Historically, much of Canadian political identity has been shaped by its relationship with the United States, beginning with the influx of "Loyalists" to Canada after the American Revolution. Similarly, in the War of 1812, the Canadian military developed its sense of identity in opposition to the invading American forces. While the United States had expected that many Canadians would be happy to throw off what the US considered the yoke of imperialist Britain, most Canadians saw themselves as British Loyalists and the United States as the foreign invader.
In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as the United States has become a world superpower in economic, military, and cultural terms, Canada has remained a vast nation with a relatively small population sharing many cultural elements and values with the United States, something that has given rise to a form of Canadian anti-Americanism manifested as a quest for identity.
First, Canada's ongoing ties with Britain serve as a form of anti-American political identity. Next, many progressive movements in Canadian politics, especially as represented by the Liberal and NDP parties, emphasize there own progressivism as overtly opposed to the "Americanizing" policies of the Conservatives. Many of the cultural policies of the government, from the funding of the CBC to the mandating of Canadian content, serve to preserve a distinct Canadian cultural identity.