were just the ones that heeded the call. There could have been more or less of them.

someone123 Oct 16, 2019 3:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 8718291)
Greater Toronto and Vancouver alone are 10 million people, or just under 40% of English Canada. Cities like Victoria, Ottawa, the Alberta cities, Halifax, etc. are not as ridiculous in terms of their housing prices, but they aren't "cheap", either. The condo market in those places absorbs a lot of the new home starts/growth.

I don't follow all of the cities but I know a bit about the Halifax market. Median incomes there are about the same as Vancouver but the median house is around $300,000. The proportion of rental construction there is very high (maybe 60%, always over 50% when I've looked), and there are lots of nice rental buildings with features like rooftop swimming pools. There are a lot of people there who rent urban apartments but could buy a suburban tract home (with only a 20-30 minute commute) if they wanted. There's definitely an important difference in development styles and preferences between Halifax and probably any US metro.

It's a lot like how if you make a list of metros with transit use or cycling and pedestrian commuters you get a list that includes cities like Boston and San Francisco mixed in with Victoria and Halifax. You don't see cities like Eugene or Charleston on those lists.

Andy6 Oct 16, 2019 3:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8718264)
I was trying to get at the idea that the trend hasn't been for Canada to move inexorably closer and closer to the United States. Structurally I think Canadian cities were closer to American cities in 1900 than they are today in 2019. Partly that's just because bigger and wealthier cities (and countries or cultures) become more differentiated.

Certainly the personal and family ties between Canada and the U.S. were considerably closer in 1900 than they are today. Just thinking of my own 5 great-grandparents who were Canadian born (mainly in the 1850s) or came here before marriage, each of them had at least one sibling who moved to the United States, and all but one had several. I think that was true of almost everyone in Canada back then -- even in French Canada, where most people would have had a sister or an aunt in Woonsocket or Pawtucket or some place like that. Today that is less common other (perhaps) than among upper class people with siblings in the professional classes.

LakeLocker Oct 16, 2019 3:39 AM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:W...te_in_2012.svg.

MonctonRad Oct 16, 2019 3:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy6 (Post 8718314)
Certainly the personal and family ties between Canada and the U.S. were considerably closer in 1900 than they are today. Just thinking of my own 5 great-grandparents who were Canadian born (mainly in the 1850s) or came here before marriage, each of them had at least one sibling who moved to the United States, and all but one had several. I think that was true of almost everyone in Canada back then -- even in French Canada, where most people would have had a sister or an aunt in Woonsocket or Pawtucket or some place like that. Today that is less common other (perhaps) than among upper class people with siblings in the professional classes.

Indeed - the ties that bind are rapidly disappearing. It used to be so easy to cross the border to find work. Many people used to do in in the late 1800s and early part of the 1900s.

My own mother was born in Rumford ME in 1917. My grandfather moved down there to work in the pulp mill.

The family ties are disappearing. The feel of our cities are different (ours are better). The cultural and ethnic differences are increasing with time (more south and east Asians in Canada, more blacks and Hispanics in the States). Our political philosophies and the nature of our social welfare states is becoming entirely dissimilar - we are nordic Europe, they are a world unto their own.

Only the business ties really remain to bind Canada and the US together.........

someone123 Oct 16, 2019 3:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy6 (Post 8718304)
True, like all the peripheral colonies (Quebec, Bermuda, Georgia) Nova Scotia was not really on the radar screen of the revolutionary hotheads and, as a less economically mature colony, didn't really have an established hierarchy of men of independent wealth and independent minds who might have been inclined to spearhead a political rebellion. There was also the massive British military presence at Halifax to disincentivize any revolutionaries. On top of that, because the Great Awakening had a very powerful hold on Nova Scotia at the time, religious fervour (rather than the revolutionary kind) consumed the minds of many of its residents, who readily fell under the spell of the great evangelist Henry Alline and his New Light movement.

The US colonies were also a lot more homogenous. Massachusetts had an old established settler population and a few British newcomers. Nova Scotia was roughly equal parts British newcomers, foreign Protestants, New England Planters, Acadians, and natives. All of the wealthy and powerful would have been connected to the British colonial system and navy. Almost everybody lived in a seaside town that would have been easy for British ships to attack.

There was an attempt at getting the revolution started in Nova Scotia; Jonathan Eddy attacked Fort Cumberland near the present-day NS/NB border with around 400 militiamen. They dispersed when a British ship arrived. Later on in the war a lot of the military activity decamped from New York to Halifax and at that point there was no way that Nova Scotia could have participated. It was probably 25% British soldiers in total at times.

I think it is easy to get carried away hand waving about how the character of different groups shaped culture hundreds of years later but I do think it made a difference that Canada was so cosmopolitan early on. In 1800, there would have been more demographic variety in Halifax or Quebec City than Boston.

urbandreamer Oct 16, 2019 4:00 AM

I thought the media's been saying Canadian millennials live at home?
https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-r...1003_3-eng.cfm

Andy6 is right: people moved between borders more easily in the 19th century. Some of my American ancestors originally were Canadians; some of my Canadian ancestors were originally American. But no one really considered themselves American until recently: just look at census data. You were Italian, German, Polish, Yankee, Southerner first. (The original Canadians were from Quebec; then Upper and Lower Canadian became a thing.)

Probably Canada's equivalent to the Spanish Americans are the French Canadians. Imagine more of them lived in the ROC. Texas and Quebec have kind of similar histories of being indigenous first, Spanish/French second then war giving it to the Scots/Irish/German/English; now swinging in favour of the Spanish/French and new immigration. (Texas like Quebec would love to be its own country.)

MTLskyline Oct 16, 2019 4:03 AM

Thinking about it more, I do not think you are far off, however, I would say the US is only part of it.

It's clear that Anglo-Canada would not exist as is if it wasn't for the initial wave of Loyalist immigrants. They established the entity of English Canada.

However, I would say Anglo-Canada has another parent: Scotland. Anglo-Canada had a disproportionate amount of Scottish influence compared to say the US or Australia, both of which had much more English (from England) influence than Canada.

The people traditionally thought of as "Les Anglais" in Quebec were actually largely Scots. Think of some of the prominent anglo Montreal establishment names from the 19th century, and it is clear they were disproportionately Scottish: McGill, McTavish, Drummond, Redpath, etc And the English that were in Quebec were probably more likely of Loyalist background as opposed to immigrants directly from England (although the Molsons are an exception).

Interestingly, nowadays, there are probably just as many Quebec francophones of Scottish background as Quebec anglophones.

Bcasey25raptor Oct 16, 2019 4:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 8718272)
[English] Canada and America are rapidly diverging - or at least as rapid a divergence as one could imagine in an era of the internet, globalization and given all the other things we share.

On the urbanization front, this is obvious, as you mention: 25 years ago, the average Canadian 30-something would buy a suburban tract house for their starter home just like their American peers. American millennials still buy suburban tract homes en masse; Canadian millennials - if they can buy at all - live in condo neighbourhoods which are quite different even from the new-build midrise rental apartment neighbourhoods that their millennial professsional counterparts in the more expensive coastal American cities would live in if they can afford decent housing.

The other, huge difference is the presence of Hispanics/Spanish in the US, which is essentially nonexistent in Canada. The Spanish/Hispanic influence is enormous; basically the only thing close to it is the presence of all Chinese languages and cultures combined in Metro Vancouver, and even there it feels like a smaller, more scattered presence than in the more Hispanic metros of the US. The effect this is having even on white American culture is enormous; if you go to a house in the US for a football party, you're served chips and salsa and most Americans have a lexicon of Mexican foods that would completely stump your average Canadian (most Americans of all classes and backgrounds know the difference between an enchilada, a gordita and a chimichanga). Then there are Anglo Americans in lines of work like construction, social work and agricultural management who have mastered Spanish to a level beyond the French capabilities of an Ontarian who took French Immersion to at least grade 10.

I did some comparisons between the 2011 census versus the 2010 American census, and I found that there were about 200,000 Canadians who had Latin American origins - or fewer than the Hispanic population of Metro Sacramento, CA.

I'd also add the history and influence of the black population in the united states that Canada lacks. only 2% of Canada is black compared with 13% in the US, and the cities in the uS with the smallest black populations still hover around 7% which is the same level as the Canadian city with the highest population of blacks, Toronto.

The US and Canada are very different due to demographics and migration trends, the uS is far more germanic, black and latino whereas Canada is far more british isles, french, and asian in it's demographic makeup.

Canadian cities showing this where the inner cities in canadian cities are associated with wealth and are desirable whereas in the US this hasn't been the case due to the existence of white flight, something Canada didn't have as we didn't have the demographics that lead to it.

hipster duck Oct 16, 2019 4:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 8718309)
It's a lot like how if you make a list of metros with transit use or cycling and pedestrian commuters you get a list that includes cities like Boston and San Francisco mixed in with Victoria and Halifax. You don't see cities like Eugene or Charleston on those lists.

Another fun fact: there is an IKEA in Halifax, but not in Cleveland or Nashville.

I think every Canadian metro of over 200k has at least an IKEA “collection point” or better.

urbandreamer Oct 16, 2019 4:26 AM

Yeah but IKEA is trash so that's not a good indicator of wealth.

As for 19th century black history in Upper Canada, I'm currently reading https://www.amazon.ca/Queens-Bush-Se.../dp/1896219853
(Queen's Bush Road is the main highway through Wellesley Ontario.)
http://ontarioplaques.com/Plaques/Pl...lington31.html

Bcasey25raptor Oct 16, 2019 4:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbandreamer (Post 8718355)
Yeah but IKEA is trash so that's not a good indicator of wealth.

As for 19th century black history in Upper Canada, I'm currently reading https://www.amazon.ca/Queens-Bush-Se.../dp/1896219853
(Queen's Bush Road is the main highway through Wellesley Ontario.)
http://ontarioplaques.com/Plaques/Pl...lington31.html

indicator of wealth? No. But i still love ikea, I buy all my furniture there.

urbandreamer Oct 16, 2019 4:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bcasey25raptor (Post 8718357)
indicator of wealth? No. But i still love ikea, I buy all my furniture there.

Ugh we all go through that phase I guess.

Ontario, Manitoba, BC, NS and increasingly PEI have many folks of German heritage--from Mennonites to post ww2 immigrants.

To really understand where Canadians immigrated from, I find it interesting reading the histories of small town Canada.

What I'm getting from this thread is a controversial conclusion: French Canadians don't really have a clue who us Anglos really are.

urbandreamer Oct 16, 2019 4:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MTLskyline (Post 8718337)
Thinking about it more, I do not think you are far off, however, I would say the US is only part of it.

It's clear that Anglo-Canada would not exist as is if it wasn't for the initial wave of Loyalist immigrants. They established the entity of English Canada.

However, I would say Anglo-Canada has another parent: Scotland. Anglo-Canada had a disproportionate amount of Scottish influence compared to say the US or Australia, both of which had much more English (from England) influence than Canada.

The people traditionally thought of as "Les Anglais" in Quebec were actually largely Scots. Think of some of the prominent anglo Montreal establishment names from the 19th century, and it is clear they were disproportionately Scottish: McGill, McTavish, Drummond, Redpath, etc And the English that were in Quebec were probably more likely of Loyalist background as opposed to immigrants directly from England (although the Molsons are an exception).

Interestingly, nowadays, there are probably just as many Quebec francophones of Scottish background as Quebec anglophones.

The Scots have been in Canada for 1000 years.:)
https://celticlife.com/canadas-scottish-roots/

400 year's later the English and French still can't get along:
http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/kirke_david_1E.html


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