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Over The Back Fence: Conflicts on the United States/Canadian Border From Maine to Alaska

128 pages2 hours


Most Americans do not think of Canada as a foreign country--Canadians are their cousins, sometimes literally as well as figuratively. But Canadian historian Pierre Berton pointed out the difference in a speech in Alaska in 1997: "I know Americans sometimes irritate Canadians by saying, 'Oh, you’re just like we are.' Well, we aren't you know, and we know it. We speak the same language, we wear the some clothes and watch a lot of the same movies. But there is an enormous difference between us. Canada is a nation created by the British Colonial System. It's a part of us, just as the Revolution and the Civil War are part of you." Over the Back Fence helps to further explain these differences. Conflicts on both coasts, resulting from incomplete knowledge of North American geography, threatened to result in war. They were settled diplomatically, but in the War of 1812 cousins fought each other on the border. Recent attention to Homeland Security has made Americans marginally aware of the boundary between the United States and Canada that has been virtually invisible for more than 100 years. Canadians, the majority of whom live within 100 miles of the border, cross it frequently and fear that new restrictions will interfere with trade that is essential to both countries.

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