Believing that a war with the United States was inevitable, Canada’s first Prime Minister proposed a plan to amass an army of Sikhs, well-known for their courage in battle, to invade California on behalf of Canada. His strategy was to send these Sikh warriors to California to take control of San Francisco, using it as a safeguard for Montreal and Canada. This perceived threat of a U.S. invasion in 1867 was predicated on a proposed bill from 1866 – which ultimately did not pass – that would have allowed the British colonies to become part of the USA if they wished. This idea wasn’t completely off the table, as there were still discussions about Newfoundland potentially joining the United States instead of Canada up until the late 1940s.
In the Spanish-American War of 1898, Guam fell into US hands without any resistance. The island was such a neglected and isolated Spanish colonial outpost that the local governor was oblivious to the war’s commencement. As US ship arrived and began firing poorly aimed shots at the decrepit Spanish fort, the inhabitants mistook it for a salute. They even rowed to the ship to apologize for their delayed return salute, explaining that their only cannon had to be transported from the island’s other side. By the end of the day, the island had capitulated without a single injury, save for the Spanish governor’s wounded pride.