Lat/Long: 60.0000, -96.0000

Country in North America bounded in the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the United States, and on the west by the United States and the Pacific Ocean, Canada was originally home to Native Americans and Eskimos. Norsemen explorers reached Canada in 1001, and European fishermen frequented the Atlantic coast from the fifteenth century. In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, French and English explorers reached Canada in their search for a Northwest Passage to Asia. Both nations laid claims to the area, and both established a physical presence, with the British establishing the Hudson Bay Company and the French founding settlements in Montreal, Quebec, and Mississippi and Ohio valleys. Between 1689 and 1763, France and Great Britain fought four European wars that included fighting in Canada. In 1763, France ceded Canada to Great Britain. America's break with Great Britain and the commencement of the American Revolution put Canada in the middle of the Anglo-American conflict. The American colonists failed to convince their Canadian counterparts to join them in the rebellion, and the Revolution saw an abortive American invasion to capture Canada in 1775. In 1777, the British used Canada as a staging area for its ill-fated Saratoga Campaign. The Treaty of Paris of 1783, ending in the Revolution, partially established the boundary between Canada and the United States, but issues remained over boundaries, fishing rights, British forts on American soil, Indian relations, and border security. During the War of 1812, there were several battles fought on both American and Canadian soil between Americans and Canadians and their Indian allies, with mixed results for both sides. American and British diplomats alleviated fears over border security somewhat in 1817 with the demilitarization of the Great Lakes, but outstanding issues remained over borders and trade. In 1837, Americans became involved in failed rebellions in Canada, and clashes occurred in the Aroostock region of Maine between Canadian and American lumberman over the Maine boundary. The Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 settled the Maine boundary dispute and established the boundary from Lake of the Woods to the Oregon border, but the final settlement of the Oregon boundary did not come until 1846. In the 1850s, relations improved as Canada flourished through trade with the United States under the Elign-Marcy Reciprocity Treaty of 1854. During the Civil War, however, relations deteriorated; Americans viewed Canadians as sympathetic to the South, and Canada bore the blunt of American outrage over Britain's handling of the Trent affair of 1861. War between the United States and Canada was averted in 1861, but Northerners continued to be suspicious of Canadians, and Confederate uses of Canadian bases to launch raids into the United States confirmed their suspicions. Canadians, for their part, feared that the Union would launch an invasion into Canada seeking compensatory lands to offset the loss of the Confederate States, and this prompted them to devise defensive plans and push to unite the Canadian provinces into a single confederation, as achieved by the British North American Act of 1867.

Webster's New Geographical Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1988), 210; Courtlandt Canby, The Encyclopedia of Historic Places (New York: Facts on File, 1984), 1:149; Robin W. Winks, "Canadian-American Relations," Dictionary of American History, rev. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976), 1:438-39.