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It was a rare response, to say the least.
President Donald Trump reacted with an old and historically wrong argument to a claim made by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, about how the United States could justify the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminum from his country with the “national security” argument.
“And you, boys, did not burn the White House?” Trump replied referring to an episode that occurred during the so-called War of 1812.
The telephone conversation, which occurred on May 25, was initially revealed by the US network CNN, who cited unidentified sources and was later corroborated by the Broadcasting Corporation of Canada (CBC).
The reaction of Trump generated a wide polemic in both countries due, among other reasons, to that the argument is fallacious.
“Canada became a state in 1867. The War of 1812 was in … 1812,” noted a Twitter user identified as Michi.
Yes, it's stupid that trump told Justin Trudeau (hey boo hey) that Canada burned down the White House during the War of 1812. It was the Brits.
But look on the bright side: At least he knows what the War of 1812 is and that during it, someone burnt down something. pic.twitter.com/A2VwCvTFB3
— ☔️Imani Gandy ☔️ (@AngryBlackLady) June 6, 2018
“Look at the positive side: at least (Trump) knows that the War of 1812 existed and that during the same someone burned something,” he said sarcastically @BarstoolChief.
To play history's advocate:
Canada became a country in 1867.
The War of 1812 was in … 1812.
— Michi (@cbn2) June 6, 2018
But what exactly happened to the White House during the War of 1812?
The White House was effectively burned down during the War of 1812 that pitted the United States against the United Kingdom.
On August 24, 1814, British troops led by General Robert Ross attacked and burned several public buildings in Washington DC, including the Capitol, the Navy shipyard and the presidential residence .
The conflict was rooted, among other things, in the forced recruitment of members of the US merchant marine to serve in the British Navy, in the support given by London to the aboriginal peoples facing the territorial expansion of the United States as well as in the limitations that the British imposed on American trade with other powers in Europe.
However, in the specific case of the burning of the White House there was – according to historians – an intention of revenge for what happened during the takeover by the Americans of York (Ontario), a city they took after a hard battle and in the one that caused fires and looted before retiring .
And what does all this have to do with the imposition of tariffs on Canadian products?
It is not known. What is clear is that this time it will be Canada that applies a retaliation that will consist, as announced, in taxing with US $ 16.600 million the import of steel and aluminum products, as well as maple syrup, whiskey and paper health from the United States.