Sparsely populated and home to some of the most stunning natural scenery in the world, boasting the Rocky Mountains and vast wilderness, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
In the cities, Toronto has nearby Niagara Falls, Montreal has a gallic flavour, and Vancouver has the Pacific coast. Diversity is respected and there is a greater recognition of the First Nations than was the case in the past.
History of Canada
Prior to European colonisation, the lands encompassing present-day Canada were inhabited by Indigenous peoples including the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Some of the older civilizations had faded by the time of the first European arrivals.
The first Europeans to arrive in Canada were the Vikings, who established a short-lived settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around the year 1000.
It was not until the 16th century that European colonisation of Canada began. The newcomers brought new diseases which devastated the indigenous population, seeing a drastic population fall and also minor conflict over the fur trade and loss of land to settlers.
In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier claimed the land along the St. Lawrence River. Over the next few decades, the French established a number of fur trading posts, and by the 17th century, New France had become a major colony.
Around this time, the British began to colonise Canada. In 1608, English explorer Henry Hudson established a trading post at what is now known as York Factory, in present-day Manitoba. Over the next few decades, a number of other trading posts were established, and by the 18th century Canada was not big enough for both France and Britain.
The Seven Years War
The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a bloody, global conflict that involved most of the European great powers, and was fought primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific - it could be thought of as the 'the first world war'. Rivalry between France and Britain for control of Canada ended with the Seven Years' War as Britain emerged victorious. The French ceded New France and Britain added these to the Thirteen Colonies to the south, the future United States of America
Th American War of Independence
After the Seven Years' War, the British consolidated their control over Canada, averting rebellion by giving the French speaking area now called Quebec a degree of autonomy. The increasingly resentful colonies looked on, further fuelling anger against Britain.
The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) saw the establishment of the United States. A large migration of loyalists who had fought against American independence changed the demographics of the existing territories and in 1791, the colony of Quebec was divided into two parts: Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec).
The basis of this division resulted in Upper Canada being English-speaking and Protestant, and Lower Canada being French-speaking and Catholic.
ROUND 2 of Britain vs The US
The War of 1812-1815 between the United States and Britain occurred when Britain's best troops were fighting Napoleon but ended in a draw.
In the early 19th century, a movement for self-government in Canada led in 1840, to Upper and Lower Canada being united into a single colony called the Province of Canada though some French Canadians feared that their language and culture would be assimilated by the English.
Canada achieved further self-government and in 1867, the British North America Act created the Dominion of Canada, a self-governing federation of four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The Dominion of Canada continued to grow in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
When Britain declared war in 1914, Canada was automatically brought into the First World War. It also played a major role in World War II and saw Canadian soldiers deployed in Europe, Asia and less well known, also North Africa.
After World War II, Canada became a major player on the world stage. It played a leading role in the creation of NATO and became a major economic power.