Friday, June 30, 2006

I Loves me the Wikipedia

So I'm browsing Wikipedia's page on the Articles of Confederation, and I see this eye-opening piece:
11) Requires nine states to approve the admission of a new state into the confederacy; preapproves Canada, if they apply for membership.
Really? Canada was pre-approved for membership in the United States?

What's interesting is that the way Wikipedia writes it, it sounds like Canada was approved as a secondary thought, while the text of Aricle 11 makes it clear we were enthusiastically invited:
Article XI. Canada acceding to this confederation, and adjoining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.
So I ask myself, does the offer still hold? (Not interested in accepting, just wondering if the door is still open.) The answer? Not so much:
Under the Articles of Confederation's Article XI, the United States made an open invitation to Canada to join the new union as a state, admission guaranteed simply by asking. If Canada had made such a request, the world would be a much different place today. The open invitation, however, expired with the replacement of the Articles with the Constitution. Canada is free to request admission into the United States, as is any independent nation, territory of the United States, or other political unit, under the rules laid out in Article 4, Section 3 of the Constitution.
For the David Frums and Mark Steyns of the world, this is no doubt a crushing blow to their dreams. I have no doubt, however, that if US foreign policy continues to rely on exiles, then one day David Frum will eagerly play the role of Ahmad Chalabi of the North.


macadavy said...

Since Canada as such did not then exist, it should be noted that the invitation was actually directed to Quebec, since it was believed the recently conquered (1755) French had great resentment against the British. When the quebecois declined the invitation, the Americans promptly invaded!

Pete said...

The invaded twice during the war, IIRC, and were sent packing each time as the Francophones supplied who'd ever pay them and Brits had luck on their side... and didn't have to trample up the Richelieu River for once (the RR has been described by Canadian Military Historian Desmond Morton as "the traditional invasion route from the British Colonies to Canada".