Difference between USA and Canada

Key difference: The main difference between USA and Canada is in their government. USA is a federal constitutional republic, whereas Canada is a constitutional monarchy. Further differences include geographic and climate. Canada also differs in its stance against some political and cultural aspects.

The United States of America and Canada are two different countries located in North America. The United States of America is commonly known as the United States, USA, US and America. USA and Canada are neighbors, as in they share a border, the world's longest land border in fact.

Canada is located in the northern part of North America. It is the world's second-largest country by total area. It consists of an advanced economy, considered one of the largest in the world. The economy is based upon its abundant natural resources, as well as its well-developed trade networks, including ones with USA.

Canada also has the world’s ninth highest per capita income, the sixth highest ranking in human development and is considered as one of the world's most developed nations, based on its above-average international measurements of education, government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, and economic freedom.

The USA is also considered one of the most developed nations. It has the world's largest national economy and the sixth highest per capita income. Its economy is based on abundance of natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and high productivity. USA is also one of the world's largest manufacturers. It is considered as one of the leading economic, political, and cultural forces in the world. It is also considered to be a leader in scientific research and technological innovation.

Both are multicultural nations, as both as rich in regional, aboriginal, and ethnic subcultures. The also support numerous immigrant communities which have added to their multi-ethnicity.

The main difference between USA and Canada is in their government. USA is a federal constitutional republic, whereas Canada is a constitutional monarchy. This means that the head of state for Canada is its monarch, i.e. Queen Elizabeth II, and its head of government is the Prime Minister. On the other hand, the head of state and of government for USA is the President.

Further differences include geographic and climate. As Canada is situated more north and closer to the Artic, its climate is colder. Winters can be harsh with snow covering the ground for almost six months a year. In some areas of the north snow can persist year-round. However, in some costal areas and areas near its southern borders can have a temperate climate with a mild and rainy winter.

USA, on the other hand, has a varying climate, from cold in north, north-west and north-east, to even tropical and sub-tropical in south, south-east, south-west. A major part of mid-west USA is in fact a desert with corresponding climate.

The weather and climate also gave rise to corresponding sports and pastimes. Canadians tend to prefer winter sports such as ice hockey, curling, skiing, etc., whereas, Americans’ preference varies from baseball to American football to even ice hockey in some regions.

The language of the two countries also differs. While, both USA and Canada speak English predominantly, Canadians tend to use British English and Americans use American English. A number of Canadians also speak French; hence French is considered a second language in Canada. A number of Americans speak Spanish; however Spanish is not officially a second language. The various different immigrants also speak their own languages.

Canada also differs in its stance against some political and cultural aspects. Canada has passed various government policies such as publicly funded health care, higher taxation to redistribute wealth, the outlawing of capital punishment, strong efforts to eliminate poverty, an emphasis on multiculturalism, strict gun control, and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The American public medical system via Medicare and Medicaid is botchy at best. Furthermore, there is no united federal stance towards or against capital punishment, gun control, same-sex marriage, etc. All these issues and more are a state by state issue in the USA, with each enacting its own rules and laws in the matter.

Internationally, Canada tends to have a more reserve and quite presence. It is actually more involved in international matters than most people realize. USA, on the other hand, is predominant in international politics. USA never hesitates to make its policies known about a particular topic or to interfere in another country’s matter if it deems it necessary. For example: USA’s presence in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan; its peace making position between India and Pakistan; etc.

A comparison between USA and Canada:

 

USA

Canada

Motto

In God We Trust  (official)

E Pluribus Unum  (traditional)

(Latin: Out of Many, One)

A Mari Usque Ad Mare  (Latin) "From Sea to Sea"

Anthem

"The Star-Spangled Banner"

National Anthem: "O Canada"

Royal anthem: "God Save the Queen"

Symbols

Statue of Liberty, Uncle Sam, Stars and Strips

Maple Leaf, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the totem pole and Inuksuk.

National Animal

The bald eagle

The beaver

Capital

Washington, D.C.

Ottawa

Largest city

New York City

Toronto

Official languages

None

National Language: English (American)

English (British) and French

Government

Federal presidential constitutional republic,

Two-party system

Federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy

Notable Heads (Incumbent)

President: Barack Obama

Vice President: Joe Biden

Speaker of the House: John Boehner

Chief Justice: John Roberts

Monarch: Elizabeth II

Governor General: David Johnston

Prime Minister: Stephen Harper

Chief Justice: Beverley McLachlin

Legislature

Congress

Upper house: Senate

Lower house: House of Representatives

Parliament

Upper house: Senate

Lower house: House of Commons

Establishment

from the Kingdom of Great Britain

Declared: July 4, 1776 

Recognized: September 3, 1783 

Current constitution: June 21, 1788 

from the United Kingdom

Constitution Act, 1867

Statute of Westminster, 1931

Canada Act, 1982

States/territories

Fifty states, District of Columbia, incorporated territory: Palmyra Atoll, and five major overseas territories: Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; and American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific.

Ten provinces and three territories

Area

3,794,101 sq mi

3,854,085 sq mi

Population

315,079,000

35,002,447

Currency

United States dollar ($) (USD)

Canadian dollar ($) (CAD)

Internet TLD

.us .gov .mil .edu

.ca

National sport

Baseball

Ice hockey and lacrosse.

Other popular sports

American football, basketball, ice hockey and NASCAR.

Curling and football;

Image Courtesy: go.hrw.com, countryreports.org

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