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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Engaging the Line

How the Great War Shaped the Canada–US Border

For decades, people living in communities along the Canada–US border enjoyed close social and economic relationships with their neighbours across the line. The introduction of new security measures during the First World War threatened this way of life by restricting the movement of people and goods across the border. Many Canadians resented the new regulations introduced by their provincial and federal governments, deriding them as “outside influences” that created friction where none had existed before. Engaging the Line examines responses to wartime regulations in six communities and offers a glimpse at the origins of our modern, highly secured border.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan

1 “Brothers Once More”: Relations between Windsor and Detroit

2 “Part and Parcel”: Administering the Windsor-Detroit Border

Part 2: St. Stephen, New Brunswick, and Calais, Maine

3 The “Ties that Bind”: Relations between St. Stephen and Calais

4 “A Very Convenient Arrangement”: Administering the St. StephenCalais Border

Part 3: White Rock, British Columbia, and Blaine, Washington

5 “God Save the King”: Relations between White Rock and Blaine

6 Booze and Bandits: Administering the White Rock–Blaine Border





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