A Brief History Of Canada

A Brief History Of Canada
Although Canada had been settled for millennia by dozens of Native American tribes such as the Algonquian and Iroquois, its modern history began in the late 15th century when French and British expeditions first made their way into the far northern regions of North America. Early explorers came in from the Atlantic coast sailing up the St Lawrence River around 1600 in search of lucrative animal furs catering to the European fashion of the day.

The French were the main European influence in the beginning, establishing trading outposts and towns throughout the east such as Quebec City. But the British were not far behind, and claimed their first piece of the New World in 1583 at St John's, Newfoundland. Throughout this colonial era in the 1600s and 1700s the French, British and Native American tribes fought continuous battles over territory.

There were four French and Indian Wars and numerous skirmishes between the French and British until the French finally gave up their foothold in Canada when they lost to the British in the Seven Years War in 1763. This was when Canada, as we know it, was born, and the territory was ruled peacefully as a British Commonwealth for the next century or so afterwards.

The War of 1812 was the next struggle for domination of Canada, this time between the ruling British and the new American nation to the south. The result of this conflict was the formation of the borders between the United States and Canada that still exist today. The Americans took the Great Lakes and many American colonists in this region shifted south into states like Ohio.

Eventually the residents of Canada decided they wanted out from under the rule of England, beginning with the Rebellions of 1837. Although the British continued to rule the Canadian provinces with a soft hand, the colonies enjoyed increasing autonomy from the Empire. In 1931 the Statute of Westminster began the long process of complete autonomy, which ended in the Canada Act of 1982 which saw Canada completely sever its legal dependence on Great Britain.

During the mid-1800s, British explorers began venturing westwards into Canada's wild frontier. The Colony of Vancouver was chartered in 1849, eventually merging into the larger Colony of British Columbia in 1863. The vast timber and mineral resources of western Canada opened this area up quickly as the wealth was exported by sea from Vancouver or back across the nation by rail.

Canada's modern history has been one of peace and slow but steady economic growth. Canada tends to avoid global conflict and attracts business and immigrants to its major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Alberta and Quebec. Unlike its powerful neighbour to the south, Canada prefers staying out of the limelight.

This strategy has worked well in the past few decades, as Canada has built up a solid economy that is based around resource extraction such as oil in Alberta and timber in British Columbia. It is a peaceful nation with improving relationships with its First Nations indigenous tribes and a good rapport with Europe and Asia.