A new poll shows US better at promoting its history than Canada
TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - With the arrival of the War of 1812
Bicentennial, Canadian heritage NGO, The Historica-Dominion Institute,
has commissioned a bi-national poll from Ipsos-Reid to measure Canadian and American attitudes of the hotly
The study reveals telling national trends about how Canadians and
Americans view and value the War of 1812 and other history. While
strong majorities believe that the War significantly impacted national
identity (77% Americans, 79% Canadians), significantly more Canadians
(77%) identified important outcomes of the War than Americans (64%,
with 31% selecting the creation of the Star Spangled Banner). In
addition, Canadians (17%) are much more likely than Americans (3%) to
feel that 1812 is the most important war in the formation of their
Nevertheless, Americans are still more likely to believe that
commemoration and promotion of their history is important. In fact, 80%
of Americans and 77% of Canadians agree that the War of 1812
Bicentennial is an important commemoration and that their national
government should support it.
Americans show greater civic spirit in the promotion of their history,
despite agreement that the War of 1812 is considerably less important
than other more formative wars in US history. Americans are
significantly (7%) more likely to say that the War of 1812 should be
mandatory teaching in school and 20% more likely to say that they
learned about it in school, suggesting that Americans are better at
telling and teaching their national stories than Canadians. Not
surprisingly, a majority of Americans (58%) versus a minority of
Canadians (49%) agree that their nation is good at promoting its
"Canadians and Americans have been debating the War of 1812 for two
hundred years," said Jeremy Diamond, Director at The Historica-Dominion
Institute. "This study reveals important differences in how we approach
our history in Canada and the United States, but it also shows overall
agreement on the fact the War of 1812 and its commemorations are
important to our history and identity."
Other findings include:
Americans (84%) are more likely than Canadians (78%) to agree it's
important who won the War.
Had American conquest been successful, Canadians most feared the
possible outcomes of sharing US politics and government (60%) gun laws
(18%) and citizenship with the cast of Jersey Shore (6%).
Nearly four in ten (36%) of Americans believe there were no significant
outcomes of the War of 1812, or none they can name, compared with 23%
12% of Americans believe the most significant outcome of the War of 1812
was the burning of the White House and 11% erroneously believe it was
the creation of an independent Aboriginal nation, and 10% believe it
was the election of President Andrew Jackson.
Eight in ten Americans (84%) and Canadians (83%) agree that the War of
1812 was a significant movement in their history.
51% of Americans believe the War of Independence was the most important
in the formation of US identity, 25% believe it was the Civil War and
21% believe it was the Second World War.
The Historica-Dominion Institute is the largest independent organization dedicated to history and
citizenship in Canada. Its mandate is to build active and informed
citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history,
heritage and stories of Canada. Full survey results are available at www.historica-dominion.ca.
SOURCE The Historica Dominion Institute
For further information:
1.866.701.1867 x 222