Canadian-American Relations

In 1900, many people still thought of Canada as a British dependency, not as an independent nation. As the twentieth century unfolded, however, there was a gradual shift from British to American influence. Throughout the century, Canada had something of a "love-hate relationship" with the United States. Since 1945, we have benefited from American investment, popular culture, and military protection. Nevertheless, many Canadians have felt uneasy about our closeness to the U.S. They have been concerned that our economy is dependent on the Americans; that American culture will swamp our own; that we might be drawn into military confrontations because of our relationship with the U.S. While our proximity to the United States is advantageous it also presents a danger on annexation. As Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once stated: " living next to the United States is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, one is affected by each twitch and grunt."
The Alaska Boundary Dispute in 1898 between Canada and the U.S is reveal to be one of our greatest danger of our close relationship with the U.S. In 1867, as part of their expansion, the United States had bought Alaska from Russia. The purchase included the "panhandle" strip running down the Pacific coast and bordering on the colony of British Columbia. How far inland the Panhandle extended, however, was hot clear. In 1897, with the discovery of massive gold deposits in the Klondike region, the border issue became crucial. The Klondike was clearly in Canada, but the US flew its flag over the region. As a result, Canadian prospectors taking gold out of the Klondike had to pay American duties on their way home. The question of who owned the access route had to be resolved. Finally, in 1903, the United States and Britain agreed to set up a tribunal, or special panel, to make a decision on the boundary. The trib…

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