Canada History

Canada History

Early history

The first residents of Canada immigrated about 30,000 years ago over a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska that existed in the then ice age. It can therefore be assumed that both the Indians and the Eskimos have Asian ancestors. Before the European settlement, numerous Indian tribes lived in the country, which can be divided into twelve language groups. The Iroquois tribes in particular had already formed a larger political unit when the Europeans arrived with an Irokesian federation.

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European settlement

The first European visitors were Norwegian seafarers who reached Newfoundland via Britain, Ireland, Iceland and Greenland and who arrived in the late 10th century AD. temporarily established settlements at its northern tip and traded with the Eskimos living there. However, the bases were soon abandoned and it was not until 1497 that the Italian navigator Caboto (John Cabot), on behalf of the English king, looked for a shorter route to Asia and came to Newfoundland and probably Nova Scotia via the northwest passage. Rich fishing grounds in the northwestern Atlantic left in the first half of the 16th

In 1534, the Frenchman Cartier first explored the St. Lawrence River and made claims to the region in the name of France. The hoped-for mineral resources could not be found and French interest in the region ceased for decades until 1604 Samuel de Champlain led a group of settlers first to Acadia in what is now Maine and then to Port Royal in Nova Scotia in 1605 and the place as a trading post and Settlement center founded. In 1608, Champlain and the settlers settled in Quebec “where the river narrows” and built a fort from which they organized the fur trade with the Indians. In 1663 the French crown took over the administration of the colony and a whole series of forts were created from the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes and into the Mississippi area.

Cooperation with the Indian tribe of the Hurons had already developed in the decades before, which – even though Iroquois themselves – were hostile to the Iroquois Federation. The violent struggles of the French settlers against the English colonies were combined with the struggles between the Hurons on the French side and the Iroquois on the English side. The colonial clashes over Canada peaked in the Seven Years’ War, after its defeat in the Treaty of Paris in 1763, France lost eastern Canada to Britain. England, however, granted the French Canadians in Quebec religious freedom in order to ensure their neutrality in the conflict with the independence colonists in the old colonies. After the United States detached itself from the mother country, approximately 40,000 American loyalists emigrated to the Canadian regions north of the Great Lakes. In 1784, the borders between British Canada and the United States were established at Versailles and a Canadian legislature was introduced shortly afterwards, which marked the first step towards Canadian autonomy.

18th and 19th centuries

In 1791, according to AbbreviationFinder, the British divided Canada into the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. The disputes about the lucrative fur trade intensified. British soldiers supplied arms to Indian tribes to make it difficult for US settlers to move north. The conflict culminated in 1812 when the United States attempted to conquer the Canadian possessions, which was prevented by British troops. Political unrest in both Canadian provinces that opposed the ruling oligarchies could not be prevented. Reformist forces tried to break their power. Armed revolts broke out in 1837, but were put down by troops loyal to the government.

However, the rebellions had also made the need for reform in the British mainland clear, and in 1840 they united the two parts into one province with a parliamentary government. In 1846 the last British taxes were abolished and a period of economic upturn combined with a strong urge to expand began. In 1867 Ontario (the former Upper Canada), Quebec (Lower Canada), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (New Brunswick) merged to form a state called the Dominion of Canada, the Constitution Act being the first constitution in Canada. As a result, the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan were bought from the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1871 British Columbia and in 1873 Prince Edward Island joined the Dominion.

In 1896 gold was found in a small tributary of the Klondike River and in the following years adventurers and treasure hunters mainly flowed from the USA to the region in the northwest. As much public attention as this event was, the multiple raw materials found in various parts of the country up to the 1930s were more important for the long-term development of the state. This made Canada one of the leading export countries for raw materials.

20th century

After the First World War, in which Canadian soldiers took part on the British side, a development began in the country that was based on foreign policy neutrality in order to curb the existing conflicts between the French and English-speaking sections of the population. In 1931, Canada became independent under the Westminster Statute. A few years later, the country changed its foreign policy reluctance and entered the Second World War on the part of the Allies. From 1943 it took part in the battles in Europe with its own soldiers. In 1945 and 1948 the country was one of the founding members of the UN and NATO. In 1949, Newfoundland became Canada’s tenth province.

After the end of World War II, a phase of economic prosperity began that continued into the 1960s. Unemployment and strong regional differences, however, made separatist tendencies loud from the 1960s. Parties such as the Parti R¨¦publicain du Qu¨¦bec (PQ) were founded, which called for the province to leave.

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After 1945, Canada became increasingly politically detached from Great Britain and closely connected to the emerging world power USA. Signs of this were membership in the 1957 North American Air Defense Command, which was intended to ward off a Soviet nuclear strike, and – previously – participation in the Korean War. At the same time, the country has become an important political advocate and supporter of UN peacekeeping measures since the late 1950s.

In terms of domestic policy, the autonomy movement in Quebec, which is mostly populated by French Canadians, became a new challenge for the country’s internal unity in the 1970s. Attempts at independence of the “Parti Qu¨¦b¨¦cois” ruling in Quebec from 1976 to 1985 were, however, rejected by the population in 1980 by plebiscite.

In 1982, under the Trudeau presidency, a new constitutional law was introduced for all of Canada, which also eliminated the last dependence on Great Britain, but was not signed by the province of Quebec. B. Mulroney became prime minister after the Conservative election in 1984 and ruled until 1993. During this time, a free trade agreement was signed with the United States, which came into force in 1988 after much controversial public debate. In 1992 she joined NAFTA, a free trade area in Mexico, the United States and Canada. In domestic politics, Mulroney initiated a referendum on a constitutional reform in the same year, which on the one hand ensures the unity of the country – with special regulations for Quebec – secondly, to expand the administrative powers of the provinces and to establish the autonomy rights of the indigenous people. The reform was rejected and in 1993 the government and representatives of the Inuit signed a separate treaty, which granted them their own self-governing territory in the Northwest Territories in 1999.

The month after the contract was signed, Mulroney was followed by the first female prime minister, K. Campbell. In the same year, however, she had to face a serious defeat for the conservatives, which brought a majority to the Liberal Party under Prime Minister J. Chr¨¦tien and made the separatist Bloc Qu¨¦b¨¦cois the strongest opposition party in the country even before the conservatives. The Chr¨¦tien government restructured the financial equalization between the provinces. In 1995, a second referendum to break up Quebec narrowly failed. In 1996 the province was granted special status by law, which gave it a veto right over constitutional issues. In the two subsequent elections in 1997 and 2000, the ruling Chr¨¦tien managed to maintain an absolute majority. In 2006 the liberals were voted out

In February 2010 the 21st Winter Olympics took place in Vancouver and Whistler.

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