History of Canada

The History of Canada

It is said that the first people to inhabit the land now known as Canada were native Indian people – most likely the ancestors of the Inuit’s still found in the most northern outreaches of the country. The country remained their sole domain until about 1000 AD when Leif Eriksson, a Norse explorer, reached the shores of this great country. While Leif Eriksson did settle in the land for a time, it was some 500 years later before the country saw more European explorers and subsequent colonization. This is how the long and interesting history of Canada began.

In 1497 the Italian explorer John Cabot set out in search of a westerly route to Asia at the request of the king of England. Instead of finding a passage, Cabot discovered North America. He was soon followed by a barrage of other explorers. Eventually, in the early 1600s the French established the first permanent European settlements. These were Port Royal and Quebec City. The English followed by establishing Newfoundland.

It wasn’t long after the arrival of these people that arguments and scuffles broke out between the natives and the settlers. The Europeans brought diseases that ravaged native populations. The competition for territory and resources was fierce – not only between the native peoples and the Europeans settlers, but between the French and English too. The English won out and extended their control to other parts of the continent. At this stage, Canada was inhabited mainly by Frenchmen. The ratio of French to English changed somewhat during the centuries that followed with large numbers of British colonists and Irish immigrants arriving in the country.

In 1849, Canada won the right of self-government and boundaries began to be established for the country. However, they were still under the rule of the British Crown and as a result, the people of Canada were drawn into the conflicts of the First World War. Drafting for the war did not sit well with the people of Canada and it was not long afterwards that efforts were made to sever ties with Britain. This was largely achieved in 1982 when Canada, along with several other British dominions, were formerly made a partner nation with Britain. This meant that Canada was no longer subject to British rule, but that it continued to share the same monarch.

Much has happened since then, and Canadian history continues to be written. The country has grown in leaps and bounds and new partnerships have been formed which contribute to the country’s wealth. Today, many Canadians are not only proud of their history, but of their multicultural outlook on life too.


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