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Canadians are fiercely ambivalent about warfare and divided sharply on the use of war as a tool of statecraft. At the root of this division are issues of identity and nationalism: are Canadians peacekeepers or warriors, and is Canada an independent country or a satellite of imperial powers? This entry examines these questions by, first, reviewing a series of conflicts in Canada’s early history and development, and then detailing its involvement in and approach to larger war efforts of the 20th century.

Warfare had been important to the formation of Canada: fighting amongst the English, French, and Indigenous peoples marks much of early Canadian history, with a few European settlements changing hands several times throughout the 1600s and 1700s. Decisive, however, were the Seven Years ...

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