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The US-Canada border is a work of art—modern art.
That is because it looks like a threeyear old drew it,
they couldn’t even successfully drawa straight line,
and it just doesn’t make sense.
The fact that this line was so poorly defined and drawn means that
there are still disputes today on exactly what is the US and what is Canada.
But 200 years ago,
this line led to an entirely new country arising
for a short period about 13 years.
All of this area was part of the British Empire.
You see, for the longest while,
this area of Canada was French,
but then Britain won it from the French
in the 6-year 8-month 4-week and 1-day long Seven Years War
That began the 13-year-long glory periodof British rule
over much of the inhabited part ofthe North America
but then oops,
Britain decided that taxes were going to be a thing,
so the colonies needs to decide that British rule wasn’t going to be a thing
and The Independence was declared in 1776.
The two countries did some recreational fighting
for the next seven years but then
they sat down and signed the Treaty of Paris.
Not the 1323 Treaty of Paris or the1657 Treaty of Paris
or the 1810 Treaty of Paris
1812 1814 1815 1856
1812, 1814, 1815, 1856,
or 1857 Treaty of Paris
the 1783 Treaty of Paris.
That 1783 Treaty of Paris defined in its second article
the border between the US and British Canada
and included in that section was the line defining a portion of the New Hampshire border
as at, “the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River”,
meaning the northwesternmost headwater of the Connecticut River.
The problem was that the US and Britain disagreed on what that was.
According to the US, you see,
the northwesternmost headwater is Halls Stream
which flows directly into the ConnecticutRiver.
According to Britain though,
the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River
started at the creatively named Forth Connecticut Lake,
and encompassed the streams that connected the third, second,
and first Connecticut Lakes and Lake Francis.
Therefore, the US believed the border
with British Canada to be this
while Britain believed it was this.
This inevitably caused issues as both countries tried to
administer this small rural area.
This area would see both Canadian and American authorities
acting as law enforcement,
but the most pressing issue was that both
Canadian and American tax collectors would come and collect tax.
This double taxation was, in the residents minds, unacceptable.
Staying on brand with the American revolution,
their residents therefore declared independence.
In 1832, the Republic of Indian Stream was formed.
The residents wrote and established a constitution,
started a system of government,
passed laws, established taxes,
they acted just as any other country
and at least based on what we konwn.
seemed to do pretty well considering they were all first time country leaders.
Understandably, the legitimacy of this declared country
was and is disputed.
Of course, the process the Republic of Indian Stream went through
to declare their independence was not all that different than
the process the United States went through decades earlier
and the US seems to be fairly well recognized today,
but the US had more people, guns,
and George Washington’s.
British Canada basically ignored the claimed independence of Indian Stream
and continued to send their law enforcement and tax collectors
while the US actually seemingly might have recognized
the independence of Indian Stream.
The US apparently started charging import duties
on goods coming from Indian Stream
just as it would for any other foreign country
thereby confirming its independence.
Eventually the King of the Netherlands,
who was acting as an arbitrator between the US and Britain,
declared the area part of Canada and the residents were therefore asked to
perform their mandatory military service for Britain.
Indian Stream was having none of that
and wrote to the US attorney general asking to
be part of the US, just not part of New Hampshire.
The attorney general said no and
that they were still part of New Hampshire
so the New Hampshire militia got ready to
invade Indian Stream and take it by force.
Canada then said that they would send their military to defend Indian Stream
as they still considered it theirs.
After a long stalemate though,
New Hampshire called Canada’s bluff
and their militia invaded and occupied IndianStream.
It was then, by all measures,
the United States and the Republic of Indian Stream was happy
because that’s what they wanted all along
to be part of one country ratherthan two.
The border was legitimized to make Indian Stream and American
with a treaty in 1842
and the US went off happily into the sunset
never fighting with anyone ever again.
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