The history of Canada is in a way linked with the North American history. Canada has come a long way from the earliest inhabitants through periods of European colonization to its current place as a modern independent nation. The history of Canada has been greatly influenced by its people, geography and contact with European settlers.
The pre-history of Canada began with the aboriginal people who are believed to have arrived from Asia thousands of years ago. Recent archaeological findings show that the Natives first arrived in North America 40,000 years BCE by crossing a land bridge between Asia and Alaska. These diverse range of aboriginals were essentially hunters, fishers or farmers who led a nomadic life. The native first came into contact with the Europeans some 1000 years ago when Icelandic Norsemen settled in Newfoundland for a brief period.
In the early 1600s, the first permanent French and British settlement began and spread throughout the century. As the French settled in Canada, Britain took control over the Thirteen Colonies to the south as well as the Hudson Bay. The British, with greater financial power and a bigger navy, were always in a advantageous position than the French to protect and expand their colonies.
Due the bitter rivalry between England and France, the point of focus was shifted to North America. Subsequent to the fall of Quebec City in 1759, the Treaty of Paris allotted all French territory to Britain, with the exception of the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon.
The Quebec Act (1774) was passed by Britain which granted official recognition to French Civil Law and assured freedom of religion and language.
The rise in population led to the creation of Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) in the year 1791 with both being granted their individual representative government. With the break out of a rebellion in Upper and Lower Canada, the British were compelled to unite the two colonies, creating the united Province of Canada. The newly united Province of Canada was further was granted responsible a government in 1848. Despite attaining a measure of autonomy, Canada remained part of the British Empire.
Under the terms of the British North America Act, Canada East (Quebec),
Canada West (Ontario), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick united to become the Dominion of Canada on 1 July, 1867.
The government of New Canada followed the British parliamentary system, with a Governor General who is the Crown's representative and a Parliament comprising of the House of Commons and the Senate.
This article provides an overview of the history of Canada. For more on Canada, visit- 123independenceday.com
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