The Adverse Effects of Unilateralism in the United States on Canadian Law, Economics, and Justice

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In 1776 a new nation was born in the western world. The Declaration of Independence birthed the United States of America. The same forefathers that drafted the declaration, including George Washington, all took part in establishing a new form of foreign policy, known as unilateralism. (Encyclopedia.com, 2008) In its infancy, unilateralism in the United States, then referred to as “isolationism”, focused on one guiding principle that is still followed today: never agree to a policy that benefits another nation more than it benefits yours. Now, while it seems that this is what every country should do, nothing could be further from the truth. Every nation, at some point in its history has made agreements that they knew would benefit their partners more than themselves, this is compromise. However, there is one nation that makes a valiant and concerted effort to never end up on the losing end of a deal, to never give another nation a break, to never compromise. This nation is the United States of America. The choice of the United States to turn its back to the world has greatly impacted many nations for the worse. Unilateralism in the United States is a policy that has adversely impacted Canada. The negative effects can be seen through the constant border security issues, the horrible military and economic allegiance Canada now has to the United States, and the blatant disregard by the United States of international agreements and organizations. The first example of how unilateralist ideology in the United States has harmed Canada is seen in the constant issues both nations have on border security and boundaries. Ever since its conception as a nation the United States has been on the hunt to dominate Canadians north of their border. These issues began even before Canada was a nation. After gaining its independence the United States almost instantaneously began challenging the borderlines that divide Canada and the United States. More specifically, areas in the Canadian province of New Brunswick and the American state of Maine were faced with heated conflict. At times the United States, showing their unilateralist and expansionary greed, even attacked New Brunswick with their military. While none of these battles were large in size, the unnecessary loss of Canadian life will always be fundamentally wrong and will always harm Canada. The lives lost in these battles and skirmishes were unnecessary because there was no change in the boundaries. Throughout these early stages Canadians consistently offered handfuls of fair border treaties and arrangements that benefitted both nations. The United States struck down almost all of them, proposing new, extremely one-sided treaties that would drastically harm Canada. Another area of the Canadian-American border that has caused conflict is the American state of Alaska. Originally, Alaska was Russian territory. However, in 1859 Russia decided it was in their best interests to put Alaska up for sale. Britain, who was in control of Canada at that time, actively pursued the purchase of Alaska from the Russians. It looked as though Alaska was going to become Canadian territory; Britain was providing Russia with viable offers that made sense for Russia. The deal between Russia and Britain was doomed from the start however, because America would not quit until Alaska was theirs. They convinced Russia that the biggest threat to them, not only in Europe, but globally was Britain. Russia then refused to sell Alaska to Britain. America would eventually purchase Alaska from Russia in 1867, two years after the conclusion of the American Civil War, for 7.2 million dollars. This purchase has harmed Canada greatly. Alaska has proven to be a territory rich in natural resources, mainly gold. The acquisition of these resources by the Americans obviously substantially increased their wealth and of course would give them even more financial superiority over Canada. Moreover, the territory belonging to the...
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