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The other unforgotten element is that the division of Canada from the United States tore asunder what ought to have been, Construction of Canadian myths of identity 25 according to European, American and even British15 expectations, a single race-nation of Anglo America. The border with the United States proved as vexing a problem as Quebec because many Canadians tended to accept the logic of racial unity, if not the political conclusions that such logic portended. ) Readings of a physical and demographic lay of the land reinforces the suspicion that the international border defies a natural unity between Canada and the United States, and made (and makes) the union of Canada look like an impossible feat.

Maps showed Canada as a future addition,44 symbolically correcting the political failure of America’s continental destiny. ’”46 The fact of America’s self-imagining still haunts Canadian self-production, and it posed an inextricable problem: if Canada were to imagine itself in terms of America, it would mean accepting the limitlessness of America. The alternative was that Canada define itself against both the ‘content’ of the American nation, and its radical formulation. Confederation was not only justified as a necessary manoeuvre to defend the provinces against a militarily mobilized United States47 (and to resist its egalitarianism), Canada’s raison d’être would be increasingly National identity and the conflict at OKA 30 defined in terms of not being the States as much or more than being defined as independent from Britain.

96 In a 1904 letter Goldwin Smith sounded an alarm about the various forms of “crossing,” including miscegenation: The populations are mixed. Hardly anything remains to separate them but the political and fiscal line. There are 1,200,000 Canadians in the States, and Americans are pouring into our North-West…. Churches and Societies of all kinds join hands across the line. Intermarriage is frequent…American capital is being largely invested here…. 97 [My italics] Assisting nature was the northward flow of southern cultural and news materials that also seemed to underscore the artificiality of the boundary.

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