Daily Archives: October 23, 2011

Canadians debate prudence of celebrating War of 1812

Well, there’s a columnist who’s debating it, anyway.  She seems to think commemorating a war with a close neighbor smacks too much of jingoism, but it looks like the PM has already made the decision for her.

I think it’s odd that the War of 1812 is The Big One for Canadians.  It seems to me that the French and Indian War was much more significant in directing the course of Canadian history, setting that country on a British trajectory as opposed to a French one.  Of course, a lot of Canadians remained on a French trajectory, at least as far as language and culture went, so that might have something to do with it.

I’d like to see somebody do a comparative full-length study on the memory of the War of 1812 in the U.S. and Canada and explain how the war’s legacy developed to the north and all but vanished down here in the States.  These days we take it for granted that 1812 gets short shrift as far as the popular consciousness goes, but has that always been the case?  And if not, what happened?


Filed under History and Memory