Sunday, April 23, 2006

What is a country

If I had a classical education I could probably quote some one famous but I don’t so I guess I have to articulate it in my own words. What makes a country is it the land or the people? On the 20th of October 1818 a treaty was signed between His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the United States of America. And it said

It is agreed that a line drawn from the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods, along the 49th parallel of north latitude, or, if the said point shall not be in the 49th parallel of north latitude, then that a line drawn from the said point due north or south, as the case may be, until the said line shall intersect the said parallel of north latitude, and from the point of such intersection due west along and with the said parallel, shall be the line of demarcation between the Territories of His Britannic Majesty and those of the United States, and that the said line shall form the southern boundary of the said Territories of His Britannic Majesty, and the northern boundary of the Territories of the United States, from the Lake of the Woods to the Stony Mountains.

And thus the border was formed between Canada and the US. Anyone South of that line (and North of the Mexican border) pledges allegiance to the stars and strips anyone north of it are patriotic Canadians. Both are passionate about there country yet all that divides those two people is a line that some people picked nearly 200 hundreds years ago based on a line defined by a scale centuries old.

During much of the immigrant rallies in America many people carried plauqers saying we are Americans too. Many American’s took offence to this believe that they were Mexicans and they themselves were American. But what makes them American when they are not the native people of the land and are merely immigrants of earlier period and not Canadian due to a line draw almost 200 years ago.

Another thing that the American and Canadian examples shows is the ease of intergration. America was the melting pot of the world. You meet an American in a train station in Italy and he will tell you that his is 17% Irish. (True Story) Now as you try to calculate how you can be 17% Irish. (Guessing it envolves Great-Grandparents and Great-Great Great-Grandparents). Think about this that person is mixed up of other nationalities that have come together as equal. Much of the reason maybe to do with the fact that most people come with nothing were equal. Which is an argument for equality. Perhaps due to 9/11 Americans are beginning to come a distinct people. They are now talking about immigration controls. The melting pot is not taking in or melting as much as it did before. As time is progressing America is becoming defined as a people.

I should have more for this post but I can't quiet think of what I want to say. It has been sitting on my desktop for the last week. Basically I think America is become more nationalist. Where this will reduce people going I'm Irish-American or Italian-American just saying I am American. This might lead to a more inward looking more economical nationalist America.

1 comment:

Eamonn said...

Well a country is just a concept, an idea that we are thought to cherish and love by society. Like a flag it has a physical form, i.e the earth, trees, air etc, but, in my opinion, a Country really is what it represents. It's like the great philospher Richard Harris put it in Gladiator, 'There was a dream that was Rome. I can only whisper of it now. Anything more than a whisper and the dream vanishes. It's so... fragile.'. (Gladiator, Is there anything that movie can't do?)

A Country, fundamentally is your home. The international scene is just your neighbourhood played out on a larger scale. Thats why people are so passionate about it. Nobody likes to be told your neighbours house is nicer than yours, and nobody likes to lose in a fight with your neighbour.

As for Americans being nationalistic. Well i think most Countries are, its just that American nationalism is proud, loud and very much in your face compared to others.