Friday, April 25th, 2014
Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr / Podcast


Deja Vu

November 6, 2012

Northern Hospitality


Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

2012: As yet another hotly contested presidential election draws to a close, certain liberals in the United States are renewing their promises to move to Canada should Mitt Romney’s campaign succeed. Flight to the north often draws eye-rolls from those across the American political spectrum, but what do citizens of Canada think of a potential American invasion? They are, true to stereotypes about the affable nature of Canadians, friendly to the idea. The New York Times heads to the border:

Many Canadians would welcome the influx of disenchanted Obama supporters. “In Canada we’re happy to provide a safe haven for next-door neighbors in the middle of a marital dispute,” said Douglas Coupland, the writer and artist. “And if anyone trips while crossing the border, we’re happy to set their broken bones for free.”

The sentiment is echoed in business circles. “The more the better is my view,” added Robert Prichard, chairman of the Bank of Montreal.

Yet some Canadian progressives think it would be ultimately self-defeating, for their cause and for the continent, for like-minded Americans to decamp north. “My plea would be for American liberals and progressives to fight the good fight at home,” said Bob Rae, the leader of the opposition Liberal Party of Canada.

1789: Residents of the American colonies who opposed the Revolution and wanted to remain faithful to the British crown found themselves in a tight spot as the new nation established itself as separate from Great Britain. Canada, still part of the British empire, welcomed these Loyalists with open arms, and residents of New Brunswick continue to trace their lineage back to these early rejectors of the American republic. A decree made on behalf of the Crown offered those who wished to emigrate to Canada a series of enticing benefits:

Those Loyalists who have adhered to the unity of the Empire, and joined the Royal Standard before the Treaty of Separation in the year 1783, and all their children and their descendants by either sex, are to be distinguished by the following capitals, affixed to their names: U.E. alluding to their great principle the unity of the Empire.

And it is also Ordered, that the said Land Boards may, in every such Case, provide not only for the Sons of those Loyalists, as they arrive to Full Age, but for their Daughters also, of that Age, or on their marriage, assigning to each a Lot of Two Hundred Acres, more or less, provided nevertheless that they respectively comply with the general Regulations and that it shall satisfactorily appear, the there has been no Default in the due Cultivation and Improvements of the Lands already assigned to the Head of the Family, of which they are Members.

Photo via Shutterstock

Bookmark and Share
Love this? Subscribe to Lapham's Quarterly today.

Post a Comment

Note: Several minutes will pass while the system is processing and posting your comment. Do not resubmit during this time or your comment will post multiple times.

Recent Posts
  1. On the Ropes — 04/07/2014: A tightrope walker crosses the Seine; in 1876, Maria Spelterini becomes the first woman to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
  2. Hair Apparent — 03/31/2014: Western media speculates on North Korean grooming standards; in 1698, Peter the Great taxes beards.
  3. Golden Menageries — 02/24/2014: In Ukraine, an ousted leader’s menagerie is exposed; in 1794, France wonders about the place of caged animals in the new republic.
Deja Vu Archive
  1. April 2014
  2. March 2014
  3. February 2014
The brutalities of progress are called revolutions. When they are over we realize this: that the human has been roughly handled, but that it has advanced.
Victor Hugo, 1862
Events & News
January 27 / Purchase tickets for "Death & Comedy" a celebration of readings from our two most recent issues at Joe's Pub. More

Vague Premonitions

The Great Beyond

Current Issue Revolutions Spring 2014
Audio & Video
LQ Podcast:
Orlando Figes
The Russian historian describes the Revolution’s retreat in the 1920s from its high communist ideals under the New Economic Policy.
Lewis H. Lapham is Editor of Lapham's Quarterly. He also serves as editor emeritus and national correspondent for Harper's magazine.
Recent Issues