In 1921, There Was the Very Real Possibility America Could Have Invaded Canada

    Robert Farley

    History,

    We explain. 

    In the end, however, the United States would have occupied the vast bulk of Canada, at the cost of most of its Pacific possessions. And the Canadians, having finally been “liberated” by their brothers to the south? Eventually, the conquest and occupation of Canada would have resulted in statehood for some configuration of provinces, although not likely along the same lines as existed in 1920 (offering five full states likely would have resulted in an undesirable amount of formerly Canadian representation in the U.S. Senate). The process of political rehabilitation might have resembled the Reconstruction of the American South, without the racial element.

    The end of a war only rarely settles the central questions that started the conflict. Indeed, many wars do not “end” in the traditional sense; World War II, for example, stretched on for years in parts of Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific.

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    Even as the guns fell silent along the Western Front in 1918, the United States and the United Kingdom began jockeying for position. Washington and London bitterly disagreed on the nature of the settlements in Europe and Asia, as well as the shape of the postwar naval balance. In late 1920 and early 1921, these tensions reached panic levels in Washington, London and especially Ottawa.

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