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The role of the “North Atlantic Triangle” in the development of Canadian foreign policy: on the question of interpretations of the concept


An analysis of various interpretations of the concept of the “North Atlantic Triangle” in the context of the development of Canadian foreign policy in the late 19th – first half of the 20th centuries is presented. The relevance of the work is due to the need to study the interaction of the Atlantic powers in historical dynamics, with an emphasis on the origins of the development of the “North Atlantic triangle”. Based on the classic works of Canadian historians and the works of modern researchers, the concept of the “North Atlantic Triangle” is analyzed through three main ideas: the “bookkeeper’s puzzle”, the idea of “counterweight” and the idea of a “bridge” or “linchpin”. It is concluded that the development of Canadian national interests began long before Canadians recognized themselves as a nation and gained the ability to pursue an independent foreign policy. This process was largely determined by a specific relationship between two centers of gravity: Great Britain and the United States. Canada was the weakest side of this construct, therefore, for reasons of security and the preservation of its own interests, it developed certain scenarios of relations with the Atlantic partners. Depending on historical circumstances, the emphasis in these scenarios was different. That is why interpretations of the concept of the “North Atlantic Triangle” often differ depending on the subject content and chronological boundaries of a particular study. However, it has been proven that the main goal setting of Canadian foreign policy priorities – to ensure their own security and derive maximum benefit from relations within the “North Atlantic Triangle”, skillfully smoothing out contradictions and maneuvering between Great Britain and the United States – remained unchanged.


“North Atlantic triangle”, foreign policy of Canada, metropolis, Canadian-American relations

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Foreign countries’ history

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