North And, Central America


What did the phrase “fifty-four forty or fight” mean

In the mid-nineteenth century, many Americans wanted to see the United States’ territory expand northward into the area now known as Canada. The phrase “fifty-four forty or fight” referred to the desire to move the boundary northward to 54°40’ North, which would have encompassed much of southern Canada. Ultimately, the boundary was fixed at 49° North, where it sits today.

The Canadian Rockies, off of Icefields Parkway, inside Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The Rockies stretch from the Yukon in Canada all the way down to the American Southwest (photo by Paul A. Tucci).

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