Has there ever been a border as long as Canada and the US with entirely peaceful relations?

I’ve of often thought about how cool US and Canada are, when observing the current and historical boundaries and alliance/tensions/wars that by far are the norm throughout the world.

As a second question, has there ever been anything comparable, not only in border length, but in the amount of time that such extraordinarily close relations existed for any two countries?

Just some data:

U.S.-Canada border is 8,893 km.

Only 9 countries have event hat much TOTAL land border:

China: 22,147 km
Russia: 20,017 km
Brazil: 14,691 km
India: 14,103 km
United States: 12,034 km
Kazakhstan: 12,012 km
Democratic Republic of the Congo: 10,730 km
Argentina: 9,665 km
Canada: 8,893 km

Of those, these are the ones with a shared border even 1/4th as long as the U.S.-Canada border (2000 for easy rounding):

China-Burma - 2,185 km
China-India - 3,380 km
China-Mongolia - 4,677 km
China-Russia - 3,645 km
Russia-Kazakhstan - 6,846 km
Russia-Mongolia - 3,485 km
Brazil-Bolivia - 3,400 km
Brazil-Venezuela - 2,200 km
India-Bangladesh - 4,053 km
India-Pakistan - 2,912 km
United States-Canada - 8,893 km
United States-Mexico - 3,141 km
Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan - 2,203 km
Democratic Republic of the Congo-Angola - 2,511 km
Democratic Republic of the Congo-Republic of the Congo - 2,410 km
Argentina-Chile - 5,308 km

Other 2,000 km+ borders:

Mali-Mauritania - 2,237 km
Pakistan-Afghanistan - 2,430 km
Colombia-Venezuela - 2,050 km
Laos-Vietnam - 2,130 km

If my math is right, the USSR-China border would have been around 6,500 km.

So there are only two current borders that are even half as long as the U.S.-Canada border (Argentina-Chile and Russia-Kazakhstan). With the India-Bangladesh border coming close to half.

Didn’t we try to invade Canada once? We backed off when they threatened to drop Gordon Lightfoot on us or something.

There have been border disputes, check out the Pig War: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_War More notably, there’s also the War of 1812. So saying “entirely peaceful relations” is a bit of a stretch.

I wonder about the two sides of the Great Wall of China… did the wall succeed in creating a peaceful border for a significant period of time? (I know it was overrun, but I don’t know how long it was in place before being overrun.)

Those events predate Canada as an independent dominion, so it’s kind of a gray area as to whether that counts. The line on the map has certainly experienced war, even if that war was not between the two political entities currently parked on either side of it.

Well, Canada wasn’t fully cut-off from the motherland until 1982, IIRC. But yes, the Pig War, which is the most recent border dispute in 1859, was technically with the British Empire, not Canada.

It’s a lot more impressive to say the border has been conflict-free since 1859 than from 1982.

“Peaceful relations” and “no border disputes” aren’t quite the same thing. The US and Canada do currently have a few ongoing border disputes. They’re just being conducted diplomatically, rather than violently. From the CIA World Fact Book, the “Transnational Issues” entry for Canada:

Strait of Juan de Fuca - yeah, there’s a few islands still unsettled from the Pig War. Machias Seal Island is part of Maine according to the US, New Brunswick according to Canada.

Actually, the boundary dispute in the Strait of Juan de Fuca may not concern any islands, just the placement of the line from the mouth of the strait.


On both ends it’s more than a bit of a stretch to say that an entirely new entity was created in 1982 or 1867. Canada sort of eased its way into independence without a lot of noisy kerfuffle, unlike some other North American countries we could mention.

Despite this, I have it on good authority that the soldiers who burned the white house during the war of 1812 were 100% Canadian and not at all British and we totally kicked your butt. :slight_smile:

Oh yeah? Well, we burned Toronto first so you guys were just being copycats.

Ah yes…a splendid little war. A pig belonging to a Canadian settler (and obviously bent on sabotage) was caught eating the potatos of an American settler. The American shot the pig then offered a piddling compensation to the pigs owner. Owner demanded reparations of 10X the proffered amount, whereupon the American said “take your pig and shove it”, or words to that effect. The war of words escalated and both sides sent troops. More insults were exchanged.

from Wikipedia

The international dispute was finally arbitrated by Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany who basically told both sides “Go home and stop being ridiculous” , although he did give the island to the Americans.

The only casualty was the pig, who probably deserved to be shot anyway.

A pity, that more wars can’t be won that way.

So basically the answer is no, there never has been a border as long as the US/Canada one and one existing for the longest time w/o a shooting war or general nastiness.

What two contiguous nation/“nation-states” have had the longest non-belligerent status? I am including satrapies, Pax Romanum, etc.

Hold on, hold on. The US/Canada border is the longest bilateral land border in the world.

So if the question is “is there another bilateral border as long as that which has been peaceful for as long as that?” the answer must be “no”. There is no other bilateral border as long as that, period.

If the question is “is there another bilateral border which has been peaceful for longer than the very long US/Canada bilateral border” the answer is “yes, there are lots”. How long is it since Sweden attacked Finland or Russia, or vice versa? It was longer ago than 1859. How long has it been since France attacked Spain or vice versa? Longer than since 1859. Spain and Portugal? Same goes. Belgium and the Netherlands? Switzerland and any of France, Germany, Italy, Austria or Liechtenstein?

Another such was the Aroostook War between Maine and New Brunswick about 20 years earlier. Besides both wars being virually bloodless, they had the commonality that Winfield Scott was sent out from Washington to calm things down.

Sweden has never attacked Finland, mainly because present day Finland was the Eastern half of the realm until we lost it in the war of 1808/9, which was started by Russia.

The repercussions of the Pig War are still felt today, though, as Canadians honor the fallen by refusing to give in to American imperialism by producing only Canadian bacon, even in the face of its obvious inferiority.

My Uncle Gordie is one of the lighthouse keepers that Department of Foreign Affairs places there. Every year an American boats over to assert USA sovereignty, so they have a fish fry and tea.

Why haven’t we conquered the Horseshoe Falls yet? They are the better of the two and I’ll bet we can whup the Canadians trying to defend it.

I think the OP is asking not so much about modern states, but any borders in history.

Correct. But I am learning a lot about the feistiness of Canada. Who knew?