Dear Canadians,

Drop by and talk about anything you want. This is where all cheese-related discussions should go
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AlexanderDitto
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Dear Canadians,

Postby AlexanderDitto » 19 Dec 2007, 20:27

Tonight, during a discussion with a friend of mine, I came to realize how very little I know of the rest of the world. I couldn't remember what Winnipeg was the capital of.

I think this, frankly, is pathetic.

I mean, sure, I know British Columbia and it's lovely capital of Victoria, but I know all 50 states. I could identify them by shape. Yet I don't know all ten provinces and three territories. I just never learned them. In elementary school, there was never a lesson for this, and I've slowly come to realize just how much I don't know about pretty much everything.

How grave an offense is this? Do all Canadians know their provinces/territories/capitals, etc? How about the states of the US? Am I just exceptionally dull?
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Postby Lavos » 19 Dec 2007, 20:28

They teach you the shit in grade 1 here.
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Postby Quovak » 19 Dec 2007, 20:54

American education doesn't really touch on other countries all that much. Sure, we learn a lot about world history, but very little about foreign countries in the contemporary world unless we're at war or about to go to war with them.

We've been a world power for a long time, and it's gone to our heads. We're basically narcissism on a national scale at this point.

And just so you know, Canadian Provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon.

Wow, I got all except New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island without having to consult Wikipedia.
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Postby Lord Chrusher » 19 Dec 2007, 20:55

And in grade 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. I know most of the states and a few of the capitals.
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Postby Cake » 19 Dec 2007, 21:22

I know all the states in alphabetical order. Don't really know about Canada though. Then again, I was never interested in that kinda stuff.
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Postby theduckthief » 19 Dec 2007, 21:29

You learn about in elementary school. I had to take the equivalent of a citizenship test in grade four just to make sure. I could name all 50 states but not the capitals.

I figure we have it easy compared to you guys. 10 provinces and 3 territories compared to 50 states.
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Postby sweeks » 19 Dec 2007, 22:01

in grade 9 or 10 we had to learn the 50 states, I've since forgotten half of them.
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Postby Brad » 19 Dec 2007, 22:09

It's okay. Winnepeg isn't exactly memorable. Hell I am Canadian. What is it now? Manitoba? Saskatchewan? Saskatchewan right? Meh. The whole middle of Canada is a dull place. Kind of like the middle of the US except with less amusing religious extremists.

But not by much.
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Postby Nitro » 19 Dec 2007, 22:13

I wish that the US was taught real history like the rest of the world. Then everyone in the US would have justification for not liking France.

If Americans knew that the French refused to sign the Treaty of Paris unless Germany was made to accept responsibility for starting WWI (which really started between Russia and Austria-Hungary with Germany going to the aid of Austria-Hungary because of a mutual protection treaty the same way Great Britain went to the aid of Russia because of their mutual protection treaty) because in 1918 France was still mad at Germany for beating them in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, I think there would be overt displays of displeasure to put it mildly.

Basically, in 1870 Germany (which back then was know as Prussia) took advantage of French stubborn pride and lured them into fighting a war that they did not have the men, means, or will to win because of previous other conflicts.

After Prussia won the war in less than a year, they took the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine from France in the Treaty of Frankfurt and had Bismarck crowned Emperor of Prussia in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. The French government of Napoleon III fell apart because of the war, and the whole country was seriously disrupted, but avoided catastrophic destruction in part because of Prussia and a few other countries of Europe financially helping out.

Fast forward to 1918 and the French are still pissed at Prussia/Germany and decided to take revenge. As a result not only did Alsace and Lorraine go back to being part of France, but the German Army and Navy were rendered almost non-existent (and with them Germany's national pride), the German economy was destroyed and their money made worthless, and the German government was for all purposes made sterile simply because the French could make it so.

Because of France doing all this to Germany in the name of pride and revenge in 1918 for previous events in 1871, the stage was set so an insane German corporal could rise to power through a fascist organization called the Nazis by promising desperate starving people that he would restore their country to greatness.

Maybe some day the American education system will include this part of history in its teachings. However, I seriously doubt it. American publications do not even speak about the Franco-Prussian war, and I only learned about it in college with the use of a British textbook.
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Postby tak197 » 19 Dec 2007, 22:19

I learned all that in High school and I am a Statesian. Also, i still like France. Trust me, if you ever talk to a Frenchman, they will say practically the same things about Chirac that we said about Bush in those years (until Chirac was replaced by the new president). It was kinda funny how we shared those political beliefs.
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Postby Alja-Markir » 19 Dec 2007, 22:55

Nitro, Americans don't need knowledge or reasons to hate the French, they just do it anyway.

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Postby CyberTractor » 19 Dec 2007, 23:12

Holy crap.

Another Floridian.
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Postby The Hitman » 19 Dec 2007, 23:53

What the fuck? That's the most one sided rendition of European 20th century history I have ever seen.

You realize nations did this shit to each other all the time, right? Carving up countries is simply what European powers did following wars. Blaming France for this sort of thing is basically ignoring hundreds of years of contextual European history. You might as well hate every country in Europe, and also the United States, if that's the kind of logic you're going to use.
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Postby tak197 » 20 Dec 2007, 04:19

In my 11th grade Honors European History class, we did a simulation game where we were split up into the European countries of WWI. First I was diplomat for Germany, then they got fed up with my not wanting to send messages to other countries (I was a really shy kid, and still am), so they made me Chancellor of Germany, and all I had to do was keep signing treaties and war declarations. When the game ended, I was really pissed off, because I told my team to declare a treaty and end the war, since we had the most points and were clearly going to win. But no, they wanted to do one more battle.

And like the real WWI, Germany had their asses handed to them. We lost the last battle, had no points left, lost Alsace and Lorraine, and were in ruins. I was SOOOOOO angry with my team, who appointed me as Chancellor, and then didn't listen to my directions.

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Postby Allen! » 20 Dec 2007, 04:59

Nitro, lemme know when US history covers its abysmal failures, then I'll care about your opinion on European history.
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Postby Unlucky » 20 Dec 2007, 05:09

Allen! wrote:Nitro, lemme know when US history covers its abysmal failures, then I'll care about your opinion on European history.


That would be most interesting, an entire class dedicated to your countries failings over the duration of its existence. Australian History, we basically cover that as much as possible. :P For example: electing a Labour government three years in a row....Watching the economy CRASH, and then going Liberal. Only to come back 10 years later and re-elect Labour in. GAH, how could Rudd win?

Getting back on topic....I think a class like that might actually be beneficial. "This is our screw ups, now let's fix and not repeat them." Sure History classes all ready do that somewhat, it's just these things tend to get sugar coated, ignored or overlooked more than anything.
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Postby The Happy Friar » 20 Dec 2007, 05:50

Nitro wrote:If Americans knew that the French refused to sign the Treaty of Paris unless Germany was made to accept responsibility for starting WWI


um... we (rest of US besides your town) do know that. it's only fascinating "new" news to you. I new that decade+ ago. You'd be surprised how much you learn when you pay attention and not browse websites reading commentaries blindly.

Not sure what school you went to, but we covered US's failures too. In two different schools under two different systems of management (private & public). I think the schools in your area could be lacking.

EDIT: world history covers quite a bit. not every detail but enough where you get the important parts. That's why there's college & books: to fill in what wasn't taught (perhaps I was in the last generation to be given the desire to learn more, not just be taught).
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Postby korri » 20 Dec 2007, 06:02

i can name all the US states in alphabetical order, but only because we sang a song in 5th grade chorus (which everyone had to be in) call "50 nifty united states" its stupid the things you remember....

also, we had to memorize the countries and capitols in africa and Europe in 7th grade along with imports and exports... now that stuff I can't remember... I think we also did Australia, but I'm not sure.... why we didn't do the rest of north america or south america i don't know...

also, I never took a world history class, unless you count a class "world cultures" in which the teacher was insane and all we learned was about a bunch of different religions and then the renaissance... I had AP US history, and got a 2 on the exam.... so needless to say we didn't learn shit, however I did take Civil War History, and went to Gettysburgh multiple times, so I know all that crap...
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Postby emma » 20 Dec 2007, 07:06

I still remember hearing a sound clip of George Bush saying "When World War II began in 1941..." and then it sort of hit me that the United States doesn't give a flying fuck what happens outside it's borders. Why the hell would they bother to teach their children about Canada?

Personally, I never learned about the states, but I know them from various travels and from actually paying attention to current events, once upon a time.
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Postby Kawaiicaps » 20 Dec 2007, 07:16

Unlucky wrote:
Allen! wrote:Nitro, lemme know when US history covers its abysmal failures, then I'll care about your opinion on European history.


That would be most interesting, an entire class dedicated to your countries failings over the duration of its existence.


In Japan they are not taught about WWII the same way we are in North America. They basically cut out all the shit they did in the war and make themselfs look like heroes in the whole thing.
But I think pretty much every country rewrote the history books however they wanted to, or at least tweaked it a little bit.
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Postby Android » 20 Dec 2007, 09:29

Kawaiicaps wrote:They basically cut out all the shit they did in the war and make themselfs look like heroes in the whole thing.


That happens in each country that was involved - You tend not to hear about internment camps in Canada all that much, and unless I'm mistaken it wasn't until fairly recently that the Government of Canada appologized to Japanese Canadians for that.

As for the learning about the Provinces and their Capitals, we learned it pretty early, but we never learned what the capitals of different states were. That's just more something you pick up later.
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Postby Kawaiicaps » 20 Dec 2007, 10:12

Kawaiicaps wrote:But I think pretty much every country rewrote the history books however they wanted to, or at least tweaked it a little bit.
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Postby AlexanderDitto » 20 Dec 2007, 10:34

Alright, well I feel a little better, I guess, but I still feel I should know all this stuff. It's essential information if I were ever to get on Jeopardy!

I skipped 4th grade wherein we were supposed to learn the states and capitals, but I had to learn them in 8th grade anyway. They're not that hard, they're all shaped differently.

Brad, it's Manitoba. The capital of Saskatchewan is Regina. I remember that one, because it sounds like... a popular brand of wine vinegar. Regina makes good salad dressing.

Nitro, I knew that. Most schools cover World War I pretty extensively. I am rather miffed that we never cover any Eastern history at all, beyond Ancient China. Anyone else notice this? The Opium Wars, the Taiping Rebellion, nothing about Feudal Japan, the Sino-Japanese War, nothing about the history of India... the area between Ancient times and World War I is pretty much left untouched.

And why should we dislike a country for what they did over a hundred years ago?

The Hitman's right. Carving up countries seemed to be Europe's favorite thing to do. Ah, Chinese Imperialism...

tak, I think every 11th grade European History class did that simulation. I have a sneaking suspicion I was Canada, and I didn't know it. :O

We do cover our abysmal failures. The Great Depression, the Vietnam war, Richard Nixon... all sorts of wonderful things. Though, admittedly, this comes rather late in the cycle, and for me it was mostly in American History, not in World history, where we did this, so it was sort of an isolated look.

Though, I do have a leg up on everyone else here, probably. I can sing the presidents song! Useful facts about Franklin Pierce's lack of chin? Got it!
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Postby Lord Chrusher » 20 Dec 2007, 10:51

My high school history education left several large gaps. For instance I never learned anything about the Napoleonic Wars. Greece and Rome were also missing in action.

The Cartoon History of the Universe is an excellent way to brush up on world history.
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Postby Nitro » 20 Dec 2007, 12:49

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