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My question is simple.

What factors prevented Canada to become a power like UK or France?

Or even Germany/Italy/Spain?

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Germany did emerge as a power twice, but it was defeated twice. Italy? As Bismarck said, Italy has a large appetite, but not the teeth to eat. Spain? It was, then it was destroyed by inflation. –  Russell Feb 21 '13 at 8:49
You don't think Canada is a world power? During what time period? How are you measuring "power"? Too many unknowns. I respectfully submit that Canada exerts more world power than Italy does, and quite possibly Spain. No disrespect to any of the countries. –  Mark C. Wallace Feb 22 '13 at 17:59

3 Answers 3

When do you mean?

Up until 1867 it was British - and you could make a reasonable argument that geopoliticaly it was pretty much British until after WWII. Really, the Suez crisis marks the beginning of a separate Canadian foreign policy.

In the cold war it was/is a strong US/Nato ally. It's not really big enough in population terms or political will to be a major player and it's location is too strategically important to remain neutral.

Post cold war, it shifts with the politics of it's ruling party and the US presidency.

Why it didn't throw off the imperial yoke in the 18/19C and become a global superpower to challenge Britain and the emerging US? Well that would have been rude.

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Japan was a pretty minor player before the Meiji restoration which was in the 1870s and it became a much bigger power than Canada in 50-60 years. While what you say is true that Canada was very British until after WWII, I think the question is asking why this happened. You could argue that the US was very British until 1-2 decades before the Revolution. Why couldn't Canada become more independent? –  Opt Apr 18 '12 at 0:01
@sid - see history.stackexchange.com/questions/1785/… –  none Apr 18 '12 at 1:32

Until very recently Canada was a much smaller (population-wise) concern than the UK or France. Today those two countries are in the top 25 in population (65 mil and 62 mil), whereas Canada only has 34 million, about the same as Iraq. This is actually a pretty good relative improvement for Canada though. They didn't even break 15 million until around 1960. At that time, the UK had 52 million (and that number was much more impressive than today).

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Heck, Greater New York City is only a bit smaller at roughly 22 millon.

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The current population of Netherlands is 16 million and historically, the Dutch have been much more important than Canada. –  Opt Apr 17 '12 at 23:57
@Sid, I totally agree. –  BROY Apr 20 '12 at 7:49
@T.E.D., I think your theory is not correct. –  BROY Apr 20 '12 at 7:49
@Sid That's not a terribly convincing example. The Netherlands are very much a special case, since it's a small country (in terms of area), so the population has grown much more slowly than elsewhere, and their historical importance dates back to before Europeans had even settled in Canada, when their population wasn't so disproportionately small. –  Jefromi Jan 23 '13 at 23:26
@Jefromi: The Dutch population in the 1600s was ~1.7 million (faculty.history.wisc.edu/sommerville/351/dutch%20republic.htm) while England's was ~5 million (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) - slightly better ratio ~(3:1 vs 4:1) than today but not too different. The Mughal Empire's (India) population was ~150 million (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mughal_Empire). I'm not saying population isn't important - I mean, if you have a population of say 1000, you're not going to have any relative importance but it's not the sole factor –  Opt Jan 24 '13 at 4:00

Canada is part of the G-7. (Along with Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S.) In this regard, Canada IS a world power.

But not all world powers are in the G7. (Russia, China and India come to mind).

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Not all powers on the G-7 are world powers. –  Russell Feb 21 '13 at 8:53
@Russell: I'd put it a bit differently. Not all world powers are part of the G7. (Russia, China, and India come to mind.) But Canada is part of a group alongside other world powers as defined by the OP (UK, France, Italy, Germany), all of which are in the G7. –  Tom Au Feb 22 '13 at 17:20
makes sense, I guess I could have phrased it with a bit more diplomacy. –  Russell Feb 23 '13 at 0:39
@Russell: You may have been thinking, there are some Asian nations that are more obvious world powers that are not in the G7. My earlier comment and the edit to my answer addressed this point. –  Tom Au Feb 23 '13 at 23:05

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