Canada and the United States are two very different countries in contrast, but they also share a vast amount of similarities. A close inspection will show you that the United States has many commonalities with Canada. Although there are differences between the people in both countries and the countries themselves, it is easy to see their similarities when you begin to compare them with other countries around the world.
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Our two countries are filled with a similar array of different cultures, different languages, free-speaking individuals, professions, rights, systems, developments, and opportunities. For example our health care system, though very different in the past, is becoming similar to that of Canadian residents in part due to President Obama. Our geography and landscapes are fairly similar. We have mountains and oceans, different states and provinces share summers and winters, and some of our states and provinces share similar weather conditions. Our rights to free speech and access to social programs are quite similar overall. We each have rules and laws laid out for us that protect us and guide us. And we each have two key languages that are widely recognized within our countries. In Canada many signs and text are written in English and French to accommodate both languages and in America the English and Spanish languages are both widely recognized.
In comparison we can also see that these two great North American countries are both young compared to many of the other countries in the world. They both were part of the New World, settled by Europeans in the 1600s. However, while they may superficially share this in common, they have contrasting histories. The United States became independent from Britain through a revolution and a battle. Canada gained its independence quite gradually and rather peacefully. The United States changed its system of government. They abolished the monarchy and put into effect one of the most powerful systems of democracy in the world. Canada kept a lot of the British traditions and stayed pretty quiet. The United States used its system of politics to free up its economy using market principles and become the richest most powerful country in the world; Canada built a rich, successful, and stable economy that trades mostly with the United States and its markets.
When it comes to culture, the Canadian marketplace is also smaller. Americans have many writers and movies. Canada uses many of the same cultural forms, but a little less imaginatively. I believe many Canadian news shows simply copy news from America. The Canadian TV and movie industry often borrows formulas from its American counterpart, and Canadian magazines are often simply “Canadian versions” of American magazines like Time and Sports Illustrated. This is not a bad thing necessarily, but it shows that America has a more powerful culture.
In this brief write up alone we are able to identify some of the key similarities and contrasts between these two countries in terms of their geography, histories, people, culture, and economies. I have heard people make the argument that life is better and safer in Canada but I am proud to live in America. I believe having a larger population, an extremely powerful economy, highly developed cities and entertainment industries, along with all of the other wonderful aspects we share with Canada makes us a better place to live.
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