preview

Nationalism in The Trudeau Era

Better Essays
The argument: No! We are not anti-American; we have always been nationalists with contradictions throughout. We carry contradictions in us; we can be nationalists and North Americans at the same time. Canadians are sceptical about the United States, yet at the same time we admire, are dependent upon, and want to compete with the Americans. When the United States flexes their muscles, claws at our existence, or when we are sceptical of their policies, we become nationalists seeking to protect our national interest. A Canadian nationalist is someone like Pierre Trudeau and Brian Mulroney, who advances, protects and promotes our national interest by standing up against the Americans. Our relationship is one of cooperation and conflict, imitation and competition, and in constant need of readjustment. Our wish to compete with and need to cooperate is a very Canadian contradiction. Canada between the years of 1868-1993 was shaped by a period contradiction; Canadians during this period were nationalists and contientialists at the same time. The political leaders of the time governed in two separate periods: scepticism and destiny. Pierre Trudeau who governed in a time of scepticism (Liberal prime minster, 1968-1979; 1981-1984) implemented a series of measures to differentiate us from the United States and is most-known for standing up against the Americans. In the Trudeau era, nationalism was everywhere in the media and politics, however, by 1983-1984 Canadians were beginning to say we are too nationalist. From 1983-1984, cooperation between Canada and the United States thrived. In 1984, Trudeau retired and after an election Brian Mulroney (Conservative, 1984-1993) became prime minster. Canada associated Mulroney and his accommodation m...

... middle of paper ...

...d with cozying up to the Americans took a nationalist stance and promoted Canada’s interests first and foremost. Mulroney, like Trudeau proved to be a nationalists and contientialists rather than anti-Americans. The Canadian public throughout the examples proved not to be anti-Americans. Canadians like the Americans, but are sceptical of them at times. When times get tough, Canadians need the Americans, but too close is suffocating.

Conclusion: When we get too national, we switch from sceptical to the need to cooperate and repair our relationship; when we get too close to the Americans we blame our prime ministers for cozying up when their policies and measures appear pro-American. In saying this, even though we cooperate with the United States, nationalism never really goes away. Canadians are embedded with contradictions, we are nationalists and contientialists.
Get Access