Effects of the Continental Union
The continental union movement had meandered through Canadian and American history for sixscore years. Like the rubbings of water and wind upon the rock, its immediate effects were small, its cumulative results impressive. But those results did not coincide with the purposes of its proponents.
First, it is important to consider the characteristics of the agitation itself--its origins, strengths, weaknesses, and failures. The repetitions in the descriptions of the three great outbursts of annexation sentiment indicate their fundamental identity. They have chanted their monotonous lines, then again and yet again, and shall have only a last brief encore here. At bottom, the annexation movement was the expression and intensification of basic forces ceaselessly and noiselessly drawing Canada and the United States together. One was the common origin and social heritage which created a strong bond between most Canadians and Americans. Geography also linked them. In settlement, Canada is in most places the northern fringe of the United States. The direction of the great physical barriers of North America has walled off the Canadian sections from each other, smoothed the paths of north-south trade, and cluttered the east-west aisles of commerce. Geography has also made a North American nation of Canada. Canadian life has hardened in a mold fashioned largely by the conditions peculiar to this continent. With the passage of time, the people of the Dominion have steadily become less like those of Great Britain