The War of 1812 didn't gain America much, as a country. It didn't address the complaints that led the Americans to declare war in the first place. We didn't conquer Canada. But we did gain a certain amount of what can be called our "national identity" after the war. Right at the heart of this was a new patriotic (and popular) song.
The sight that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen what became the national anthem? A giant American flag above Baltimore's Fort McHenry on Sept. 14, 1814, signaling the city's rebuff of the mighty British navy during the War of 1812.
As Silly Season winds to a close, there were a smattering of 'Obama's on vacation -- how dare he!?!' stories, as usual. Obama has taken less than a third of the days off that President Bush did, but that certainly doesn't stop pundits from complaining every time Obama picks up a golf club.
Needless to say, we've put the events of August 1814 far behind us. So much so, in fact, that when the British prime minister, David Cameron, visited the White House two years ago, he and President Obama, fresh from watching a March Madness basketball game together, traded wisecracks about the burning.
The battle of 1812 was supposedly lost by the U.S. and therefore won by Great Britain. Apparently, it is true. But rebels in Upper and Lower Canada would continue to challenge the Anglo-Anglican Monarchists by waging a secret uprising in both parts of Canada that would end in 1838. It is remembered as the Caroline Affair.
I often have people tell me that those involved in the early history of our country were not followers of the Christian faith. If I had more time I w...
When the opportunity arose to play one of my predecessors in my favourite TV drama, I seized the moment. In the The Ghost of Queen's Park episode of t...
Democrats and Republicans are blitzing us with propaganda about the national debt. My purpose here is not to side with either political party, but to add understating to the subject.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito makes a habit (hope sharing this doesn't ruin it) of attending most years a specia...
In the orgy of celebration of the War of 1812, the true legacy of Shawnee warrior Tecumseh has been badly (and perhaps, conveniently) miscast. Far from being ignored, he is now being appropriated by white society and cast as a "good Indian" - brave, heroic, co-operative, and at the ready to do the bidding of his British brethren. He is being placed aside Issac Brock, and the Canadian militia as the great defenders of Canada. His historical role has been reduced to Laura Secord with a feather. A more thorough reading of Tecumseh's life and influence tells a very different story.
Here's the hard truth: no one puts down Canadians with quite as much glee as Canadians themselves. This can range from Canadians who think they are being charmingly self-deprecating to conservatives who hate Canada for not being more American. Plus Canadians in one part of the country love to put down Canadians in other parts (and then use the inevitable backlash as a justification for their initial prejudice).
BROCK AND BRONZE IN SAINT CATHARINES, ONTARIO Every winter, when the temperature dips below zero, and the snow swirls across the campus of the Univ...
"I'd like to make the post of Poet Laureate as common an idea in Toronto as that of ambulance paramedic, fireman, police officer, or sanitation worker. The Poet Laureate is not as directly present in citizens' lives as perhaps are those whose sirens announce their presence. But I would like to think that the poet -- in general -- is about enhancing citizen's lives as thinking beings."
February 16 marks the anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent by the U.S. Senate, officially ending the War of 1812. Looking back, it seems that the year 2012 managed to pass by without any significant reference to it having been the bicentennial anniversary of that conflict with Great Britain.
When I worked at IBM and when things seemed stuck -- we reorganized! Why can't North America do the same? Take the United States and Canada, combine the various provinces, states and territories, shake vigorously, and then pour them off into three distinct vessels: one Red, one Blue, and one White. The new Red nation would correspond to the U.S. Republican states of America's heartland and Deep South, combined with the oil, gas and grain-rich provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Let's call it "Heartlandia." The Queen would be Head of State and Newt Gingrich would be the prime minister
Once upon a time, a popular opposition firebrand named Christy Clark stood up in the B.C. Legislature to rip the NDP government for spending tax dollars on shameless, self-promoting advertising. Fast forward 13 years and there was Clark, now B.C. Liberal premier, last week holding court for 90 seconds of taxpayer-funded TV ad time to laud her B.C. Jobs Plan -- even promising that four more weekly installments are on the way.