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Differences & Similarities: Canada and the United States (Essay Sample)


8-10 double-spaced pages (2000-2500 words).
Minimum of 5 scholarly sources beyond course materials.


Lipset's Argument: The Differences and Similarities between Canada and the United State
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Lipset's Argument: The Differences and Similarities between Canada and the United State

It is a natural tendency for people to compare and seek ways to differentiate themselves from others. The US and Canada comparisons have always been a subject of debate among scholars. An American political sociologist, Seymour Lipset analyzed the cultural and institutional differences between the US and Canada. In his book “Continent Divide” (Lipset, 2018); he analyzes the similarities and difference between these two nations. His thesis was that the basic organizational difference between the two nations, the cause of the variation in values, institutions which in turn reflect those organizing skills. According to him, the American and Canadian citizens were different, these differences, he argued were as a result of the history of the two nations.

This paper, through analyzing his arguments, thus seeks to prove that Lipset's arguments cannot be applied to today's world as much as it was applied in the 1980's. Seymour Martin Lipset's works are highly acclaimed because he explored the basic distinct characters between Canadians and Americans. This paper seeks to highlight some of the similarities that exist between the two societies as argued by Seymour Martin Lipset focusing on three specific areas. The paper explores the similarities that exist culturally, socially and politically.

Lipset’s arguments are supported by several examples from a wide range of sources ranging from historical accounts, law, religion, and survey data to interpretations of art. He argues that despite the fact that the society currently being characterized by free trade, modernization, and globalization, the difference between these two countries is evident. This factor provides the basis that Lipset drew his valuable comparison. In addition, he was able to draw the cultural difference between the countries.

The cultural difference between the two geographical and historical partners can be highlighted with a focus on organizational principles. For example, for a long time, Canada has been known as a society full of elitist, statist, class-aware and law-abiding citizens in comparison to America. Lipset discusses the cultural difference between the two countries by using the political, social and cultural institutions. For Lipset to support his arguments that there is a wide difference in the culture of these two countries. He drew reference from secondary sources of information like public opinion polls, census data and literary criticisms. He also illuminates the difference in mass attitudes, patterns of intellectual thinking and arrangements in institutions.

Lipset was systematic in his comparison of the two nations, avoiding the tension in the field of political science that has existed for a long time. He argues that to study a country where an individual belongs, the use of comparative perspective was essential. He argues that as much as there are outward similarities between the Canadian and American societies like the mode of living and urban structure the foundations of the two societies differ a great deal. Agreeably, the American Revolution was the reason why the two nations are in existence, but their cultures followed different routes to what they exist as of now.

For example, The American culture preserved values advanced by the Revolution such as “Liberty, Life, and the pursuit of happiness”. The Canadian society, on the other hand, believed in the counter-revolutionary values which were based on “Peace, order and good governance” (Tomalty & Mallach, 2015). On the assessment of this, it is evid...

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