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History of Canada

History of Canada

Overview
The history of Canada covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. Canada has been inhabited for millennia by distinctive groups of Aboriginal peoples
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered pejorative....

, among whom evolved trade networks, spiritual beliefs, and social hierarchies. Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first European arrivals
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

 and have been discovered through archaeological investigations.
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Encyclopedia
The history of Canada covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day. Canada has been inhabited for millennia by distinctive groups of Aboriginal peoples
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered pejorative....

, among whom evolved trade networks, spiritual beliefs, and social hierarchies. Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first European arrivals
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

 and have been discovered through archaeological investigations. Various treaties
Numbered Treaties
The numbered treaties are a series of eleven treaties signed between the aboriginal peoples in Canada and the reigning Monarch of Canada from 1871 to 1921. It was the Government of Canada who created the policy, commissioned the Treaty Commissioners and ratified the agreements...

 and laws
Canadian Aboriginal law
Canadian Aboriginal law is the body of Canadian law that concerns a variety of issues related to aboriginal peoples in Canada. Aboriginal law provides certain rights to land and traditional practices...

 have been enacted between European settlers
Former colonies and territories in Canada
Former colonies, territories, boundaries, and claims in Canada prior to the current classification of provinces and territories. In North America, ethnographers commonly classify Aboriginals into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits and by related linguistic dialects...

 and the Aboriginal populations.

Beginning in the late 15th century, French
French colonization of the Americas
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century, and continued in the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America...

 and British
British colonization of the Americas
British colonization of the Americas began in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia and reached its peak when colonies had been established throughout the Americas...

 expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 to Britain in 1763 after the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

. In 1867, with the union of three British North America
British North America
British North America is a historical term. It consisted of the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America after the end of the American Revolutionary War and the recognition of American independence in 1783.At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 the British...

n colonies through Confederation
Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces...

, Canada was formed as a federal
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

 of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories
Territorial evolution of Canada
The federation of Canada was created in 1867 when three colonies of British North America were united. One of these colonies split into two new provinces, three other colonies joined later...

 and a process of increasing autonomy from the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, which became official with the Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

 of 1931 and completed in the Canada Act
Canada Act 1982
The Canada Act 1982 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that was passed at the request of the Canadian federal government to "patriate" Canada's constitution, ending the necessity for the country to request certain types of amendment to the Constitution of Canada to be made by the...

 of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

.

Over centuries, elements of Aboriginal, French, British and more recent immigrant
History of immigration to Canada
The history of immigration to Canada extends back thousands of years. Anthropologists continue to argue over various possible models of migration to modern day Canada, as well as their pre-contact populations. The Inuit are believed to have arrived entirely separately from other indigenous peoples...

 customs have combined to form a Canadian culture
Culture of Canada
Canadian culture is a term that explains the artistic, musical, literary, culinary, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians, not only to its own population, but people all over the world. Canada's culture has historically been influenced by European culture and...

. Canada has also been strongly influenced by that of its linguistic, geographic and economic neighbour, the United States
History of the United States
The history of the United States traditionally starts with the Declaration of Independence in the year 1776, although its territory was inhabited by Native Americans since prehistoric times and then by European colonists who followed the voyages of Christopher Columbus starting in 1492. The...

. Since the conclusion of the Second World War, Canadians have supported multilateralism abroad and socioeconomic development
Socioeconomic development
Socio-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society.Socio-economic development is measured with indicators, such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment...

 domestically. Canada currently consists of ten provinces and three territories
Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada combine to make up the world's second-largest country by area. There are ten provinces and three territories...

 and is governed as a parliamentary democracy
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 and a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 with Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 as its head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

.

Pre-colonization


Paleo-Indians and Archaic periods



According to North American archeological and Aboriginal genetic
Indigenous Amerindian genetics
Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas primarily focus on Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups and Human mitochondrial DNA haplogroups. Autosomal "atDNA" markers are also used, but differ from mtDNA or Y-DNA in that they overlap significantly...

 evidence, North and South America were the last continents in the world with human habitation
Early human migrations
Early human migrations began when Homo erectus first migrated out of Africa over the Levantine corridor and Horn of Africa to Eurasia about 1.8 million years ago, a migration probably sparked by the development of language Early human migrations began when Homo erectus first migrated out of Africa...

. During the Wisconsin glaciation
Wisconsin glaciation
The last glacial period was the most recent glacial period within the current ice age occurring during the last years of the Pleistocene, from approximately 110,000 to 10,000 years ago....

, 50,00017,000 years ago, falling sea levels allowed people to move across the Bering land bridge (Beringia) that joined Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 to north west North America (Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

). At that point, they were blocked by the Laurentide ice sheet
Laurentide ice sheet
The Laurentide Ice Sheet was a massive sheet of ice that covered hundreds of thousands of square miles, including most of Canada and a large portion of the northern United States, multiple times during Quaternary glacial epochs. It last covered most of northern North America between c. 95,000 and...

 that covered most of Canada, which confined them to Alaska for thousands of years.

Around 16,000 years ago, the glaciers began melting
Last Glacial Maximum
The Last Glacial Maximum refers to a period in the Earth's climate history when ice sheets were at their maximum extension, between 26,500 and 19,000–20,000 years ago, marking the peak of the last glacial period. During this time, vast ice sheets covered much of North America, northern Europe and...

, allowing people to move south and east into Canada. The exact dates and routes of the peopling of the Americas are the subject of an ongoing debate. The Queen Charlotte Islands
Queen Charlotte Islands
Haida Gwaii , formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, is an archipelago on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Haida Gwaii consists of two main islands: Graham Island in the north, and Moresby Island in the south, along with approximately 150 smaller islands with a total landmass of...

, Old Crow Flats
Old Crow Flats
Old Crow Flats is a wetland complex in northern Yukon, Canada. It is north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Beaufort Sea, and is nearly surrounded by mountains. The site is protected by the Yukon Wildlife Ordinance and Migratory Birds Convention Act...

, and Bluefish Caves
Bluefish Caves
Bluefish Caves is an archaeological site in the Yukon Territory of Canada from which a specimen of allegedly human-worked mammoth bone has been radiocarbon dated to 28,000 years before present ....

 are some of the earliest archaeological sites of Paleo-Indians in Canada. Ice Age hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

s left lithic flake
Lithic flake
In archaeology, a lithic flake is a "portion of rock removed from an objective piece by percussion or pressure," and may also be referred to as a chip or spall, or collectively as debitage. The objective piece, or the rock being reduced by the removal of flakes, is known as a core. Once the proper...

 fluted stone tools and the remains of large butchered mammals.

The North American climate stabilized around 8000  before the Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

 (BCE), 10,000 years ago. Climatic conditions were similar to modern patterns; however, the receding glacial ice sheets
Last Glacial Maximum
The Last Glacial Maximum refers to a period in the Earth's climate history when ice sheets were at their maximum extension, between 26,500 and 19,000–20,000 years ago, marking the peak of the last glacial period. During this time, vast ice sheets covered much of North America, northern Europe and...

 still covered large portions of the land, creating lakes of meltwater. Most population groups during the Archaic periods were still highly mobile hunter-gatherers. However, individual groups started to focus on resources available to them locally; thus with the passage of time there is a pattern of increasing regional generalization (i.e.: Paleo-Arctic
Paleo-Arctic Tradition
The Paleo-Arctic Tradition is the name given by archaeologists to the cultural tradition of the earliest well-documented human occupants of the North American Arctic, which date from the period 8000–5000 BC...

, Plano
Plano cultures
The Plano cultures is a name given by archaeologists to a group of disparate hunter-gatherer communities that occupied the Great Plains area of North America during the Paleo-Indian period in the United States and the Paleo-Indian or Archaic period in Canada....

 and Maritime Archaic
Maritime Archaic
The Maritime Archaic is a North American cultural complex of the Late Archaic along the coast of Newfoundland, the Canadian Martimes and northern New England. The Maritime Archaic began in approximately 7000 BC and lasted into the 18th century. The culture consisted of sea-mammal hunters in the...

 traditions).

Post-Archaic periods



The Woodland cultural period
Woodland period
The Woodland period of North American pre-Columbian cultures was from roughly 1000 BCE to 1000 CE in the eastern part of North America. The term "Woodland Period" was introduced in the 1930s as a generic header for prehistoric sites falling between the Archaic hunter-gatherers and the...

 dates from about 2,000 BCE to 1,000 Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

 (CE) and includes the Ontario, Quebec, and Maritime regions
Maritimes
The Maritime provinces, also called the Maritimes or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. On the Atlantic coast, the Maritimes are a subregion of Atlantic Canada, which also includes the...

. The introduction of pottery distinguishes the Woodland culture from the previous Archaic-stage inhabitants. The Laurentian-related people
St. Lawrence Iroquoians
The St. Lawrence Iroquoians were a prehistoric First Nations/Native American indigenous people who lived from the 14th century until about 1580 CE along the shores of the St. Lawrence River in present-day Quebec and Ontario, Canada, and New York State, United States. They spoke Laurentian...

 of Ontario manufactured the oldest pottery excavated to date in Canada.

The Hopewell tradition is an Aboriginal culture that flourished along American rivers from 300 BCE to 500 CE. At its greatest extent, the Hopewell Exchange System connected cultures and societies to the peoples on the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded on the north and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, and on the south by the American state of New York. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, was named for the lake. In the Wyandot language, ontarío means...

. Canadian expression of the Hopewellian peoples encompasses the Point Peninsula
Point Peninsula Complex
The Point Peninsula Complex was an indigenous culture located in Ontario and New York from 300 BCE to 700 CE . The people are thought to have been influenced by the Hopewell traditions of the Ohio River valley...

, Saugeen
Saugeen Complex
The Saugeen Complex was a Native American culture located around the southeast shores of Lake Huron and the Bruce Peninsula, around the London area, and possibly as far east as the Grand River...

, and Laurel complexes
Laurel Complex
The Laurel Complex was a Native American culture in southern Quebec, southern and northwestern Ontario and east-central Manitoba in Canada and northern Michigan, northwestern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota in the United States. They were the first pottery using people of Ontario north of the...

.

The eastern woodland areas
Eastern Woodlands tribes
The Eastern Woodlands was a cultural area of the indigenous people of North America. The Eastern Woodlands extended roughly from the Atlantic Ocean to the eastern Great Plains, and from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico, which is now the eastern United States and Canada...

 of what became Canada were home to the Algonquian
Algonquian languages
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...

 and Iroquoian
Iroquoian languages
The Iroquoian languages are a First Nation and Native American language family.-Family division:*Ruttenber, Edward Manning. 1992 [1872]. History of the Indian tribes of Hudson's River. Hope Farm Press....

 peoples. The Algonquian language is believed to have originated in the western plateau of Idaho or the plains of Montana and moved eastward, eventually extending all the way from Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

 to what is today Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

 in the east and as far south as the Tidewater region of Virginia
Tidewater region of Virginia
The Tidewater region of Virginia is the eastern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia formally known as Hampton Roads. The term tidewater may be correctly applied to all portions of any area, including Virginia, where the water level is affected by the tides...

.

Speakers of eastern Algonquian languages
Eastern Algonquian languages
The Eastern Algonquian languages constitute a subgroup of the Algonquian languages. Prior to European contact, Eastern Algonquian consisted of at least seventeen languages collectively occupying the Atlantic coast of North America and adjacent inland areas, from the Canadian Maritime provinces to...

 included the Mi'kmaq and Abenaki of the Maritime
Maritimes
The Maritime provinces, also called the Maritimes or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. On the Atlantic coast, the Maritimes are a subregion of Atlantic Canada, which also includes the...

 region of Canada, and likely the extinct Beothuk
Beothuk
The Beothuk were one of the aboriginal peoples in Canada. They lived on the island of Newfoundland at the time of European contact in the 15th and 16th centuries...

 of Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

. The Ojibwa
Ojibwa
The Ojibwe or Chippewa are among the largest groups of Native Americans–First Nations north of Mexico. They are divided between Canada and the United States. In Canada, they are the third-largest population among First Nations, surpassed only by Cree and Inuit...

 and other Anishinaabe speakers
Ojibwe language
Ojibwe , also called Anishinaabemowin, is an indigenous language of the Algonquian language family. Ojibwe is characterized by a series of dialects that have local names and frequently local writing systems...

 of the central Algonquian languages
Central Algonquian languages
The Central Algonquian languages are commonly grouped together as a subgroup of the larger Algonquian family, itself a member of the Algic family. Though this grouping is often encountered in the literature, it is an areal grouping rather than a genetic one...

 retain an oral tradition of having moved to their lands around the western and central Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 from the sea, likely the east coast. According to oral tradition the Ojibwa formed the Council of Three Fires
Council of Three Fires
The Council of Three Fires, also known as the People of the Three Fires, the Three Fires Confederacy, the United Nations of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indians, or Niswi-mishkodewin in the Anishinaabe language, is a long-standing Anishinaabe alliance of the Ojibwe , Ottawa , and Potawatomi...

 in 796 CE with the Odawa
Odawa people
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

 and the Potawatomi
Potawatomi
The Potawatomi are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi River region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. In the Potawatomi language, they generally call themselves Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and that was applied...

.

The Iroquois
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

 (Haudenosaunee) were centered from at least 1000 CE in northern New York, but their influence extended into what is now southern Ontario and the Montreal area of modern Quebec. The Iroquois Confederacy, according to oral tradition, was formed in 1142 CE. On the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

 the Cree
Cree
The Cree are one of the largest groups of First Nations / Native Americans in North America, with 200,000 members living in Canada. In Canada, the major proportion of Cree live north and west of Lake Superior, in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories, although...

 or Nēhilawē (who spoke a closely related Central Algonquian language
Central Algonquian languages
The Central Algonquian languages are commonly grouped together as a subgroup of the larger Algonquian family, itself a member of the Algic family. Though this grouping is often encountered in the literature, it is an areal grouping rather than a genetic one...

, the plains Cree language
Plains Cree language
Plains Cree is a dialect of the Algonquian language, Cree, which is the most common Canadian indigenous language. Plains Cree is sometimes considered a dialect of the Cree-Montagnais language, or sometimes a dialect of the Cree language, distinct from the Montagnais language...

) depended on the vast herds of bison to supply food and many of their other needs. To the north west were the peoples of the Na-Dene languages
Na-Dené languages
Na-Dene is a Native American language family which includes at least the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit languages. An inclusion of Haida is controversial....

, which include the Athapaskan-speaking peoples and the Tlingit, who lived on the islands of southern Alaska and northern British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

. The Na-Dene language group is believed to be linked to the Yeniseian languages
Yeniseian languages
The Yeniseian language family is spoken in central Siberia.-Family division:0. Proto-Yeniseian...

 of Siberia. The Dene
Dene
The Dene are an aboriginal group of First Nations who live in the northern boreal and Arctic regions of Canada. The Dené speak Northern Athabaskan languages. Dene is the common Athabaskan word for "people" . The term "Dene" has two usages...

 of the western Arctic may represent a distinct wave of migration from Asia to North America.

The Interior of British Columbia
British Columbia Interior
The British Columbia Interior or BC Interior or Interior of British Columbia, usually referred to only as the Interior, is one of the three main regions of the Canadian province of British Columbia, the other two being the Lower Mainland, which comprises the overlapping areas of Greater Vancouver...

 was home to the Salishan language
Salishan languages
The Salishan languages are a group of languages of the Pacific Northwest...

 groups such as the Shuswap (Secwepemc)
Secwepemc
The Secwepemc , known in English as the Shuswap people, are a First Nations people residing in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Their traditional territory ranges from the eastern Chilcotin Plateau and the Cariboo Plateau southeast through the Thompson Country to Kamloops and the Shuswap...

 and Okanagan
Okanagan people
The Okanagan people, also spelled Okanogan, are a First Nations and Native American people whose traditional territory spans the U.S.-Canada boundary in Washington state and British Columbia...

 and southern Athabaskan language groups, primarily the Dakelh
Dakelh
The Dakelh or Carrier are the indigenous people of a large portion of the Central Interior of British Columbia, Canada.Most Carrier call themselves Dakelh, meaning "people who go around by boat"...

 (Carrier) and the Tsilhqot'in. The inlets and valleys of the British Columbia Coast
British Columbia Coast
The British Columbia Coast or BC Coast is Canada's western continental coastline on the Pacific Ocean. The usage is synonymous with the term West Coast of Canada....

 sheltered large, distinctive populations, such as the Haida, Kwakwaka'wakw
Kwakwaka'wakw
The Kwakwaka'wakw are an Indigenous group of First Nations peoples, numbering about 5,500, who live in British Columbia on northern Vancouver Island and the adjoining mainland and islands.Kwakwaka'wakw translates as "Those who speak Kwak'wala", describing the collective nations within the area that...

 and Nuu-chah-nulth, sustained by the region's abundant salmon and shellfish. These peoples developed complex cultures
Complex society
In anthropology and archaeology, a complex society is a social formation that is otherwise described as a formative or developed state. The main criteria of complexity are:...

 dependent on the western red cedar that included wooden houses, seagoing whaling and war canoes and elaborately carved potlatch
Potlatch
A potlatch is a gift-giving festival and primary economic system practiced by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and United States. This includes Heiltsuk Nation, Haida, Nuxalk, Tlingit, Makah, Tsimshian, Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka'wakw, and Coast Salish cultures...

 items and totem poles. Defensive Salish trenchwork defences from the 16th century suggest a need for the southern Salish to take measures to protect themselves against their northern neighbours, who were known to mount raids into the Strait of Georgia
Strait of Georgia
The Strait of Georgia or the Georgia Strait is a strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is approximately long and varies in width from...

 and Puget Sound
Puget Sound
Puget Sound is a sound in the U.S. state of Washington. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean — Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and...

 in historic times.

In the Arctic archipelago
Canadian Arctic Archipelago
The Canadian Arctic Archipelago, also known as the Arctic Archipelago, is a Canadian archipelago north of the Canadian mainland in the Arctic...

, the distinctive Paleo-Eskimo
Paleo-Eskimo
The Paleo-Eskimo were the peoples who inhabited the Arctic region from Chukotka in present-day Russia across North America to Greenland prior to the rise of the modern Inuit and/or Eskimo and related cultures...

s known as Dorset peoples
Dorset culture
The Dorset culture was a Paleo-Eskimo culture that preceded the Inuit culture in Arctic North America. It has been defined as having four phases, with distinct technology related to the people's hunting and tool making...

, whose culture has been traced back to around 500 CE, were replaced by the ancestors of today's Inuit
Inuit
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

 by 1500 CE. This transition is supported by archaeological records and Inuit mythology
Inuit mythology
Inuit mythology has many similarities to the religions of other polar regions. Inuit traditional religious practices could be very briefly summarised as a form of shamanism based on animist principles....

 that tells of having driven off the Tuniit or 'first inhabitants'. Inuit traditional laws are anthropologically different from Western law
Western law
Western law refers to the legal traditions of Western culture. Western culture has an idea of the importance of law which has its roots in both Roman law and the Bible...

. Customary law
Custom (law)
Custom in law is the established pattern of behavior that can be objectively verified within a particular social setting. A claim can be carried out in defense of "what has always been done and accepted by law." Customary law exists where:...

was non-existent in Inuit society before the introduction of the Canadian legal system
Law of Canada
The Canadian legal system has its foundation in the British common law system, inherited from being a former colony of the United Kingdom and later a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Quebec, however, still retains a civil system for issues of private law...

.

European contact


There are reports of contact made before the 1492 voyages of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 and the age of discovery
Age of Discovery
The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration and the Great Navigations , was a period in history starting in the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century during which Europeans engaged in intensive exploration of the world, establishing direct contacts with...

 between First Nations
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

, Inuit and those from other continents.
The earliest known documented European exploration of Canada is described in the Icelandic Sagas, which recount the attempted Norse colonization of the Americas
Norse colonization of the Americas
The Norse colonization of the Americas began as early as the 10th century, when Norse sailors explored and settled areas of the North Atlantic, including the northeastern fringes of North America....

. According to the Sagas, the first European to see Canada was Bjarni Herjólfsson
Bjarni Herjólfsson
Bjarni Herjólfsson was a Norwegian explorer who is the first known European discoverer of the mainland of the Americas, which he sighted in 985 or 986.-Life:...

, who was blown off course en route from Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 to Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 in the summer of 985 or 986 CE. Around the year 1001 CE, the Sagas then refer to Leif Ericson
Leif Ericson
Leif Ericson was a Norse explorer who is regarded as the first European to land in North America , nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus...

 landing in three places to the west, the first two being Helluland
Helluland
Helluland is the name given to one of the three lands discovered by Leif Eriksson around 1000 AD on the North Atlantic coast of North America....

 (possibly Baffin Island
Baffin Island
Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut is the largest island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world. Its area is and its population is about 11,000...

) and Markland
Markland
Markland is the name given to a part of shoreline in Labrador, Canada, named by Leif Eriksson when he landed in North America. The word Markland is from the Old Norse language for "forestland" or "borderland". It is described as being north of Vinland and south of Helluland...

 (possibly Labrador
Labrador
Labrador is the distinct, northerly region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It comprises the mainland portion of the province, separated from the island of Newfoundland by the Strait of Belle Isle...

). Leif's third landing was at a place he called Vinland
Vinland
Vinland was the name given to an area of North America by the Norsemen, about the year 1000 CE.There is a consensus among scholars that the Vikings reached North America approximately five centuries prior to the voyages of Christopher Columbus...

 (possibly Newfoundland). Norsemen (often referred to as Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

s) attempted to colonize the new land; they were driven out by the local climate and harassment by the Indigenous populace. Archaeological evidence of a short-lived Norse settlement was found in L'Anse aux Meadows
L'Anse aux Meadows
L'Anse aux Meadows is an archaeological site on the northernmost tip of the island of Newfoundland in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Discovered in 1960, it is the only known site of a Norse or Viking village in Canada, and in North America outside of Greenland...

, Newfoundland.

Based on the Treaty of Tordesillas
Treaty of Tordesillas
The Treaty of Tordesillas , signed at Tordesillas , , divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Spain and Portugal along a meridian 370 leagueswest of the Cape Verde islands...

, the Portuguese Crown claimed it had territorial rights in the area visited by John Cabot
John Cabot
John Cabot was an Italian navigator and explorer whose 1497 discovery of parts of North America is commonly held to have been the first European encounter with the continent of North America since the Norse Vikings in the eleventh century...

 in 1497 and 1498 CE. To that end, in 1499 and 1500, the Portuguese mariner João Fernandes Lavrador
João Fernandes Lavrador
João Fernandes Lavrador was a Portuguese explorer of the late 15th century. He was the first modern explorer in the coasts of the Northeast of Northern America, including the Labrador peninsula, which bears his name.-Expeditions:Fernandes was granted a patent by King Manuel I in 1498 given him...

 visited the north Atlantic coast, which accounts for the appearance of "Labrador" on topographical maps of the period. Subsequently, in 1501 and 1502 the Corte-Real
Corte-Real
Corte-Real, sometimes Corte Real, is a surname of Portuguese origin, which means literally "Royal Court". It may refer to:*João Vaz Corte-Real , Portuguese explorer*Miguel Corte-Real , Portuguese explorer...

 brothers explored Newfoundland and Labrador, claiming them as part of the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

. In 1506, King Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 created taxes for the cod fisheries in Newfoundland waters. João Álvares Fagundes
João Álvares Fagundes
João Álvares Fagundes , an explorer and ship owner from Viana do Castelo in Northern Portugal, organized several expeditions to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia around 1520-1521....

 and Pêro de Barcelos
Pêro de Barcelos
Pêro de Barcelos , sometimes Pedro de Barcelos, was a Portuguese explorer of North America, whom, together with João Fernandes Lavrador, was the first to sight the Coast of Labrador in 1499....

 established fishing outposts in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia around 1521 CE; however, these were later abandoned, with the Portuguese colonizers
Portuguese colonization of the Americas
Portugal was the leading country in the European exploration of the world in the 15th century. The Treaty of Tordesillas divided the Earth, outside Europe, in 1494 into Spanish and Portuguese global territorial hemispheres for exclusive conquest and colonization...

 focusing their efforts on South America. The extent and nature of Portuguese activity on the Canadian mainland during the 16th century remains unclear and controversial.

New France and colonization 1534–1763



French interest in the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 began with Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

, who in 1524 sponsored Giovanni da Verrazzano to navigate the region between Florida and Newfoundland in hopes of finding a route to the Pacific Ocean. In 1534, Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier was a French explorer of Breton origin who claimed what is now Canada for France. He was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, which he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big...

 planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula
Gaspé Peninsula
The Gaspésie , or Gaspé Peninsula or the Gaspé, is a peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, extending into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 and claimed the land in the name of Francis I. Initial French attempts at settling the region
French colonization of the Americas
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century, and continued in the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America...

 met with failure. French fishing fleets continued to sail to the Atlantic coast and into the Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
The Saint Lawrence is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage conveyor of the Great Lakes Basin...

, trading and making alliances with First Nations. In 1600, a trading post was established at Tadoussac
Tadoussac, Quebec
Tadoussac is a village in Quebec, Canada, at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Saguenay rivers. It was France's first trading post on the mainland of New France and an important trading post in the seventeenth century, making it the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in...

 by François Gravé Du Pont
François Gravé Du Pont
François Gravé , said Du Pont , was a French navigator , an early fur trader and explorer in the New World.Gravé Du Pont is known to have traded furs in the New France, since maybe 1580, surely before 1599, reaching Trois-Rivières in...

, a merchant, and Pierre de Chauvin de Tonnetuit‎, a captain of the French Royal Navy. However, only five of the sixteen settlers (all male) survived the first winter and returned to France.

In 1604, a North American fur trade
North American Fur Trade
The North American fur trade was the industry and activities related to the acquisition, exchange, and sale of animal furs in the North American continent. Indigenous peoples of different regions traded among themselves in the Pre-Columbian Era, but Europeans participated in the trade beginning...

 monopoly was granted to Pierre Dugua Sieur de Monts. Dugua led his first colonization expedition to an island located near to the mouth of the St. Croix River. Among his lieutenants was a geographer named Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain , "The Father of New France", was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608....

, who promptly carried out a major exploration of the northeastern coastline of what is now the United States. In the spring of 1605, under Samuel de Champlain, the new St. Croix settlement was moved to Port Royal
Port Royal, Nova Scotia
Port Royal was the capital of Acadia from 1605 to 1710 and is now a town called Annapolis Royal in the western part of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Initially Port Royal was located on the north shore of the Annapolis Basin, Nova Scotia, at the site of the present reconstruction of the...

 (today's Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
Annapolis Royal is a town located in the western part of Annapolis County, Nova Scotia. Known as Port Royal until the Conquest of Acadia in 1710 by Britain, the town is the oldest continuous European settlement in North America, north of St...

) then abandoned in 1607.

Champlain then founded what is now Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

 in 1608. It would become the first permanent settlement and the capital of New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

. Champlain took personal administration over the city and its affairs and sent out expeditions to explore the interior land. Champlain himself discovered Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States but partially situated across the Canada—United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of...

 in 1609. By 1615, he had travelled by canoe up the Ottawa River
Ottawa River
The Ottawa River is a river in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. For most of its length, it now defines the border between these two provinces.-Geography:...

 through Lake Nipissing
Lake Nipissing
Lake Nipissing is a lake in the Canadian province of Ontario. It has a surface area of , a mean elevation of above sea level, and is located between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay. Excluding the Great Lakes, Lake Nipissing is the fifth-largest lake in Ontario. It is relatively shallow for a...

 and Georgian Bay
Georgian Bay
Georgian Bay is a large bay of Lake Huron, located entirely within Ontario, Canada...

 to the center of Huron country near Lake Simcoe
Lake Simcoe
Lake Simcoe is a lake in Southern Ontario, Canada, the fourth-largest lake wholly in the province, after Lake Nipigon, Lac Seul, and Lake Nipissing. At the time of the first European contact in the 17th century the lake was called Ouentironk by the Huron natives...

. During these voyages, Champlain aided the Wendat (aka 'Hurons') in their battles against the Iroquois Confederacy. As a result, the Iroquois would become enemies of the French and be involved in multiple conflicts (known as the French and Iroquois Wars
Beaver Wars
The Beaver Wars, also sometimes called the Iroquois Wars or the French and Iroquois Wars, commonly refers to a series of conflicts fought in the mid-17th century in eastern North America...

) until the signing of the Great Peace of Montreal
Great Peace of Montreal
The Great Peace of Montreal was a peace treaty between New France and 40 First Nations of North America. It was signed on August 4, 1701, by Louis-Hector de Callière, governor of New France, and 1300 representatives of 40 aboriginal nations of the North East of North America...

 in 1701.

The English lead by Sir Humphrey Gilbert
Humphrey Gilbert
Sir Humphrey Gilbert of Devon in England was a half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. Adventurer, explorer, member of parliament, and soldier, he served during the reign of Queen Elizabeth and was a pioneer of English colonization in North America and the Plantations of Ireland.-Early life:Gilbert...

 had claimed St. John's, Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John's is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is the oldest English-founded city in North America. It is located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland. With a population of 192,326 as of July 1, 2010, the St...

 in 1583 as the first North American English colony by royal prerogative of Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

. The English would established additional colonies in Cupids
Cupids, Newfoundland and Labrador
Cupids is a town of 790 on Conception Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It has also been known as Coopers, Copers Cove, Cupers Cove, and Cuperts. It is the oldest continuously settled official British colony in Canada and possibly the oldest in North America...

 and Ferryland
Ferryland, Newfoundland and Labrador
Ferryland is a town in Newfoundland and Labrador on the Avalon Peninsula. According to the 2006 Statistics Canada census, its population is 529. Addresses in Ferryland use the alphanumerically lowest postal codes in Canada, starting with A0A....

, Newfoundland beginning in 1610 and soon after founded the Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 to the south. On the September 29, 1621, a charter for the foundation of a New World Scottish colony
Scottish colonization of the Americas
Scottish colonization of the Americas consisted of a number of failed or abandoned Scottish settlements in North America, a colony at Darien, Panama, and a number of wholly or largely Scottish settlements made after the Acts of Union 1707, and those made by the enforced resettlement after the...

 was granted by James VI of Scotland
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 to Sir William Alexander
William Alexander, 1st Earl of Stirling
William Alexander, Earl of Stirling was a Scotsman who was an early developer of Scottish colonisation of Port Royal, Nova Scotia and Long Island, New York...

. In 1622, the first settlers left Scotland. They initially failed and permanent Nova Scotian settlements were not firmly established until 1629 during the end of the Anglo-French War. These colonies did not last long: in 1631, under Charles I of England
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, the Treaty of Suza
Treaty of Suza
The Treaty of Susa refers to two separate peace treaties signed in 1629 at Susa in the Duchy of Savoy , recently occupied by France during the Thirty Years' War....

 was signed, ending the war and returning Nova Scotia to the French. New France was not fully restored to French rule until the 1632 Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1632)
The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was signed on March 29, 1632. It returned New France to French control after the English had seized it in 1629. It also provided France with compensation for goods seized during the capture of New France....

. This led to new French immigrants and the founding of Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières means three rivers in French and may refer to:in Canada*Trois-Rivières, the largest city in the Mauricie region of Quebec, Canada*Circuit Trois-Rivières, a racetrack in Trois-Rivières, Quebec...

 in 1634, the second permanent settlement in New France.

After Champlain’s death in 1635, the Catholic Church and the Jesuit establishment
Jesuit missions in North America
Jesuit missions in North America started during the 17th century and faltered at the beginning of the 18th. The missions were established as part of the colonial drive of France and Spain during the period, the "conquest of the souls" being an integral part of the constitution of Nouvelle-France...

 became the most dominant force in New France and intended to establish a utopia
Utopia
Utopia is an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system. The word was imported from Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt...

n European and Aboriginal Christian community. In 1642, the Jesuit (Society of Jesus)
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 sponsored a group of settlers, led by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve
Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve
Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve was a French military officer and the founder of Montreal.- Early career :...

, who founded Ville-Marie, precursor to present-day Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

. The 1666 census of New France
1666 census of New France
The 1666 census of New France was the first census conducted in Canada . It was organized by Jean Talon, the first Intendant of New France, between 1665 and 1666....

 was conducted by France's intendant
Intendant of New France
New France was governed by three rulers: the governor, the bishop and the intendant, all appointed by the King, and sent from France. The intendant was responsible for finance, economic development, and the administration of justice . He also presided over the Sovereign Council of New France...

, Jean Talon
Jean Talon
Jean Talon, Comte d'Orsainville was a French colonial administrator who was the first and most highly regarded Intendant of New France under King Louis XIV...

, in the winter of 1665–1666. The census showed a population count of 3,215 Acadians and habitants
Habitants
Habitants is the name used to refer to both the French settlers and the inhabitants of French origin who farmed the land along the two shores of the St. Lawrence Gulf and River in what is the present-day Province of Quebec in Canada...

in the administrative districts of Acadia
Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

 and Canada (New France). The census also revealed a great difference in the number of men at 2,034 versus 1,181 women.

Wars during the colonial era


While the French settlers were established in modern Quebec and Nova Scotia, new arrivals stopped coming from France. By 1680 the French population was around 11,000 and they were outnumbered by at over 10-1 by the Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 British colonies to the South. From 1670, through the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

, the English also laid claim to Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

, and its drainage basin (known as Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

), and operated fishing settlements in Newfoundland. La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de LaSalle was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico...

's explorations gave France a claim to the Mississippi River Valley, where fur trappers and a few settlers set up scattered settlements. French expansion challenged the Hudson's Bay Company claims, and in 1686 Pierre Troyes
Pierre de Troyes, Chevalier de Troyes
Pierre de Troyes, Chevalier de Troyes , a captain in the French army arrived at Quebec in August 1685 with reinforcements for the colony...

 led an overland expedition from Montreal to the shore of the bay, where they managed to capture some areas.

There were four French and Indian Wars
French and Indian Wars
The French and Indian Wars is a name used in the United States for a series of conflicts lasting 74 years in North America that represented colonial events related to the European dynastic wars...

 between the Thirteen American Colonies and New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 from 1689 to 1763. During King William's War
King William's War
The first of the French and Indian Wars, King William's War was the name used in the English colonies in America to refer to the North American theater of the Nine Years' War...

 (1689 to 1697) military conflicts in Acadia included: Battle of Port Royal (1690)
Battle of Port Royal (1690)
The Battle of Port Royal occurred at Port Royal, the capital of French Acadia, during King William's War , the first of the four French and Indian Wars. A large force of New England provincial militia arrived before Port Royal, which was surrendered without resistance not long after...

; a naval battle in the Bay of Fundy (Action of July 14, 1696); and the Raid on Chignecto (1696)
Raid on Chignecto (1696)
The Raid on Chignecto occurred during King Williams War when New England forces from Boston attacked the Isthmus of Chignecto, Acadia in present-day Nova Scotia. The raid was in retaliation for the French and Indian Siege of Pemaquid at present day Bristol, Maine. In the English Province of...

 . The Treaty of Ryswick
Treaty of Ryswick
The Treaty of Ryswick or Ryswyck was signed on 20 September 1697 and named after Ryswick in the Dutch Republic. The treaty settled the Nine Years' War, which pitted France against the Grand Alliance of England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the United Provinces.Negotiations started in May...

 in 1697 ended the war between the two colonial powers of England and France for a brief time. During Queen Anne's War
Queen Anne's War
Queen Anne's War , as the North American theater of the War of the Spanish Succession was known in the British colonies, was the second in a series of French and Indian Wars fought between France and England, later Great Britain, in North America for control of the continent. The War of the...

 (1702 to 1713), the British Conquest of Acadia
Siege of Port Royal (1710)
The Siege of Port Royal , also known as the Conquest of Acadia, was conducted by British regular and provincial forces under the command of Francis Nicholson against a French Acadian garrison under the command of Daniel d'Auger de Subercase, at the Acadian capital, Port Royal...

 occurred in 1710. Resulting in Nova Scotia, other than Cape Breton, being officially ceded to the British by the Treaty of Utrecht including Rupert's Land, that had been conquered by France in the late 17th century (Battle of Hudson's Bay
Battle of Hudson's Bay
The Battle of Hudson's Bay, also known as the Battle of York Factory, was a naval battle fought during the War of the Grand Alliance . The battle took place on 5 September 1697, when a French warship commanded by Captain Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville defeated an English squadron commanded by Captain...

). As an immediate result of this setback, France founded the powerful Fortress of Louisbourg
Fortress of Louisbourg
The Fortress of Louisbourg is a national historic site and the location of a one-quarter partial reconstruction of an 18th century French fortress at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia...

 on Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island is an island on the Atlantic coast of North America. It likely corresponds to the word Breton, the French demonym for Brittany....

. Louisbourg was intended to serve as a year-round military and naval base for France's remaining North American empire and to protect the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River. During King George's War
King George's War
King George's War is the name given to the operations in North America that formed part of the War of the Austrian Succession . It was the third of the four French and Indian Wars. It took place primarily in the British provinces of New York, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, and Nova Scotia...

 (1744 to 1748), an army of New Englanders led by William Pepperrell
William Pepperrell
Sir William Pepperrell, 1st Baronet was a merchant and soldier in Colonial Massachusetts. He is widely remembered for organizing, financing, and leading the 1745 expedition that captured the French garrison at Fortress Louisbourg during King George's War...

 mounted an expedition of 90 vessels and 4,000 men against Louisbourg in 1745. Within three months the fortress surrendered. The return of Louisbourg to French control by the peace treaty prompted the British to found Halifax
City of Halifax
Halifax is a city in Canada, which was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County. It was the largest city in Atlantic Canada until it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996...

 in 1749 under Edward Cornwallis
Edward Cornwallis
Lieutenant General Edward Cornwallis was a British military officer who founded Halifax, Nova Scotia with 2500 settlers and later served as the Governor of Gibraltar.-Early life:...

. Despite the official cessation of war between the British and French empires with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748 ended the War of the Austrian Succession following a congress assembled at the Imperial Free City of Aachen—Aix-la-Chapelle in French—in the west of the Holy Roman Empire, on 24 April 1748...

; the conflict in Acadia and Nova Scotia continued on as the Father Le Loutre's War
Father Le Loutre's War
Father Le Loutre’s War , also known as the Indian War, the Micmac War and the Anglo-Micmac War, took place between King George's War and the French and Indian War in Acadia and Nova Scotia. On one side of the conflict, the British and New England colonists were led by British Officer Charles...

.
The British ordered the Acadians expelled from their lands in 1755 during the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

, an event called the Expulsion of the Acadians or le Grand Dérangement. The "expulsion" resulted in approximately 12,000 Acadians being shipped to destinations throughout Britain's North American and to France, Quebec and the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue
Saint-Domingue
The labour for these plantations was provided by an estimated 790,000 African slaves . Between 1764 and 1771, the average annual importation of slaves varied between 10,000-15,000; by 1786 it was about 28,000, and from 1787 onward, the colony received more than 40,000 slaves a year...

. The first wave of the expulsion of the Acadians began with the Bay of Fundy Campaign (1755)
Bay of Fundy Campaign (1755)
The Bay of Fundy Campaign occurred during the French and Indian War when the British ordered the Expulsion of the Acadians from Acadia after the Battle of Beausejour . The Campaign started at Chignecto and then quickly moved to Grand Pré, Rivière-aux-Canards, Pisiguit, Cobequid, and finally Port...

 and the second wave began after the final Siege of Louisbourg (1758)
Siege of Louisbourg (1758)
The Siege of Louisbourg was a pivotal battle of the Seven Years' War in 1758 which ended the French colonial era in Atlantic Canada and led directly to the loss of Quebec in 1759 and the remainder of French North America the following year.-Background:The British government realized that with the...

. Many of the Acadians settled in southern Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, creating the Cajun
Cajun
Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

 culture there. Some Acadians managed to hide and others eventually returned to Nova Scotia, but they were far outnumbered by a new migration of New England Planters
New England Planters
The New England Planters were settlers from the New England colonies who responded to invitations by the lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, Charles Lawrence, to settle lands left vacant by the Bay of Fundy Campaign of the Acadian Expulsion...

 who were settled on the former lands of the Acadians and transformed Nova Scotia from a colony of occupation for the British to a settled colony with stronger ties to New England. Britain eventually gained control of Quebec City and Montreal after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham
Battle of the Plains of Abraham
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the Seven Years' War...

 and Battle of Fort Niagara
Battle of Fort Niagara
The Battle of Fort Niagara was a siege late in the French and Indian War, the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War. The British siege of Fort Niagara in July 1759 was part of a campaign to remove French control of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions, making possible a western invasion...

 in 1759, and the Battle of the Thousand Islands
Battle of the Thousand Islands
The Battle of the Thousand Islands was fought 16–24 August 1760, in the upper St. Lawrence River, amongst the Thousand Islands, along the present day Canada–United States border, by British and French forces during the closing phases of the Seven Years' War, as it is called in Canada and Europe, or...

 and Battle of Sainte-Foy
Battle of Sainte-Foy
The Battle of Sainte-Foy, sometimes called the Battle of Quebec, was fought on April 28, 1760 near the British-held town of Quebec in the French province of Canada during the Seven Years' War . It was a victory for the French under the Chevalier de Lévis over the British army under General Murray...

 in 1760.

Canada under British rule (1763–1867)


With the end of the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 and the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1763)
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

, France ceded almost all of its territory in mainland North America, except for fishing rights off Newfoundland and two small islands where it could dry that fish. In turn France received the return of its sugar colony, Guadeloupe, which it considered more valuable than Canada.

The new British rulers retained and protected most of the property, religious, political, and social culture of the French-speaking habitants
Habitants
Habitants is the name used to refer to both the French settlers and the inhabitants of French origin who farmed the land along the two shores of the St. Lawrence Gulf and River in what is the present-day Province of Quebec in Canada...

, guaranteeing the right of the Canadiens to practice the Catholic faith and to the use of French civil law
Law of France
In academic terms, French law can be divided into two main categories: private or judicial law and public law .Judicial law includes, in particular:*civil law ; and*criminal law ....

 (now Quebec law
Quebec law
Quebec law is unique in Canada because Quebec is the only province in Canada to have a bijuridical legal system under which civil matters are regulated by French-heritage civil law. Public law, criminal law and other federal law operate according to Canadian common law.- Historical Development...

) through the Quebec Act
Quebec Act
The Quebec Act of 1774 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain setting procedures of governance in the Province of Quebec...

 of 1774. The Royal Proclamation of 1763
Royal Proclamation of 1763
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 had been issued in October, by King George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

 following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory. The proclamation organized Great Britain's new North American empire
British colonization of the Americas
British colonization of the Americas began in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia and reached its peak when colonies had been established throughout the Americas...

 and to stabilize relations between the British Crown and Aboriginal peoples through regulation of trade, settlement, and land purchases on the western frontier
Frontier
A frontier is a political and geographical term referring to areas near or beyond a boundary. 'Frontier' was absorbed into English from French in the 15th century, with the meaning "borderland"--the region of a country that fronts on another country .The use of "frontier" to mean "a region at the...

.

American Revolution and Loyalists



During the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 there was some sympathy for the American cause
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

 among the Canadiens
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

and the New Englanders in Nova Scotia. Neither party joined the rebels, although several hundred individuals joined the revolutionary cause. An invasion of Canada
Invasion of Canada (1775)
The Invasion of Canada in 1775 was the first major military initiative by the newly formed Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. The objective of the campaign was to gain military control of the British Province of Quebec, and convince the French-speaking Canadiens to join the...

; by the Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

 in 1775, to take Quebec from British control was halted at the Battle of Quebec
Battle of Quebec (1775)
The Battle of Quebec was fought on December 31, 1775 between American Continental Army forces and the British defenders of the city of Quebec, early in the American Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major defeat of the war for the Americans, and it came at a high price...

, by Guy Carleton
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, KB , known between 1776 and 1786 as Sir Guy Carleton, was an Irish-British soldier and administrator...

, with the assistance of local militias. The defeat of the British army during the Siege of Yorktown
Siege of Yorktown
The Siege of Yorktown, Battle of Yorktown, or Surrender of Yorktown in 1781 was a decisive victory by a combined assault of American forces led by General George Washington and French forces led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis...

 in October 1781, signaled the end of Britain's struggle to suppress the American Revolution. When the British evacuated New York City
History of New York City
The history of New York, New York begins with the first European documentation of the area by Giovanni da Verrazzano, in command of the French ship, La Dauphine, when he visited the region in 1524. It is believed he sailed in Upper New York Bay where he encountered native Lenape, returned through...

 in 1783, they took many Loyalist refugees to Nova Scotia, while other Loyalists went to southwestern Quebec. So many Loyalists arrived on the shores of the St. John River that a separate colony—New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

—was created in 1784; followed in 1791 by the division of Quebec into the largely French-speaking Lower Canada
Lower Canada
The Province of Lower Canada was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

 along the Saint Lawrence River and Gaspé Peninsula and an anglophone Loyalist Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

, with its capital settled by 1796 in York
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, in present-day Toronto. After 1790 most of the new settlers were American farmers searching for new lands; although generally favorable to republicanism, they were relatively non-political and stayed neutral in the War of 1812.

The signing of the Treaty of Paris 1783, formally ended the war. Britain made several concessions to the Americans at the expense of the North American colonies. Notably, the borders between Canada and the United States were officially demarkated. All land south of the Great Lakes, which was formerly a part of the Province of Quebec
Province of Quebec (1763-1791)
The Province of Quebec was a colony in North America created by Great Britain after the Seven Years' War. Great Britain acquired Canada by the Treaty of Paris when King Louis XV of France and his advisors chose to keep the territory of Guadeloupe for its valuable sugar crops instead of New France...

 and included modern day Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, was ceded to the Americans. Fishing rights were also granted to the United States in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence
Gulf of Saint Lawrence
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence , the world's largest estuary, is the outlet of North America's Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean...

 and on the coast of Newfoundland and the Grand Banks
Grand Banks
The Grand Banks of Newfoundland are a group of underwater plateaus southeast of Newfoundland on the North American continental shelf. These areas are relatively shallow, ranging from in depth. The cold Labrador Current mixes with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream here.The mixing of these waters...

. The British ignored part of the treaty and maintained their military outposts in the Great Lakes areas it ceded to the U.S., and continued to supply the Indians there with munitions. The British evacuated the outposts with the Jay Treaty
Jay Treaty
Jay's Treaty, , also known as Jay's Treaty, The British Treaty, and the Treaty of London of 1794, was a treaty between the United States and Great Britain that is credited with averting war,, resolving issues remaining since the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which ended the American Revolution,, and...

 of 1795, but the continued supply of munitions irritated the Americans in the run-up to the war of 1812.

War of 1812




The War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 was fought between the United States and the British with the British North American colonies being heavily involved. Greatly outgunned by the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, the American war plans focused on an invasion of Canada (especially what is today eastern
Eastern Ontario
Eastern Ontario is a subregion of Southern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario which lies in a wedge-shaped area between the Ottawa River and St. Lawrence River...

 and western Ontario
Southwestern Ontario
Southwestern Ontario is a subregion of Southern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario, centred on the city of London. It extends north to south from the Bruce Peninsula on Lake Huron to the Lake Erie shoreline, and east to south-west roughly from Guelph to Windsor. The region had a population...

). The American frontier states voted for war to suppress the First Nations raids that frustrated settlement of the frontier. The war on the border with the U.S. was characterized by a series of multiple failed invasions and fiascos on both sides. American forces took control of Lake Erie
Lake Erie
Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. It is bounded on the north by the...

 in 1813, driving the British out of western Ontario, killing the Native American leader Tecumseh
Tecumseh
Tecumseh was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy which opposed the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812...

, and breaking the military power of his confederacy. The war was overseen by Isaac Brock
Isaac Brock
Major-General Sir Isaac Brock KB was a British Army officer and administrator. Brock was assigned to Canada in 1802. Despite facing desertions and near-mutinies, he commanded his regiment in Upper Canada successfully for many years...

, with the assistance of First Nations and loyalist informants like Laura Secord
Laura Secord
Laura Ingersoll Secord was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812. She is known for warning British forces of an impending American attack that led to the British victory at the Battle of Beaver Dams.-Early life:...

.

The War ended with the Treaty of Ghent
Treaty of Ghent
The Treaty of Ghent , signed on 24 December 1814, in Ghent , was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 of 1814, and the Rush–Bagot Treaty of 1817. A demographic result was the shifting of American migration from Upper Canada to Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 and Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

. After the war, supporters of Britain tried to repress the republicanism in Canada
Republicanism in Canada
Canadian republicanism is the appreciation amongst Canadians for the replacement of the Canadian system of constitutional monarchy with a republican form of government in the sense of the state headed by a president. These beliefs are expressed either individually generally in academic circles or...

, that was common among American immigrants to Canada
Immigration to Canada
Immigration to Canada is the process by which people migrate to Canada to reside permanently in the country. The majority of these individuals become Canadian citizens. After 1947, domestic immigration law and policy went through major changes, most notably with the Immigration Act, 1976, and the...

. The troubling memory of the war and the American invasions etched itself into the consciousness of Canadians as distrust of the intentions of the United States towards the British presence in North America.pp. 254–255

Rebellions and the Durham Report



The rebellions of 1837
Rebellions of 1837
The Rebellions of 1837 were a pair of Canadian armed uprisings that occurred in 1837 and 1838 in response to frustrations in political reform. A key shared goal was the allowance of responsible government, which was eventually achieved in the incident's aftermath.-Rebellions:The rebellions started...

 against the British colonial government
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 took place in both Upper and Lower Canada. In Upper Canada, a band of Reformers under the leadership of William Lyon Mackenzie
William Lyon Mackenzie
William Lyon Mackenzie was a Scottish born American and Canadian journalist, politician, and rebellion leader. He served as the first mayor of Toronto, Upper Canada and was an important leader during the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion.-Background and early years in Scotland, 1795–1820:Mackenzie was...

 took up arms in a disorganized and ultimately unsuccessful series of small-scale skirmishes around Toronto, London
London, Ontario
London is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, situated along the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. The city has a population of 352,395, and the metropolitan area has a population of 457,720, according to the 2006 Canadian census; the metro population in 2009 was estimated at 489,274. The city...

, and Hamilton
Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe...

.

In Lower Canada, a more substantial rebellion occurred against British rule. Both English- and French-Canadian rebels, sometimes using bases in the neutral United States, fought several skirmishes against the authorities. The towns of Chambly
Chambly, Quebec
Chambly is a city in southwestern Quebec, Canada, about to the south east of Montreal.- Geography :It sits on the Richelieu River in the Regional County Municipality of La-Vallée-du-Richelieu, at .-History:...

 and Sorel were taken by the rebels, and Quebec City was isolated from the rest of the colony. Montreal rebel leader Robert Nelson read the "Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada
Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada
The Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada was written in French by the patriot rebel Robert Nelson on February 22, 1838, while in exile in the United States, after the first rebellion of 1837....

" to a crowd assembled at the town of Napierville
Napierville, Quebec
Napierville is a municipality in the Jardins de Napierville Regional County Municipality in Quebec, Canada, situated in the Montérégie administrative region. The population as of the Canada 2006 Census was 3,352. It is the location of the seat of the Jardins de Napierville Regional County...

 in 1838. The rebellion of the Patriote movement
Patriote movement
The Patriote movement was a political movement that existed in Lower Canada from the turning of the 19th century to the Patriote Rebellion of 1837 and 1838 and the subsequent Act of Union of 1840. It was politically embodied by the Parti patriote at the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada...

were defeated after battles across Quebec. Hundreds were arrested, and several villages were burnt in reprisal.

British Government then sent Lord Durham
John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham
John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham GCB, PC , also known as "Radical Jack" and commonly referred to in history texts simply as Lord Durham, was a British Whig statesman, colonial administrator, Governor General and high commissioner of British North America...

 to examine the situation, he stayed in Canada only five months before returning to Britain, and brought with him, his Durham Report
Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839)
The Report on the Affairs of British North America, commonly known as The Durham Report, is an important document in the history of Quebec, Ontario, Canada and the British Empire....

 which strongly recommended responsible government
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

. A less well received recommendation was the amalgamation of Upper and Lower Canada for the deliberate assimilation of the French-speaking population. The Canadas
The Canadas
The Canadas is the collective name for Upper Canada and Lower Canada, two British colonies in Canada. They were both created by the Constitutional Act of 1791 and abolished in 1841 with the union of Upper and Lower Canada....

 were merged into a single colony, United Province of Canada, by the 1840 Act of Union, with responsible government achieved in 1848, a few months after it was granted to Nova Scotia. The parliament of United Canada in Montreal was set on fire by a mob of Tories
Burning of the Parliament Buildings in Montreal
The burning of the Parliament Buildings in Montreal occurred on the night of April 25, 1849. Inaugurated on June 24, 1845, St. Anne's Market building lodging the Parliament of the Province of Canada was burned down by rioters while the members of the Legislative Assembly were sitting in session.-...

 in 1849 after the passing of an indemnity bill for the people who suffered losses during the rebellion in Lower Canada.

Between the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 and 1850 some 800,000 immigrants came to the colonies of British North America, mainly from the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

 as part of the great migration of Canada
Great Migration of Canada
The Great Migration of Canada was a period of high immigration to Canada from 1815 to 1850, involving over 800,000 immigrants...

. These included Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots displaced by the Highland Clearances
Highland Clearances
The Highland Clearances were forced displacements of the population of the Scottish Highlands during the 18th and 19th centuries. They led to mass emigration to the sea coast, the Scottish Lowlands, and the North American colonies...

 to Nova Scotia and Scottish and English settlers to the Canadas, particularly Upper Canada. The Irish Famine of the 1840s significantly increased the pace of Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic is a term used to describe people who are both Roman Catholic and Irish .Note: the term is not used to describe a variant of Catholicism. More particularly, it is not a separate creed or sect in the sense that "Anglo-Catholic", "Old Catholic", "Eastern Orthodox Catholic" might be...

 immigration to British North America, with over 35,000 distressed Irish landing in Toronto alone in 1847 and 1848.

Pacific colonies




Spanish explorers had taken the lead in the Pacific Northwest coast
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

, with the voyages of Juan José Pérez Hernández
Juan José Pérez Hernández
Juan José Pérez Hernández , often simply Juan Pérez, was an 18th century Spanish explorer. He was the first European to sight, examine, name, and record the islands near present-day British Columbia, Canada...

 in 1774 and 1775. By the time the Spanish determined to build a fort on Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of several North American locations named after George Vancouver, the British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794...

, the British navigator James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

 had visited Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound
Nootka Sound is a complex inlet or sound of the Pacific Ocean on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Historically also known as King George's Sound, as a strait it separates Vancouver Island and Nootka Island.-History:The inlet is part of the...

 and charted the coast as far as Alaska, while British and American maritime fur traders
Maritime Fur Trade
The Maritime Fur Trade was a ship-based fur trade system that focused on acquiring furs of sea otters and other animals from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and natives of Alaska. The furs were mostly sold in China in exchange for tea, silks, porcelain, and other Chinese...

 had begun a busy era of commerce with the coastal peoples
Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast
The Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, their descendants, and many ethnic groups who identify with those historical peoples. They are now situated within the Canadian Province of British Columbia and the U.S...

 to satisfy the brisk market for sea otter pelts in China, thereby launching what became known as the China Trade
Old China Trade
The Old China Trade was the name given to the early commerce between the Qing Empire and the United States under the Canton System, spanning from shortly after the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783 to the Treaty of Wanghsia in 1844...

.

In 1789 war threatened between Britain and Spain on their respective rights; the Nootka Crisis
Nootka Crisis
The Nootka Crisis was an international incident and political dispute between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Spain, triggered by a series of events that took place during the summer of 1789 at Nootka Sound...

 was resolved peacefully largely in favor of Britain, the much stronger naval power. In 1793 Alexander MacKenzie, a Canadian working for the North West Company
North West Company
The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal from 1779 to 1821. It competed with increasing success against the Hudson's Bay Company in what was to become Western Canada...

, crossed the continent and with his Aboriginal guides and French-Canadian crew, reached the mouth of the Bella Coola River
Bella Coola River
The Bella Coola River is a major river on the Pacific slope of the Coast Mountains in southern British Columbia. The town of Bella Coola, which is the historic and ancient capital of the Nuxalk people, is at its mouth on North Bentinck Arm...

, completing the first continental crossing north of Mexico, missing George Vancouver's
George Vancouver
Captain George Vancouver RN was an English officer of the British Royal Navy, best known for his 1791-95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of contemporary Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon...

 charting expedition to the region by only a few weeks. In 1821, the North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company merged, with a combined trading territory that was extended by a licence to the North-Western Territory
North-Western Territory
The North-Western Territory was a region of British North America until 1870. Named for where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land, the territory at its greatest extent covered what is now Yukon, mainland Northwest Territories, northwestern mainland Nunavut, northwestern Saskatchewan, northern...

 and the Columbia
Columbia District
The Columbia District was a fur trading district in the Pacific Northwest region of British North America in the 19th century. It was explored by the North West Company between 1793 and 1811, and established as an operating fur district around 1810...

 and New Caledonia
New Caledonia (Canada)
New Caledonia was the name given to a district of the Hudson's Bay Company that comprised the territory largely coterminous with the present-day province of British Columbia, Canada. Though not a British colony, New Caledonia was part of the British claim to North America. Its administrative...

 fur districts, which reached the Arctic Ocean on the north and the Pacific Ocean on the west.

The Colony of Vancouver Island
Colony of Vancouver Island
The Colony of Vancouver Island , was a crown colony of British North America from 1849 to 1866, after which it was united with British Columbia. The united colony joined the Dominion of Canada through Confederation in 1871...

 was chartered in 1849, with the trading post at Fort Victoria
Fort Victoria (British Columbia)
Fort Victoria was a fur trading post of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the headquarters of HBC operations in British Columbia. The fort was the beginnings of a settlement that eventually grew into the modern Victoria, British Columbia, the capital city of British Columbia.The headquarters of HBC...

 as the capital. This was followed by the Colony of the Queen Charlotte Islands
Colony of the Queen Charlotte Islands
The Colony of the Queen Charlotte Islands was a British colony constituting the archipelago formerly of the same name from 1853 to July 1863, when it was amalgamated into the Colony of British Columbia....

 in 1853, and by the creation of the Colony of British Columbia
Colony of British Columbia
The Colony of British Columbia was a crown colony in British North America from 1858 until 1866. At its creation, it physically constituted approximately half the present day Canadian province of British Columbia, since it did not include the Colony of Vancouver Island, the vast and still largely...

 in 1858 and the Stikine Territory
Stikine Territory
The Stickeen Territories , also colloquially rendered as Stickeen Territory, Stikine Territory, and Stikeen Territory, was a territory of British North America whose brief existence began July 19, 1862, and concluded July of the following year. The region was split from the North-Western...

 in 1861, with the latter three being founded expressly to keep those regions from being overrun and annexed by American gold miners. The Colony of the Queen Charlotte Islands and most of the Stikine Territory were merged into the Colony of British Columbia in 1863 (the remainder, north of the 60th Parallel, became part of the North-Western Territory
North-Western Territory
The North-Western Territory was a region of British North America until 1870. Named for where it lay in relation to Rupert's Land, the territory at its greatest extent covered what is now Yukon, mainland Northwest Territories, northwestern mainland Nunavut, northwestern Saskatchewan, northern...

).

Confederation



The Seventy-Two Resolutions
Seventy-two resolutions
The Quebec Resolutions, also known as the seventy-two resolutions, were a set of proposals drafted at the 1864 Quebec Conference, which laid out the framework for the Canadian Constitution....

 from the 1864 Quebec Conference
Quebec Conference, 1864
The Quebec Conference was the second meeting held in 1864 to discuss Canadian Confederation.The 16 delegates from the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island had agreed at the close of the Charlottetown Conference to meet again at Quebec City October 1864...

 and Charlottetown Conference
Charlottetown Conference
The Charlottetown Conference was held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island for representatives from the colonies of British North America to discuss Canadian Confederation...

 laid out the framework for uniting British colonies in North America into a federation. They had been adopted by the majority of the provinces of Canada and became the basis for the London Conference of 1866
London Conference of 1866
The London Conference was held in the United Kingdom and began on 4 December 1866, and it was the final in a series of conferences or debates that led to Canadian confederation in 1867. Sixteen delegates from the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick gathered with officials of the...

, which led to the formation of the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. The term dominion was chosen to indicate Canada's status as a self-governing colony of the British Empire, the first time it was used about a country. With the coming into force of the British North America Act (enacted by the British Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

), the Province of Canada
Province of Canada
The Province of Canada, United Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of...

, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia became a federated kingdom in its own right.

Federation emerged from multiple impulses: the British wanted Canada to defend itself; the Maritimes needed railroad connections, which were promised in 1867; British-Canadian nationalism
Canadian nationalism
Canadian nationalism is a term which has been applied to ideologies of several different types which highlight and promote specifically Canadian interests over those of other countries, notably the United States...

 sought to unite the lands into one country, dominated by the English language and British culture; many French-Canadians saw an opportunity to exert political control within a new largely French-speaking Quebecpp. 323–324 and fears of possible U.S. expansion northward. On a political level, there was a desire for the expansion of responsible government and elimination of the legislative deadlock between Upper and Lower Canada, and their replacement with provincial legislatures in a federation. This was especially pushed by the liberal Reform movement of Upper Canada and the French-Canadian Parti rouge
Parti rouge
The Parti rouge was formed in the Province of Quebec, around 1848 by radical French-Canadians inspired by the ideas of Louis-Joseph Papineau, the Institut canadien de Montréal, and the reformist movement led by the Parti patriote of the 1830s.The party was a successor to the Parti patriote...

in Lower Canada who favored a decentralized union in comparison to the Upper Canadian Conservative party and to some degree the French-Canadian Parti bleu
Parti bleu
The Parti bleu was a moderate political group in Quebec, Canada that emerged in 1854. It was based on the moderate reformist views of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, and was a rival to the radical Parti rouge....

, which favored a centralized union.

Post-Confederation Canada 1867–1914



In 1866, the Colony of British Columbia and the Colony of Vancouver Island merged into a single Colony of British Columbia
United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia
The Colony of British Columbia is a crown colony that resulted from the amalgamation of the two former colonies, the Colony of Vancouver Island and the mainland Colony of British Columbia...

, until their incorporation into the Canadian Confederation in 1871. In 1873, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

, the Maritime colony that had opted not to join Confederation in 1867, was admitted into the country. That year, John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...

 (First Prime Minister of Canada) created the North-West Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

 (now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

) to help police the Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories is a federal territory of Canada.Located in northern Canada, the territory borders Canada's two other territories, Yukon to the west and Nunavut to the east, and three provinces: British Columbia to the southwest, and Alberta and Saskatchewan to the south...

. Specifically the Mounties were to assert Canadian sovereignty over possible American encroachments into the sparsely populated land.

The Mounties first large scale mission was to suppress the second independence movement by Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

's Métis
Métis people (Canada)
The Métis are one of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada who trace their descent to mixed First Nations parentage. The term was historically a catch-all describing the offspring of any such union, but within generations the culture syncretised into what is today a distinct aboriginal group, with...

, a mixed blood people of joint First Nations and European descent, who originated in the mid-17th century. The desire for independence erupted in the Red River Rebellion
Red River Rebellion
The Red River Rebellion or Red River Resistance was the sequence of events related to the 1869 establishment of a provisional government by the Métis leader Louis Riel and his followers at the Red River Settlement, in what is now the Canadian province of Manitoba.The Rebellion was the first crisis...

 in 1869 and the later North-West Rebellion
North-West Rebellion
The North-West Rebellion of 1885 was a brief and unsuccessful uprising by the Métis people of the District of Saskatchewan under Louis Riel against the Dominion of Canada...

 in 1885 led by Louis Riel
Louis Riel
Louis David Riel was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and a political and spiritual leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies. He led two resistance movements against the Canadian government and its first post-Confederation Prime Minister, Sir John A....

. In 1905 when Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

 and Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

 were admitted as provinces, they were growing rapidly thanks to abundant wheat crops
Agriculture in Canada
Canada is one of the largest producers and exporters in the world. As with other developed nations, the proportion of the population and GDP devoted to agriculture fell dramatically over the 20th century but it remains an important element of the Canadian economy....

 that attracted immigration to the plains by Ukrainians
Ukrainian Canadian
A Ukrainian Canadian is a person of Ukrainian descent or origin who was born in or immigrated to Canada. In 2006, there were an estimated 1,209,085 persons residing in Canada of Ukrainian origin, making them Canada's ninth largest ethnic group; and giving Canada the world's third-largest...

 and Northern and Central Europeans and by settlers from the United States, Britain and eastern Canada.

The Alaska boundary dispute
Alaska Boundary Dispute
The Alaska boundary dispute was a territorial dispute between the United States and Canada . It was resolved by arbitration in 1903. The dispute had been going on between the Russian and British Empires since 1821, and was inherited by the United States as a consequence of the Alaska Purchase in...

, simmering since the Alaska purchase
Alaska purchase
The Alaska Purchase was the acquisition of the Alaska territory by the United States from Russia in 1867 by a treaty ratified by the Senate. The purchase, made at the initiative of United States Secretary of State William H. Seward, gained of new United States territory...

 of 1867, became critical when gold was discovered in the Yukon
Yukon
Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. It was named after the Yukon River. The word Yukon means "Great River" in Gwich’in....

 during the late 1890s, with the U.S. controlling all the possible ports of entry. Canada argued its boundary included the port of Skagway. The dispute went to arbitration in 1903, but the British delegate sided with the Americans, angering Canadians who felt the British had betrayed Canadian interests to curry favour with the U.S.

In 1893, legal experts codified a framework of civil and criminal law, culminating in the Criminal Code of Canada
Criminal Code of Canada
The Criminal Code or Code criminel is a law that codifies most criminal offences and procedures in Canada. Its official long title is "An Act respecting the criminal law"...

. This solidified the liberal ideal of "equality before the law" in a way that made an abstract principle into a tangible reality for every adult Canadian. Wilfrid Laurier
Wilfrid Laurier
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, GCMG, PC, KC, baptized Henri-Charles-Wilfrid Laurier was the seventh Prime Minister of Canada from 11 July 1896 to 6 October 1911....

 who served 1896–1911 as the Seventh Prime Minister of Canada felt Canada was on the verge of becoming a world power, and declared that the 20th century would "belong to Canada"

World Wars and Interwar Years 1914–1945


The Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 and civilian
People of Canada
Canadians are the people who are identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be genetic, residential, legal, historical, cultural or ethnic...

 participation in the First World War helped to foster a sense of British-Canadian nationhood. The highpoints of Canadian military achievement during the First World War came during the Somme, Vimy
Battle of Vimy Ridge
The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a military engagement fought primarily as part of the Battle of Arras, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, during the First World War. The main combatants were the Canadian Corps, of four divisions, against three divisions of the German Sixth Army...

, Passchendaele battles and what later became known as "Canada's Hundred Days
Canada's Hundred Days
Canada’s Hundred Days was a series of attacks made along the Western Front by the Canadian Corps during the Hundred Days Offensive of World War I...

". The reputation Canadian troops earned, along with the success of Canadian flying aces including William George Barker
William George Barker
William George Barker VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Two Bars was a Canadian First World War fighter ace and Victoria Cross recipient...

 and Billy Bishop
Billy Bishop
Air Marshal William Avery "Billy" Bishop VC, CB, DSO & Bar, MC, DFC, ED was a Canadian First World War flying ace, officially credited with 72 victories, making him the top Canadian ace, and according to some sources, the top ace of the British Empire.-Early life:Bishop was born in Owen Sound,...

, helped to give the nation a new sense of identity
Canadian identity
Canadian identity refers to the set of characteristics and symbols that many Canadians regard as expressing their unique place and role in the world....

. The War Office
War Office
The War Office was a department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence...

 in 1922 reported approximately 67,000 killed and 173,000 wounded during the war. This excludes civilian deaths in war time incidents like the Halifax Explosion
Halifax Explosion
The Halifax Explosion occurred on Thursday, December 6, 1917, when the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, was devastated by the huge detonation of the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship, fully loaded with wartime explosives, which accidentally collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in "The Narrows"...

.

Support for Great Britain during the First World War caused a major political crisis over conscription
Conscription Crisis of 1917
The Conscription Crisis of 1917 was a political and military crisis in Canada during World War I.-Background:...

, with Francophones, mainly from Quebec, rejecting national policies
Military Service Act (Canada)
In Canadian history, the Military Service Act was a 1917 Act passed by the Canadian government to effort needed more soldiers, so on April 20, 1918, an order-in-council was passed that removed exemptions from the Military Service Act. This left farming operations across Canada short of much-needed...

. During the crisis large numbers of enemy aliens (especially Ukrainians and Germans) were put under government controls. The Liberal party
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 was deeply split, with most of its Anglophone
English Canadian
An English Canadian is a Canadian of English ancestry; it is used primarily in contrast with French Canadian. Canada is an officially bilingual state, with English and French official language communities. Immigrant cultural groups ostensibly integrate into one or both of these communities, but...

 leaders joining the unionist government
Unionist Party (Canada)
The Unionist Party was formed in 1917 by Members of Parliament in Canada who supported the "Union government" formed by Sir Robert Borden during the First World War....

 headed by Prime Minister Robert Borden
Robert Borden
Sir Robert Laird Borden, PC, GCMG, KC was a Canadian lawyer and politician. He served as the eighth Prime Minister of Canada from October 10, 1911 to July 10, 1920, and was the third Nova Scotian to hold this office...

, the leader of the Conservative party. The Liberals regained their influence after the war under the leadership of William Mackenzie King, who served as prime minister with three separate terms between 1921 and 1949.

As a result of the First World War, the Government of Canada
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...

 became more assertive and less deferential to British authority; it became an independent member of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. In 1931 the Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

 gave each dominion (which included Canada and Newfoundland) the opportunity for almost complete legislative independence from the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

. While Newfoundland never adopted the statute, for Canada the Statute of Westminster has been called its declaration of independence.

The great depression in Canada
Great Depression in Canada
Canada was hit hard by the Great Depression. Between 1929 and 1939, the gross national product dropped 40% . Unemployment reached 27% at the depth of the Depression in 1933...

 during the interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

 affected all parts of daily life. It hit especially hard in western Canada, where a full recovery did not occur until the Second World War began in 1939. Hard times led to the creation of new political parties such as the Social Credit movement
Canadian social credit movement
The Canadian social credit movement was a Canadian political movement originally based on the Social Credit theory of Major C. H. Douglas. Its supporters were colloquially known as Socreds...

 and the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, as well as popular protest in the form of the On-to-Ottawa Trek
On-to-Ottawa Trek
The On-to-Ottawa Trek was a long journey where thousands of people had unemployed men protesting the dismal conditions in federal relief camps scattered in remote areas across Western Canada. The men lived and worked in these camps at a rate of twenty cents per day before walking out on strike in...

.
The period also saw the rise of a small Communist Party of Canada
Communist Party of Canada
The Communist Party of Canada is a communist political party in Canada. Although is it currently a minor or small political party without representation in the Federal Parliament or in provincial legislatures, historically the Party has elected representatives in Federal Parliament, Ontario...

, who opposed Canada's entry into Second World War and was subsequently banned under the Defence of Canada Regulations
Defence of Canada Regulations
The Defence of Canada Regulations were a set of emergency measures implemented under the War Measures Act a week before Canada's entry into World War II in the fall of 1939....

 of the War Measures Act
War Measures Act
The War Measures Act was a Canadian statute that allowed the government to assume sweeping emergency powers in the event of "war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended"...

 in 1940.

Canada's involvement in the Second World War
Military history of Canada during the Second World War
The Second World War officially began on September 1, 1939, with the German invasion of Poland. Britain and France declared war on the Nazi Third Reich on September 3, 1939...

 began when Canada declared war on Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 on September 10, 1939, one week after the United Kingdom. The Battle of the Atlantic began immediately, and from 1943 to 1945 was led by Leonard W. Murray
Leonard W. Murray
Rear Admiral Leonard Warren Murray, CB, CBE was a officer of the Royal Canadian Navy who played a significant role in the Battle of the Atlantic. He commanded the Newfoundland Escort Force from 1941–1943, and from 1943 to the end of the war was Commander-in-Chief, Canadian Northwest Atlantic...

, from Nova Scotia. The Canadian army
History of the Canadian Army
The Canadian Army as such originally only existed under that name from November 1940 to February 1968. However, the term has been traditionally applied to the ground forces of Canada's military from Confederation in 1867 to the present...

 was involved in the defence of Hong Kong
Battle of Hong Kong
The Battle of Hong Kong took place during the Pacific campaign of World War II. It began on 8 December 1941 and ended on 25 December 1941 with Hong Kong, then a Crown colony, surrendering to the Empire of Japan.-Background:...

, the Dieppe Raid
Dieppe Raid
The Dieppe Raid, also known as the Battle of Dieppe, Operation Rutter or later on Operation Jubilee, during the Second World War, was an Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe on the northern coast of France on 19 August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 AM and by 10:50 AM the Allied...

 in August 1942, the Allied invasion of Italy
Allied invasion of Italy
The Allied invasion of Italy was the Allied landing on mainland Italy on September 3, 1943, by General Harold Alexander's 15th Army Group during the Second World War. The operation followed the successful invasion of Sicily during the Italian Campaign...

, and the Battle of Normandy. Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

s operated in Canadian and Newfoundland waters throughout the war, sinking many naval and merchant vessels. The Canadian mainland was also attacked when the Japanese
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 submarine I-26
Japanese submarine I-26
I-26 was a Japanese B1 type submarine which saw service in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. She was completed and commissioned at the Kure Dockyard on 6 November 1941, under the command of Commander Yokota Minoru....

 shelled
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 the Estevan Point
Estevan Point
Estevan Point is a lighthouse located on the headland of the same name on the Hesquiat Peninsula on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada....

 lighthouse on Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of several North American locations named after George Vancouver, the British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794...

.

The Conscription Crisis of 1944
Conscription Crisis of 1944
The Conscription Crisis of 1944 was a political and military crisis following the introduction of forced military service in Canada during World War II. It was similar to the Conscription Crisis of 1917, but was not as politically damaging....

 greatly affected unity between French and English-speaking Canadians, though was not as politically intrusive as that of the First World War. Of a population of approximately 11.5 million, 1.1 million Canadians served in the armed forces in the Second World War. Many thousands more served with the Canadian Merchant Navy
Canadian Merchant Navy
Canada, like several other Commonwealth nations, created its own Merchant Navy in a large-scale effort during World War II. Within hours of Canada's declaration of war on September 10, 1939, the Canadian government passed laws to create the Canadian Merchant Navy setting out rules and controls to...

. In all, more than 45,000 died, and another 55,000 were wounded.

Post-war Era 1945–1960


Prosperity returned to Canada during the Second World War and continued in the proceeding years, with the development of universal health care
Health care in Canada
Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly-funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use and has most services provided by private entities. It is guided by the provisions of the Canada Health Act. The government assures the quality of care through federal standards...

, old-age pensions
Canada Pension Plan
The Canada Pension Plan is a contributory, earnings-related social insurance program. It forms one of the two major components of Canada's public retirement income system, the other component being Old Age Security...

, and veterans' pensions
Veterans Affairs Canada
The Department of Veterans Affairs , also referred to as Veterans Affairs Canada , is the department within the government of Canada with responsibility for pensions/benefits and services for war veterans, retired personnel of the Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police, their families,...

. The financial crisis of the Great Depression had led the Dominion of Newfoundland
Dominion of Newfoundland
The Dominion of Newfoundland was a British Dominion from 1907 to 1949 . The Dominion of Newfoundland was situated in northeastern North America along the Atlantic coast and comprised the island of Newfoundland and Labrador on the continental mainland...

 to relinquish responsible government in 1934 and become a crown colony ruled
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

 by a British governor. In 1948, the British government gave voters three Newfoundland Referendum
Newfoundland referendums, 1948
The Newfoundland Referendums of 1948 were a series of two referendums to decide the political future of the Dominion of Newfoundland. Before the referendums, Newfoundland was in debt and went through several delegations to determine whether the country would join Canada, remain under British rule...

 choices: remaining a crown colony, returning to Dominion status (that is, independence), or joining Canada. Joining the United States was not made an option. After bitter debate Newfoundlanders voted to join Canada in 1949 as a province.
The foreign policy of Canada during the Cold War
Canada in the Cold War
Canada played a middle power, and occasionally an important, role in the Cold War. Throughout the US/Soviet rivalry, Canada was normally on the side of the United States...

 was closely tied to that of the United States. Canada was a founding member of NATO (which Canada wanted to be a transatlantic economic and political union as well). In 1950 Canada sent combat troops to Korea during the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 as part of the United Nations forces. The federal government's desire to assert its territorial claims in the Arctic
Territorial claims in the Arctic
Under international law, no country currently owns the North Pole or the region of the Arctic Ocean surrounding it. The five surrounding Arctic states, Russia, the United States, Canada, Norway and Denmark , are limited to an exclusive economic zone of adjacent to their coasts.Upon ratification...

 during the Cold War manifested with the High Arctic relocation
High Arctic relocation
The High Arctic relocation took place during the Cold War in the 1950s, when 87 Inuit were moved by the Government of Canada to the High Arctic....

, in which Inuit were moved from Nunavik
Nunavik
Nunavik comprises the northern third of the province of Quebec, Canada. Covering a land area of 443,684.71 km² north of the 55th parallel, it is the homeland of the Inuit of Quebec...

 (the northern third of Quebec) to barren Cornwallis Island; this project was later the subject of a long investigation by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was a Canadian Royal Commission established in 1991 to address many issues of aboriginal status that had come to light with recent events such as the Oka Crisis and the Meech Lake Accord. The commission culminated in a final report of 4000 pages,...

.

In 1956, the United Nations responded
History of United Nations Peacekeeping
The History of United Nations Peacekeeping began in 1948. Its first mission was to the Middle East to observe and maintain the ceasefire during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Since then, United Nations peacekeepers have taken part in a total of 63 missions across the globe, 17 of which continue today...

 to the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 by convening a United Nations Emergency Force
United Nations Emergency Force
The first United Nations Emergency Force was established by United Nations General Assembly to secure an end to the 1956 Suez Crisis with resolution 1001 on November 7, 1956. The force was developed in large measure as a result of efforts by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and a proposal...

 to supervise the withdrawal of invading forces. The peacekeeping force was initially conceptualized by Secretary of External Affairs
Secretary of State for External Affairs (Canada)
Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs was, from 1909 to 1993, the member of the Cabinet of Canada responsible for overseeing the federal government's international relations and the former Department of External Affairs...

 and future Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson
Lester B. Pearson
Lester Bowles "Mike" Pearson, PC, OM, CC, OBE was a Canadian professor, historian, civil servant, statesman, diplomat, and politician, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for organizing the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis...

. Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 in 1957 for his work in establishing the peacekeeping operation. Throughout the mid-1950s Louis St. Laurent
Louis St. Laurent
Louis Stephen St. Laurent, PC, CC, QC , was the 12th Prime Minister of Canada from 15 November 1948, to 21 June 1957....

 (12th Prime Minister of Canada) and his successor John George Diefenbaker attempted to create a new, highly advanced jet fighter, the Avro Arrow. The controversial aircraft was cancelled by Diefenbaker in 1959. Diefenbaker instead purchased the BOMARC missile defense system and American aircraft. In 1958 Canada established (with the United States) the North American Aerospace Defense Command
North American Aerospace Defense Command
North American Aerospace Defense Command is a joint organization of Canada and the United States that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and defense for the two countries. Headquarters NORAD is located at Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colorado...

 (NORAD).

1960–1981



In the 1960s, what became known as the Quiet Revolution
Quiet Revolution
The Quiet Revolution was the 1960s period of intense change in Quebec, Canada, characterized by the rapid and effective secularization of society, the creation of a welfare state and a re-alignment of politics into federalist and separatist factions...

 took place in Quebec, overthrowing the old establishment which centered on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec
The Archdiocese of Québec is the oldest Catholic see in the New World north of Mexico. The archdiocese was founded as the Apostolic Vicariate of New France in 1658 and was elevated to a Diocese in 1674 and an Archdiocese in 1819...

 and led to modernizing of the economy and society. Québécois nationalists
Quebec nationalism
Quebec nationalism is a nationalist movement in the Canadian province of Quebec .-1534–1774:Canada was first a french colony. Jacques Cartier claimed it for France in 1534, and permanent French settlement began in 1608. It was part of New France, which constituted all French colonies in North America...

 demanded independence, and tensions rose until violence erupted during the 1970 October Crisis
October Crisis
The October Crisis was a series of events triggered by two kidnappings of government officials by members of the Front de libération du Québec during October 1970 in the province of Quebec, mainly in the Montreal metropolitan area.The circumstances ultimately culminated in the only peacetime use...

. In 1976 the Parti Québécois
Parti Québécois
The Parti Québécois is a centre-left political party that advocates national sovereignty for the province of Quebec and secession from Canada. The Party traditionally has support from the labour movement. Unlike many other social-democratic parties, its ties with the labour movement are informal...

 was elected to power in Quebec, with a nationalist vision that included securing French linguistic rights
Charter of the French Language
The Charter of the French Language , also known as Bill 101 and Loi 101, is a law in the province of Quebec in Canada defining French, the language of the majority of the population, as the only official language of Quebec, and framing fundamental language rights for everyone in the province...

 in the province and the pursuit of some form of sovereignty for Quebec
Quebec sovereignty movement
The Quebec sovereignty movement refers to both the political movement and the ideology of values, concepts and ideas that promote the secession of the province of Quebec from the rest of Canada...

. This culminated in the 1980 referendum in Quebec on the question of sovereignty-association, which was turned down by 59% of the voters.
In 1965, Canada adopted the maple leaf flag
Flag of Canada
The national flag of Canada, also known as the Maple Leaf, and , is a red flag with a white square in its centre, featuring a stylized 11-pointed red maple leaf. Its adoption in 1965 marked the first time a national flag had been officially adopted in Canada to replace the Union Flag...

, although not without considerable debate and misgivings among large number of English Canadians. The World's Fair
World's Fair
World's fair, World fair, Universal Exposition, and World Expo are various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world. The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom, in 1851, under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All...

 titled Expo 67
Expo 67
The 1967 International and Universal Exposition or Expo 67, as it was commonly known, was the general exhibition, Category One World's Fair held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from April 27 to October 29, 1967. It is considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century, with the...

 came to Montreal, coinciding with the Canadian Centennial
Canadian Centennial
The Canadian Centennial was a year long celebration held in 1967 when Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Celebrations occurred throughout the year but culminated on Dominion Day, July 1. 1967 coins were different from previous years' issues, with animals on each...

 that year. The fair opened April 28, 1967, with the theme "Man and his World" and became the best attended of all BIE
Bureau of International Expositions
The International Exhibitions Bureau is an intergovernmental organization created to supervise international exhibitions falling under the jurisdiction of the Convention Relating to International Exhibitions....

-sanctioned world expositions until that time.

Legislative restrictions on Canadian immigration
Immigration to Canada
Immigration to Canada is the process by which people migrate to Canada to reside permanently in the country. The majority of these individuals become Canadian citizens. After 1947, domestic immigration law and policy went through major changes, most notably with the Immigration Act, 1976, and the...

 that had favoured British and other European immigrants were amended in the 1960s, opening the doors to immigrants from all parts of the world. While the 1950s had seen high levels of immigration from Britain, Ireland, Italy
Italian-Canadian
An Italian Canadian is a Canadian of Italian descent or heritage. According to the 2006 census of Canada, 1,445,335 Canadians consider themselves to be of Italian origin. The Italian-Canadian population climbed by more than 12% and half have combined Italian origins along with another ethnic...

, and northern continental Europe, by the 1970s immigrants increasingly came from India, China
Chinese Canadian
Chinese Canadians are Canadians of Chinese descent. They constitute the second-largest visible minority group in Canada, after South Asian Canadians...

, Vietnam
Vietnamese Canadian
Mainstream Vietnamese communities began arriving in Canada in the mid 1970s and early 1980s as refugees or boat people following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, though a couple thousand were already living in Quebec before then, most of whom were students...

, Jamaica
Jamaican Canadian
Jamaican Canadians are Canadians of Jamaican descent, or Jamaican-born people with Canadian citizenship. The population, according to Canada's 2006 Census, is 231,110. Jamaican Canadians comprise about 30% of the entire black Canadian population.-History:...

 and Haiti. Immigrants of all backgrounds tended to settle in the major urban centres, particularly Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

During his long tenure in the office (1968–79, 1980–84), Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau
Pierre Trudeau
Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau, , usually known as Pierre Trudeau or Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada from April 20, 1968 to June 4, 1979, and again from March 3, 1980 to June 30, 1984.Trudeau began his political career campaigning for socialist ideals,...

 made social and cultural change his political goals, including the pursuit of official bilingualism in Canada and plans for significant constitutional change
Amendments to the Constitution of Canada
Amendments to the Constitution of Canada are changes to the Constitution of Canada initiated by the government. Only since 1982 has there been an official protocol to amend the Constitution.- History :...

. The west, particularly the petroleum-producing provinces
Petroleum production in Canada
Petroleum production in Canada is a major industry which is important to the economy of North America. Canada is the sixth largest oil producing country in the world. In 2008 it produced an average of of crude oil, crude bitumen and natural gas condensate. Of that amount, 45% was conventional...

 like Alberta, opposed many of the policies emanating from central Canada, with the National Energy Program
National Energy Program
The National Energy Program was an energy policy of the Government of Canada. It was created under the Liberal government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau by Minister of Energy Marc Lalonde in 1980, and administered by the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources.-Description:The NEP was...

 creating considerable antagonism and growing western alienation
Western Alienation
In Canadian politics, Western alienation is a concept that the Western provinces - British Columbia , Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba - have been alienated, and in extreme cases excluded, from mainstream Canadian political affairs in favour of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec...

.

1982–1992



In 1982, the Canada Act
Canada Act 1982
The Canada Act 1982 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that was passed at the request of the Canadian federal government to "patriate" Canada's constitution, ending the necessity for the country to request certain types of amendment to the Constitution of Canada to be made by the...

 was passed by the British parliament and granted Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 by Queen Elizabeth II on March 29, while the Constitution Act
Constitution Act, 1982
The Constitution Act, 1982 is a part of the Constitution of Canada. The Act was introduced as part of Canada's process of "patriating" the constitution, introducing several amendments to the British North America Act, 1867, and changing the latter's name in Canada to the Constitution Act, 1867...

 was passed by the Canadian parliament
Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...

 and granted Royal Assent by the Queen on April 17, thus patriating the Constitution of Canada
Constitution of Canada
The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada; the country's constitution is an amalgamation of codified acts and uncodified traditions and conventions. It outlines Canada's system of government, as well as the civil rights of all Canadian citizens and those in Canada...

. Previously, the constitution has existed only as an act passed of the British parliament, and was not even physically located in Canada, though it could not be altered without Canadian consent. At the same time, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982...

 was added in place of the previous Bill of Rights
Canadian Bill of Rights
The Canadian Bill of Rights is a federal statute and bill of rights enacted by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's government on August 10, 1960. It provides Canadians with certain quasi-constitutional rights in relation to other federal statutes...

. The patriation of the constitution
Patriation
Patriation is a non-legal term used in Canada to describe a process of constitutional change also known as "homecoming" of the constitution. Up until 1982, Canada was governed by a constitution that was a British law and could be changed only by an Act of the British Parliament...

 was Trudeau's last major act as Prime Minister; he resigned in 1984.

On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182
Air India Flight 182
Air India Flight 182 was an Air India flight operating on the Montreal–London–Delhi route. On 23 June 1985, the airplane operating on the route a Boeing 747-237B named after Emperor Kanishka was blown up by a bomb at an altitude of , and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while in Irish airspace.A...

 was destroyed above the Atlantic Ocean by a bomb on board exploding; all 329 on board were killed, of whom 280 were Canadian citizens
Canadian nationality law
Canadian citizenship is typically obtained by birth in Canada, birth abroad when at least one parent is a Canadian citizen and was born or naturalized in Canada, or by adoption abroad by at least one Canadian citizen. It can also be granted to a permanent resident who lives in Canada for three out...

. The Air India attack is the largest mass murder in Canadian history
Crime in Canada
Under the Canadian constitution, the power to establish criminal law and rules of investigation and trying crimes is vested in the federal government...

.

The Progressive Conservative
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada was a Canadian political party with a centre-right stance on economic issues and, after the 1970s, a centrist stance on social issues....

 (PC) government of Brian Mulroney
Brian Mulroney
Martin Brian Mulroney, was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993 and was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1983 to 1993. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the introduction of major economic reforms, such as the Canada-U.S...

 began efforts to gain Quebec's support for the Constitution Act 1982 and end western alienation. In 1987 the Meech Lake Accord
Meech Lake Accord
The Meech Lake Accord was a package of proposed amendments to the Constitution of Canada negotiated in 1987 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and ten provincial premiers. It was intended to persuade the government of the Province of Quebec to endorse the 1982 Canadian Constitution and increase...

 talks began between the provincial and federal governments, seeking constitutional changes favourable to Quebec. The constitutional reform process under Prime Minister Mulroney culminated in the failure of the Charlottetown Accord
Charlottetown Accord
The Charlottetown Accord was a package of proposed amendments to the Constitution of Canada, proposed by the Canadian federal and provincial governments in 1992. It was submitted to a public referendum on October 26 of that year, and was defeated.-Background:...

 which would have recognized Quebec as a "distinct society
Distinct society
Distinct society is a political term especially used during constitutional debate in Canada, in the second half of the 1980s and in the early 1990s, and present in the two failed constitutional amendments, the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord...

" but was rejected in 1992 by a narrow margin.

Under Brian Mulroney, relations with the United States began to grow more closely integrated. In 1986, Canada and the U.S. signed the "Acid Rain Treaty" to reduce acid rain. In 1989, the federal government adopted the Free Trade Agreement with the United States despite significant animosity from the Canadian public who were concerned about the economic and cultural impacts of close integration with the United States. On July 11, 1990, the Oka Crisis
Oka Crisis
The Oka Crisis was a land dispute between a group of Mohawk people and the town of Oka, Quebec, Canada which began on July 11, 1990 and lasted until September 26, 1990. At least one person died as a result...

 land dispute
Land rights
Land law is the form of law that deals with the rights to use, alienate, or exclude others from land. In many jurisdictions, these species of property are referred to as real estate or real property, as distinct from personal property. Land use agreements, including renting, are an important...

 began between the Mohawk people of Kanesatake
Kanesatake, Quebec
Kanehsatake is a Mohawk settlement on the shore of the Lake of Two Mountains at the Ottawa River in southwestern Quebec, Canada, near Montreal. The Doncaster 17 Indian Reserve also belongs to the Mohawk of Kanesatake. The population of the community is 1700.The community was formally founded...

 and the adjoining town of Oka, Quebec
Oka, Quebec
-References:...

. The dispute was the first of a number of well-publicized conflicts between First Nations and the Canadian government in the late 20th century. In August 1990, Canada was one of the first nations to condemn Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

's invasion of Kuwait
Invasion of Kuwait
The Invasion of Kuwait, also known as the Iraq-Kuwait War, was a major conflict between the Republic of Iraq and the State of Kuwait, which resulted in the seven-month long Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, which subsequently led to direct military intervention by United States-led forces in the Gulf...

, and it quickly agreed to join the U.S.-led coalition
Operation FRICTION
Operation FRICTION was a Canadian military operation that saw the contribution of 4,500 Canadian Forces personnel to the 1991 Gulf War. The US components, by far the largest, were Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm....

. Canada deployed destroyers and later a CF-18 Hornet
CF-18 Hornet
The McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet is a Royal Canadian Air Force fighter aircraft, based on the American McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter. In 1980, the F/A-18 was selected as the winner of the New Fighter Aircraft competition, and a production order was awarded...

 squadron with support personnel, as well as a field hospital
Canada Dry (Persian Gulf War)
Canada Dry was the nickname for two Canadian Forces bases in Doha, Qatar during the first Gulf War. The two bases, named Canada Dry One and Canada Dry Two, housed land and air elements ....

 to deal with casualties.

Recent history: 1992–present



Following Mulroney's resignation as prime minister in 1993, Kim Campbell
Kim Campbell
Avril Phædra Douglas "Kim" Campbell, is a Canadian politician, lawyer, university professor, diplomat, and writer. She served as the 19th Prime Minister of Canada, serving from June 25, 1993, to November 4, 1993...

 took office and became Canada's first female prime minister. Campbell remained in office only for a few months: the 1993 election saw the collapse of the Progressive Conservative Party from government to two seats, while the Quebec-based sovereigntist Bloc Québécois
Bloc Québécois
The Bloc Québécois is a federal political party in Canada devoted to the protection of Quebec's interests in the House of Commons of Canada, and the promotion of Quebec sovereignty. The Bloc was originally a party made of Quebec nationalists who defected from the federal Progressive Conservative...

 became the official opposition
Official Opposition (Canada)
In Canada, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition , commonly known as the Official Opposition, is usually the largest parliamentary opposition party in the House of Commons or a provincial legislative assembly that is not in government, either on its own or as part of a governing coalition...

. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

 of the Liberals took office in November 1993 with a majority government
Majority government
A majority government is when the governing party has an absolute majority of seats in the legislature or parliament in a parliamentary system. This is as opposed to a minority government, where even the largest party wins only a plurality of seats and thus must constantly bargain for support from...

 and was re-elected with further majorities during the 1997
Canadian federal election, 1997
The Canadian federal election of 1997 was held on June 2, 1997, to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 36th Parliament of Canada. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's Liberal Party of Canada won a second majority government...

 and 2000 elections
Canadian federal election, 2000
The 2000 Canadian federal election was held on November 27, 2000, to elect 301 Members of Parliament of the Canadian House of Commons of the 37th Parliament of Canada....

.
In 1995, the government of Quebec held a second referendum on sovereignty
1995 Quebec referendum
The 1995 Quebec referendum was the second referendum to ask voters in the Canadian province of Quebec whether Quebec should secede from Canada and become an independent state, through the question:...

 that was rejected by a margin of 50.6% to 49.4%. In 1998, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession
Reference re Secession of Quebec
Reference re Secession of Quebec, [1998] 2 S.C.R. 217 was an opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the legality, under both Canadian and international law, of a unilateral secession of Quebec from Canada....

 by a province to be unconstitutional, and Parliament passed the Clarity Act
Clarity Act
The Clarity Act is legislation passed by the Parliament of Canada that established the conditions under which the Government of Canada would enter into negotiations that might lead to secession following such a vote by one of the provinces. The Clarity Bill was tabled for first reading in the...

 outlining the terms of a negotiated departure. Environmental issues increased in importance in Canada during this period, resulting in the signing of the Kyoto Accord on climate change by Canada's Liberal government in 2002. The accord was in 2007 nullified by the present government, which has proposed a "made-in-Canada" solution to climate change.

Canada became the fourth country in the world and the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide
Same-sex marriage in Canada
On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world and the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act which provided a gender-neutral marriage definition...

 with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act
Civil Marriage Act
The Civil Marriage Act was legislation legalizing same-sex marriage across Canada...

. Court decisions, starting in 2003, had already legalized same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

 in eight out of ten provinces and one of three territories. Before the passage of the Act, more than 3,000 same-sex couples had married in these areas.

The Canadian Alliance
Canadian Alliance
The Canadian Alliance , formally the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance , was a Canadian conservative political party that existed from 2000 to 2003. The party was the successor to the Reform Party of Canada and inherited its position as the Official Opposition in the House of Commons and held...

 and PC Party merged into the Conservative Party of Canada
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

 in 2003, ending a 13-year division of the conservative vote. The party was elected twice as a minority government under the leadership of Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 in the 2006 federal election
Canadian federal election, 2006
The 2006 Canadian federal election was held on January 23, 2006, to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 39th Parliament of Canada. The Conservative Party of Canada won the greatest number of seats: 40.3% of seats, or 124 out of 308, up from 99 seats in 2004, and 36.3% of votes:...

 and 2008 federal election
Canadian federal election, 2008
The 2008 Canadian federal election was held on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 to elect members to the Canadian House of Commons of the 40th Canadian Parliament after the previous parliament had been dissolved by the Governor General on September 7, 2008...

. Harper's Conservative Party won a majority in the 2011 federal election with the New Democratic Party
New Democratic Party
The New Democratic Party , commonly referred to as the NDP, is a federal social-democratic political party in Canada. The interim leader of the NDP is Nycole Turmel who was appointed to the position due to the illness of Jack Layton, who died on August 22, 2011. The provincial wings of the NDP in...

 forming the Official Opposition
Official Opposition (Canada)
In Canada, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition , commonly known as the Official Opposition, is usually the largest parliamentary opposition party in the House of Commons or a provincial legislative assembly that is not in government, either on its own or as part of a governing coalition...

 for the first time.

Under Harper, Canada and the United States continue to integrate state and provincial agencies to strengthen security along the Canada-United States border
Canada-United States border
The Canada–United States border, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest border in the world. The terrestrial boundary is 8,891 kilometers long, including 2,475 kilometres shared with Alaska...

 through the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is a law of the United States that requires all travelers to show a valid passport or other approved secure document when traveling to the U.S. from areas within the Western Hemisphere. The purpose, according to the U.S. Department of State and U.S...

. From 2002 to 2011, Canada was involved in the Afghanistan War as part of the U.S. stabilization force
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 and the NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

. In July 2010 the largest purchase in Canadian military history
Military history of Canada
The military history of Canada comprises hundreds of years of armed actions in the territory encompassing modern Canada, and the role of the Canadian military in conflicts and peacekeeping worldwide. For thousands of years, the area that would become Canada was the site of sporadic intertribal wars...

, totalling C$
Canadian dollar
The Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada. As of 2007, the Canadian dollar is the 7th most traded currency in the world. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

9 billion for the acquisition of 65 F-35 fighters, was announced by the federal government. Canada is one of several nations that assisted in the development of the F-35 and has invested over C$168 million in the program.

See also


History by province or territory

  • Events of National Historic Significance (Canada)
    Events of National Historic Significance (Canada)
    Events of National Historic Significance are events that have been designated by Canada's Minister of the Environment, on the advice of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, as being defining actions, episodes, movements or experiences in Canadian history...

  • History of the Americas
    History of the Americas
    The history of the Americas is the collective history of the American landmass, which includes North and South America, as well as Central America and the Caribbean. It begins with people migrating to these areas from Asia during the height of an Ice Age...

  • History of Montreal
    History of Montreal
    The human history of Montreal, located in Quebec, Canada, spans some 8,000 years. At the time of European contact, the area was inhabited by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, a discrete and distinct group of Iroquoian-speaking indigenous people. They spoke Laurentian...

  • History of North America
    History of North America
    The history of North America is the study of the past, particularly the written record, oral histories, and traditions, passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's northern hemisphere and western hemisphere....

  • History of Ottawa
    History of Ottawa
    The History of Ottawa, capital of Canada, was shaped by events such as the construction of the Rideau Canal, the lumber industry, the choice of Ottawa as the location of Canada's capital, as well as American and European influences and interactions...

  • History of Quebec City
    History of Quebec City
    Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America.-French rule:Quebec City was founded on July 3, 1608, by Samuel de Champlain. Champlain named his settlement after a local native word meaning “the river narrows here.” Champlain's settlement was located at the foot of Cap...

  • History of Toronto
    History of Toronto
    The Toronto area was home to a number of First Nations groups who lived on the shore of Lake Ontario. At various times, the Neutral, Seneca, Mohawk and Cayuga nations were living in the vicinity of Toronto. The first permanent European presence was the French trading fort Fort Rouillé, which was...

  • History of Vancouver
    History of Vancouver
    Vancouver is a city in British Columbia, Canada. With its location near the mouth of the Fraser River and on the waterways of the Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet, and their tributaries, Vancouver has, for thousands of years, been a place of meeting, trade and settlement.The presence...

  • History of Winnipeg
    History of Winnipeg
    -Before incorporation:Winnipeg lies at the confluence of the Assiniboine River and the Red River, known as The Forks, a historic focal point on canoe river routes travelled by Aboriginal peoples for thousands of years. The name Winnipeg is a transcription of a western Cree word meaning "muddy...

  • National Historic Sites of Canada
  • Persons of National Historic Significance

External links



Government of Canada
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