The Founding Fathers Wanted Canada To Be The 14th State

By Jeff Kelly on Friday, October 18, 2013
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“We’ll explain the appeal of curling to you if you explain the appeal of the National Rifle Association to us.” —Andy Barrie

In A Nutshell

Canada is the butt of a lot of jokes, mostly about being polite in every aspect of life, but the fact is that the USA’s neighbor to the north has long been a tremendous ally and exemplary country. Which is probably why the original Articles of Confederation actually invite Canada to become a part of the US. The Founding Fathers even specified that Canada could skip all the red tape everyone else had to go through.

The Whole Bushel

Canada is known for a lot of things, from maple syrup, to hockey, to moose, to the Royal Mounted Police, to just being plain old nice. But apart from all of those cliches, the Canadians have been such a tremendous ally and friend to the United States over the years that, believe it or not, the original Articles of Confederation included an invitation for Canada to join up as part of the USA.

In fact, the official wording said that Canada would immediately be admitted, no questions asked or strings attached, if they had chosen to accept, making them the only colony to ever get such an offer. The Articles of Confederation said that any other future colony would have to receive approval from nine of the then-13 states to be considered to join the USA.

Now obviously, what we have come to know as Canada looked a lot different and was vastly smaller at the time, which is why the nation was asked to become a single state rather than a series of states. Back then, Canada basically consisted of Quebec and Ontario.

Of course you may be asking yourself why exactly the Founding Fathers wanted Canada to join the United States so badly. Well, it involved more than just being a really friendly neighbor and providing more poutine than you can shake a stick at. There’s a theory that it was actually meant as a defensive move. Some historians believe that with Canada’s strong French ties, it made them a very serious and very dangerous threat to any future independent nation being constructed by the framers of the Constitution.

Whatever the case, Canada obviously turned down the offer of annexation, but it makes you wonder what it would be like if at least that part of Canada had ever become the 14th state. We’re guessing it’d just be a little like having another Minnesota.

Show Me The Proof

The Articles of Confederation: Article XI
The American Historical Review: Canada and the Articles of Confederation