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Travel Guide 2   >   Canada   >   History

   
 

Canadian History


According to Inuit and First Nations tradition, Canada has been inhabited since the dawn of the time. However, the archaeological evidence discovered to date suggests circa 24,500 BC for the earliest people in Yukon, and 7,500 BC for southern Ontario.

The earliest contact with Europe, is believed to have occured around 1000 AD when Vikings from Greenland are known to have reached, and built a small settlement at, L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, although they only stayed their for a relatively short period. It is uncertain if this settlement is Leif Erikson's legendary "Vinland", or was perhaps a stopping point on the way to Vinland.

The next Europeans to reach Canada were Basque cod fishermen and whalers, who arrived in the area in the late 15th century, and who established a number of fishing outposts in Labrador and Newfoundland. In 1497, John Cabot landed in Canada (probably Newfoundland or Cape Breton Island), and claimed the area for King Henry VII of England. Portuguese and Spanish expeditions are also known to have also explored the region, but it was the French who were the first to move inland and to set up permanent colonies (beginning in 1534). Soon afterwards, the British also began to establish colonies in Newfoundland, southern Nova Scotia and the Hudson Bay area.

In 1608, the French established Quebec City, and it became capital of the colony of New France (French: Nouvelle France). Although the colony was successful at trading, especially the fur trade, the population of New France remained low (just 60,000 in 1759), because of low immigration, little support from the mother country, and constant wars with the Iroquois (who were supported by the British in an attempt to weaken the French).

Britain and France went to war several times in the 18th century, and many battles were fought in Canada. The British usually had the upper hand in the fighting in Canada, because of their superior navy, greater financial resources, and the fact that they controlled territory both to the North (in the Hudson Bay) and to the South (in the 13 Colonies) of the French-controlled areas. As a result in 1763, following the Seven Years' War (known in the United States as the "French and Indian War"), France ceded nearly all its remaining territory in North America to Britain.

The first half of the 19th century was no easy ride for British rule in Canada. In the War of 1812, an attempted US invasion was thwarted, and rebellions against the colonial government took place in 1837. Following these rebellions, a British government report, the Durham Report, recommended responsible government be granted, and the union of Upper and Lower Canada. The union was achieved in 1840, and in 1867 a Canadian federation was formed, the Dominion of Canada.

During 1840s, agreement was reached with the United States to place the border at the 49th parallel, thus paving the way for Canada's westward expansion. Colonies were founded in British Columbia and Vancouver Island in 1848 and 1849 respectively (the two colonies were united in 1866). Manitoba joined the Dominion of Canada in 1870, British Columbia in 1871, and Saskatchewan and Alberta in 1905.

Canada participated in both World Wars on the Allied side. In World War I, Canada was legally at war as soon as Britain declared war. By World War II, the legal position had changed - the 1931 Statute of Westminister granted Canada effective independence (although some Constitutional ties with Britain remained), and Canada made a separate declaration of war on Germany, a week after Britain.

After World War II, Canada expanded once again when Newfoundland joined the country (Newfoundland was previously a British colony) after a closely fought referendum. Canada became a key member of the western alliance, joining NATO, sending troops to fight in the Korean War (1950 to 1953), and participating in a joint air defense system with the United States (NORAD).

Since the 1960s, Quebec has played an increasingly important role in Canadian politics, although not without controversy (including some demands for independence), and even violence. The main result of these changes has been increased recognition of the distinct and unique culture of French Canada. Another constitutional change, one that took place in 1982, was "Patriation", the removal of the remaining powers that the British parliament had to legislate for Canada.

Here are some books about the history of Canada:


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Books about Canadian History


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Canada: Canadian History: From Aboriginals to Modern Society - The People, Places and Events That Shaped The History of Canada and North America

By William D. Willis

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (78 pages)

Canada: Canadian History: From Aboriginals to Modern Society - The People, Places and Events That Shaped The History of Canada and North America
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Canada is known all over the world due to its undying commitment to multiculturalism and its social and ethnic diversity. In a time when these values were unspoken of, Canada was the first country to embrace an official multiculturalism policy. Nevertheless, the path that Canada followed to become the powerful nation it is today was like a labyrinth, filled with challenges and obstacles. Starting from Canada’s first inhabitants and explorers, this brief book will offer you a comprehensive overview of Canada’s history, as it presents the key events that altered the course of this nation, irrevocably. The following aspects are included in the book: - The coming of the Aboriginal peoples to Canada. - The first Viking expedition to Canada led by Leif Eriksson. - The initial European explorations that took place during the 15-16th centuries and how these laid the grounds for the colonization movement that followed afterward. - Canada’s role and place in the world today. - The primary elements that shape the Canadian culture and what makes it so distinctive. - Main places to visit in Canada: some sights and attractions that shouldn’t miss from your itinerary if you want to understand Canada's culture and uniqueness. Only when you aim at learning about a country’s history could you fully grasp its culture and evolution. That’s what makes this book the perfect resource for those who want to enlarge their knowledge of Canada. Canada is a country that seems to relish unlimited space. It is dynamic, unique and complex, being much more than a multicultural society; it is also a multinational one. The details pointed in this book link Canada’s past and present to its potential future. I challenge you to broaden your comprehension of Canada and get this book today! This beautiful country is unexpectedly intriguing once you get to learn more about it.

A Short History of Canada: Seventh Edition

By Desmond Morton

McClelland & Stewart
Released: 2017-08-29
Paperback (432 pages)

A Short History of Canada: Seventh Edition
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A fully updated edition of the Canadian classic.

Most of us know bits and pieces of our history but would like to be more sure of how it all fits together. The trick is to find a history that is so absorbing you will want to read it from beginning to end. With this expanded, seventh edition of A Short History of Canada, readers need look no further.
     Desmond Morton, one of Canada's most highly respected historians, is keenly aware of the ways in which our past informs the present, and in one compact and engrossing volume, he pulls off the remarkable feat of bringing it all together -- from the First Nations before the arrival of the Europeans, to Confederation, to Stephen Harper's prime ministership, to Justin Trudeau's victory in the 2015 election. His acute observations on the Diefenbaker era, the effects of the post-war influx of immigrants, the Trudeau years and the constitutional crisis, the Quebec referendum, the rise of the Canadian Alliance, and Canada under Harper's governance, all provide an invaluable background to understanding the way Canada works today and its direction in years to come.

Canada: A People's History Volume 1

By Don Gillmor

McClelland & Stewart
Released: 2002-10-01
Paperback (320 pages)

Canada: A People s History Volume 1
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How can we know where we’re going if we don’t know where we are coming from? This question applies as much to nations as it does to travellers, and it rings especially loudly in the ears of Canadians. Canada: A People’s History doesn’t tell us where we are going, but it shows us where we have come from
This richly illustrated book, the first of two volumes, tells the epic story of Canada from its earliest days to the arrival of the industrial age in the 1870s. Here is the story of the people who created this vast nation. The courageous explorers who tracked the vast wilderness; the adventurous settlers, many of them exiles from their homelands; the native peoples, crucial allies in the Europeans’ wars for possession of this land; the visionary politicians, and the shortsighted ones; but most of all the ordinary people who rose to the extraordinary challenge of building Canada. These people are all given voice here, their stories blending with accounts of the major events of the day.

This is the story of Canada for the new millennium, one that draws on solid scholarship and presents the human drama and excitement of days gone by, one that makes past times memorable.


From the Hardcover edition.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada

By DK Travel

DK Eyewitness Travel
Released: 2018-04-17
Paperback (440 pages)

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada
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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada will lead you straight to the best attractions this country has to offer. The fully updated guide includes unique cutaways, floor plans, and reconstructions of the must-see sights, plus street-by-street maps of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and other historic Canadian cities and towns.

Discover Canada region-by-region, from rural coastal villages to flat prairies and teeming metropolises. This fully updated guide provides the insider tips every visitor needs, such as the best scenic viewpoints of Niagara Falls and the Toronto skyline, highlights and maps of Canada's national parks, and scenic driving routes through the country.

What's new in DK Eyewitness Travel Guides:

  • New itineraries based on length of stay, regional destinations, and themes.
  • Brand-new hotel and restaurants listings including DK's Choice recommendations.
  • Restaurant locations plotted on redrawn area maps and listed with sights.
  • Redesigned and refreshed interiors make the guides even easier to read.

With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that brighten every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada truly shows you this country as no one else can.

Rise to Greatness: The History of Canada From the Vikings to the Present

By Conrad Black

McClelland & Stewart
Released: 2014-11-11
Hardcover (1120 pages)

Rise to Greatness: The History of Canada From the Vikings to the Present
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Masterful, ambitious, and groundbreaking, this is a major new history of our country by one of our most respected thinkers and historians -- a book every Canadian should own.
     From the acclaimed biographer and historian Conrad Black comes the definitive history of Canada -- a revealing, groundbreaking account of the people and events that shaped a nation.
     Spanning 874 to 2014, and beginning from Canada's first inhabitants and the early explorers, this masterful history challenges our perception of our history and Canada's role in the world. From Champlain to Carleton, Baldwin and Lafontaine, to MacDonald, Laurier, and King, Canada's role in peace and war, to Quebec's quest for autonomy, Black takes on sweeping themes and vividly recounts the story of Canada's development from colony to dominion to country. Black persuasively reveals that while many would argue that Canada was perhaps never predestined for greatness, the opposite is in fact true: the emergence of a magnificent country, against all odds, was a remarkable achievement. Brilliantly conceived, this major new reexamination of our country's history is a riveting tour de force by one of the best writers writing today.

The Kids Book of Canadian History

By Carlotta Hacker

Kids Can Press
Paperback (72 pages)

The Kids Book of Canadian History
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Canada has a rich and fascinating history. In this informative overview, kids will discover the people, places and events that have shaped our country. Featuring fact boxes, mini-profiles, maps, a timeline and more, this title in the acclaimed Kids Book of series offers a comprehensive and engaging look at Canada's development, change and growth.

Kids can read about
? the potlatch ceremonies of the west coast Aboriginal people
? the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway
? the battle of Vimy Ridge in World War I
? the role of Canadian women in World War II
? the establishment of Nunavut, Canada's newest territory, and more ...

The Penguin History of Canada

By Robert Bothwell

Penguin Canada
Released: 2007-10-30
Paperback (608 pages)

The Penguin History of Canada
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Canada is in many ways a country of limits, a paradox for a place that enjoys virtually unlimited space. Most of that space is uninhabited, and much of it is uninhabitable. It is a country with a huge north but with most of its population in the south, hugging the U.S. border. An uneasy and difficult country, Canada has nevertheless defied the odds: it remains, in the 21st century, a haven of peace and a beacon of prosperity. Erudite yet accessible and marked by narrative flair, The Penguin History of Canada paints an expansive portrait of a dynamic and complex country.


 
 
 

 
 
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