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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Call for Commemoration

Few people notice it, but December 27, 1814, will be the bicentennial of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812 between the USA and Britain.

It is an important anniversary because it marks the beginning of period of unbroken peace between the USA and UK, and, later, Canada. Throughout the history of the world, it is all too easy for three states with a lot in common other than a common government to adopt postures of mutual hostility that can easily turn into armed conflict. Hence, two centuries of peace, the world's longest unguarded border, and theoretical wars that never took place (the UK-US showdown for mastery of the Atlantic, for which both navies trained down to their joining as allies in World War II) are a remarkable achievement, and the generations of diplomats, statesmen, and ordinary citizens who made it possible deserve some recognition and celebration.

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