Thursday, August 11, 2022

History Of Canada

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The main wave of prehistoric settlers is thought to have arrived in the Americas from northeast Asia via Alaska about 15,000 years ago, although the earliest migrants may have arrived about 30,000 years ago and the youngest about 5,000 years ago. The current theory for the spread of prehistoric settlers is a southward migration along the coast with branching populations that moved eastward and later northward. According to this theory, the oldest cultures are the Pacific coast tribes and the youngest are the Arctic cultures.

The first confirmed European contact with Canada was shortly after 1000: Leif Erikson’s Vikings certainly reached Newfoundland, and there is some disputed evidence that they also travelled up the St. Lawrence River and along what is now the American coast. The next confirmed group is the Portuguese, who had fishing outposts along the Atlantic coast in the early 1500s. Neither group built permanent settlements, however. The attempted Viking settlement, L’anse Aux Meadows, was abandoned after a few years and not rediscovered until 1960. There are unconfirmed claims that several other European groups reached Canada earlier, including the Irish Saint Brendan in the 6th century.

More permanent settlements were established later by the English and French. John Cabot, an Italian who worked for the English, seems to have reached Newfoundland around 1497, but the records are neither clear nor complete. The French explorer Jacques Cartier landed on the Gaspé Peninsula in 1534 and claimed it for King François I of France. Subsequently, French fishing fleets began sailing to the Atlantic coast, where they traded with the indigenous people. Quebec City, founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, was the first permanent settlement in New France.

The English explorer Humphrey Gilbert landed in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and claimed it for Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1583 as the first English colony in North America. During the reign of King James I, the English established further colonies in Newfoundland, from where they eventually founded the colony of Virginia further south in what is now the United States of America. The British captured Quebec in 1759 during the Seven Years’ War, and at the end of that war in 1763, the French ceded most of their colonies in continental North America to the British, although the British agreed to allow the continued official use of the French language and legal system in the ceded colonies, and French remains the dominant language in the province of Quebec today. After the British victory, New France was divided into colonies: Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The provinces of Upper and Lower Canada were later united in 1841 to form the Province of Canada.

After the American War of Independence, in which the thirteen colonies became independent from the British and formed the United States of America, people who wanted to remain part of the British Empire emigrated to Canada in large numbers. These people are known in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, although Americans might call them Tory traitors. There were other large waves of immigration by former soldiers, mainly Scots, after the Napoleonic Wars and by many Irish from the time of the potato famine.

The British and Americans fought a back-and-forth war between the United States and Canada in 1812. Some of the hotheads on both sides had quite ambitious goals: to drive the British out of North America altogether and annex Canada to the United States, or to reverse the effects of the American Revolution a few decades earlier and reincorporate the United States into the Empire. Neither side succeeded in achieving these goals, and both ideas were completely discredited by the end of the war. The American national anthem was written about one of the battles of this war. Americans see the war as a draw because no borders were changed by the conflict. Canadians do not necessarily see it that way, as the defence against large-scale annexation of Canadian territory by the United States, especially on the valuable Niagara Peninsula, is seen as a historic British-Canadian military victory.

Slavery was abolished in Canada and the rest of the British Empire in 1834, but remained legal in much of the United States until 1865, after the end of the American Civil War. The introduction of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, a federal law that angered northern abolitionist states because it allowed blacks to be kidnapped by slave catchers and forcibly returned to slavery in the South, led to the establishment of an “Underground Railroad” of various routes to freedom in the North through Canada’s Niagara Peninsula or other British Empire outposts such as Nova Scotia.

The British established the first colony on Canada’s Pacific coast in 1849, when the colony of Vancouver Island was granted a charter with Fort Victoria as its capital. The colony of British Columbia was then founded in 1858. The colony of Vancouver Island was then merged with British Columbia in 1866.

The colonies of the Province of Canada (divided into English-speaking Ontario and French-speaking Quebec after federation), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick separated from the self-governing British Dominion of Canada in 1867, with each former colony becoming a province of Canada. Thereafter, the federation expanded considerably. A vast territory called Rupert’s Land – all the land with rivers flowing into Hudson Bay, much of Canada and parts of some American states – was granted by the British Crown to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670. In 1870, the newly formed Dominion of Canada bought it. This more than doubled the size of the existing provinces of Ontario and Quebec and created the new provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Manitoba joined the federation in 1870, followed by British Columbia in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, and Saskatchewan and Alberta in 1905. After World War II, the former Dominion of Newfoundland became the last province to join the Canadian federation in 1949. Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, was created in 1999 from part of the existing Northwest Territories.

Canada’s relationship with the United Kingdom is somewhat complex. The British North America Act, passed by the British Parliament in 1867, officially established the country. The British monarch is still the King or Queen of Canada, and a Governor General represents him or her locally. However, it is a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch “rules but does not govern”; the actual power to govern is vested in Parliament. In 1931, changes occurred that made Canada more or less completely independent from the United Kingdom. One notable difference is that during the First World War there were Canadian regiments in the British army under British generals, but from the Second World War onwards there was a Canadian army with its own generals; Canadians and Newfoundlanders made significant contributions in both wars. Another important change is that since the 1960s all governors-general are Canadian; before that they were all British and often nobles.

In 1982, the UK passed the Canada Act and Canada simultaneously passed the Constitution Act, ending any residual power of the UK Parliament to legislate for Canada.

How To Travel To Canada

By air You will probably arrive in Canada by plane, most commonly in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver (the five largest cities, from east to west). Many other cities also have international airports, of which the following are particularly useful for visitors: Halifax, St. John's, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon,...

How To Travel Around Canada

Canada is huge - the second largest country in the world after Russia. This means that you will need several days to get to know even a part of the country. In fact, St. John's, Newfoundland, is geographically closer to London, UK, than to Vancouver. By air The best way to...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Canada

Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to visit Canada for a stay of (usually) up to six months, provided they are not working or studying and the traveller has a passport valid for six months beyond the date of intended departure: Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda,...

Destinations in Canada

Regions in Canada Visiting Canada in one trip is a major undertaking. More than 7,200 kilometres separate St. John's, Newfoundland, from Victoria, British Columbia (about the same distance as between London and Riyadh or Tokyo and Calcutta). Driving from one end of the country to the other can take 7-10...

Weather & Climate in Canada

It is impossible to sum up Canada's climate in one easy-to-understand sentence, given the country's size and geographical diversity, but the phrase "frozen north" would be a reasonable first approximation. In most places, winters are harsh, similar to Russia. The most populous region, southern Ontario, has a milder climate,...

Accommodation & Hotels in Canada

Prices for accommodation in Canada vary considerably depending on the time and place. In most cities and many tourist areas, expect to pay $100 or more for a good hotel room. When inquiring, always ask if taxes are included; most of the time they are not and can often...

Things To See in Canada

Canada is a nation with many interesting places throughout the country. Each province and territory is unique and each contains its own special attractions. British Columbia has much to offer, including Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), an eco-paradise of untouched wilderness, and Vancouver Island. In the Yukon, you have the...

Things To Do in Canada

Canada is a country with a rich cultural heritage. Festivals and events are held in Canada every year to celebrate the multicultural landscape of this great nation. Each festival represents a unique cultural facet of Canada's diverse population. These festivals are easily identified by the time of year. In Spring In...

Money & Shopping in Canada

Currency in Canada Canada's currency is the Canadian dollar (symbol: $; correct abbreviation: CAD), often referred to simply as "dollar", "buck" (slang) or "loonie" (nickname for the $1 coin, now also a slang term for currency). One dollar ($) is made up of 100 cents (¢). Rising oil prices tend...

Food & Drinks in Canada

Food in Canada English Canadians may be puzzled when you ask them where to find Canadian food. English Canadian cuisine varies greatly from region to region. Specialities include maple syrup, Nanaimo bars (unbaked squares with chocolate, custard or vanilla butter filling and a breadcrumb base), butter tarts (tarts made with...

Festivals & Holidays in Canada

In Canada, the following national holidays are recognised and celebrated (there may be minor differences in some provinces): New Year's Day - 1 JanuaryFamily Day - 3rd Monday in February (not celebrated in all provinces, known as Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Islander Day in PEI).Good Friday - Friday before...

Internet & Communications in Canada

The communications infrastructure in Canada is typical of a developed nation. By phone Canada, along with the United States and the majority of the Caribbean, is part of the North American numbering scheme and uses the country code +1. The structure for area codes and local phone numbers is the same...

Language & Phrasebook in Canada

English and French are the only two official languages of Canada at the national level, although many other languages are spoken by immigrants or indigenous people in Canada. All federal government communications and services are required by law to be available in both official languages. However, each province is...

Traditions & Customs in Canada

Canada is a very multicultural country, especially in the big cities. A survey showed that about 50% of the population of Toronto (the largest city) was born outside Canada, and about 20% had at least one parent born outside the country. Immigrants came from all parts of the world,...

Culture Of Canada

Canada's culture is influenced by its wide range of nationalities, and measures to promote a 'just society' are protected by the Constitution. Canada has emphasised equality and inclusion for all its people. Multiculturalism is often cited as one of Canada's greatest achievements and a key distinguishing feature of Canadian...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Canada

Stay Safe in Canada Security in Canada is generally not a problem and a little common sense goes a long way. Even in big cities, violent crime is not a serious problem and very few people are armed. Violent crime should not worry the average traveller as it is usually...

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