Canada Old History

By | January 2, 2023

Canada is an independent nation in North America. With the capital city of Ottawa, Canada 2020 population is estimated at 37,742,165 according to countryaah. The colonization of Canada began in the 16th century. Centuries later, England / Britain and France competed to build new colonies in North America, at the same time as colonial violence, and diseases brought by Europeans led to a rapid decline in the number of Indians. In the 18th century, the British defeated the French, but many French speakers remained in what was then called Lower Canada (Quebec). In 1867, the British Parliament decided that Upper Canada (Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia should be united into a federal state which also had its own parliament. This was gradually expanded with several new provinces.

  • Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Canada, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

The first people came to Canada about 12,000 years ago by crossing today’s Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska. Settlements from 9,500 BC have been found on the prairie and far east in the province of New Brunswick. The area was sparsely populated by a variety of people. For Canada political system, please check diseaseslearning.

The first Europeans to come to Canada were Vikings who built a settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows on Newfoundland around the year 1000 AD. The settlement was excavated in the mid-1960s and is now a tourist attraction. The Vikings are considered to have come from Norway via Iceland and Greenland. They stayed in L’Anse aux Meadows for a few years before being forced to leave the area after fighting with the Dorset Inuit.

European contacts were resumed in 1497 when the Italian Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) “discovered” Canada’s east coast as he sailed under the English flag to Newfoundland.

It was not until 1534 that the colonization of the country began. Then came the Frenchman Jacques Cartier, who was really looking for a waterway to China and India. He headed down the St. Lawrence River to the first rapids where today’s Montreal is located. He named the area Canada after the words of the Iroquois Indians.

The colonists’ first permanent settlements were built in the 17th century when the trade in fur began to increase in size. In 1608, the city of Québec and later Montreal was founded. The French called the new colony New France (La Nouvelle France).

Most of the Indians in the area lived as nomads but also did farming and fishing on a small scale. Many Indian groups began to participate in fur trade during the 17th and 18th centuries, and were thus drawn into the monetary economy. Violence on the part of the colonists, but also diseases that the Europeans brought, caused the number of Indians to decline rapidly.

France and England were now competing to build colonies in North America. Fur trading was profitable, and in 1670 an English company, the Hudson Bay Company, was granted permission by the English King to take control of large lands at Hudson Bay.

The war between France and England (Britain from 1707) in Europe also affected the colonies in North America. In connection with the peace in Utrecht in 1713, France surrendered parts of Canada – Newfoundland and today’s Nova Scotia (Acadia / l’Acadie) – to the United Kingdom. The fighting between the French and the British continued both in Europe and in the colonies during the 18th century. In a decisive battle outside the city of Québec in 1759, the British defeated the French troops. In 1763, France was forced to surrender most of its colony in Canada to Britain.

The French then constituted the majority of the population of Canada and were allowed to retain their language, their Catholic religion and their legal system under the Québec Act, adopted in 1774. The British began to immigrate in large numbers, but they settled mainly in Upper Canada (now Ontario), and thus, the French continued to dominate in Quebec. Difficult economic conditions and political dissatisfaction led the French Canadians to revolt to demand increased self-government in 1837-1838. The revolt was defeated by British forces and caused the political influence of the French countries in Quebec to be truncated.

Clashes between British and American forces in 1812 had helped to strengthen the ties between Britain’s various colonies in North America. In 1867, the British Parliament passed the so-called British North America Act, which united Upper Canada, Lower Canada (Quebec), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia into a federal state (federation). A few years earlier, British Columbia on the West Coast had been granted British colony status.

From 1869 to 1873, Canada grew further to include British Columbia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories. In 1905, Alberta and Saskatchewan joined.

The first Canadian Parliament was established in Ottawa in 1867 and John Alexander MacDonald was appointed the first Federal Prime Minister. He led a conservative party, formed in 1854, which dominated Canadian politics for most of the second half of the 19th century. The party was challenged mainly by the Liberal Party (formed in 1867) which ruled the country in 1896-1911.

The extraction of the rich natural resources, the cultivation of the prairie and the rapid industrialization in the east created economic growth in the early 1900s. At the same time, immigration took off.

Canadian troops participated in Britain’s side in the Boer War in South Africa as well as in both the First and Second World Wars. When military service was introduced in Québec during the World War, riots erupted there. Dissatisfaction with government policy during the 1930s economic depression led to the formation of two new parties, a socialist in Saskatchewan and a right-wing party in Alberta that won the votes of the traditional parties.



Soldier shot dead in Ottawa

October 23

Shotgun breaks out in several parts of the capital, Ottawa. A man shoots to death a soldier standing guard at a war monument. He then goes to Parliament, where he is shot dead by police. The suspected perpetrator, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, is described by Prime Minister Harper as a terrorist. It is unclear if he has done the deed on his own. Zehaf-Bibeau has previously been cleared of his Canadian passport on suspicion of supporting militant Islamist movements, but has previously only been convicted of drug possession and minor theft. Couture-Rouleau also had his passport canceled. The two men are not considered to have any connections to each other. Harper says after the death that Canada should redouble its efforts against international terrorism. Before the deed, Zehaf-Bibeau had recorded a video indicating that he had political and ideological motives, but there is no indication that he would have had any contacts with Islamists in the Middle East. He had substance abuse problems and is believed to have converted to Islam only recently.

A soldier is killed and one is injured in an attack

October 20

One soldier and another are injured in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec after being hit by a French-Canadian man, Martin Couture-Rouleau, who converted to Islam. He was later shot to death by police.

Canada and the EU agree on free trade agreements

15 October

Canada and the EU countries agree on a new free trade agreement, Ceta.

Clear sign for action against IS

October 7

The lower house votes for Canada to participate in the international operation against the Islamic State (IS) Islamist group in Iraq. 155 of the members are in favor of an intervention, 134 against. Canada will, among other things, participate in the air raids with six combat planes, two surveillance planes and send 600 men to the region.


The Liberals win in New Brunswick

September 22

The Liberal Party wins the provincial election in New Brunswick.


Canada tightens sanctions on Russia

August 6th

Canada tightens sanctions on Russia. Now nearly 100 people in Russia and Ukraine are subject to financial sanctions and entry bans in Canada. In addition, a number of banks and other companies are boycotted. Canada, in turn, is hit by Russia’s countermeasures: a total halt to imports of food from the West.


Canada introduces new sanctions on Russia

July 24

After a Malaysian passenger plane was shot down over rebel-dominated territory in eastern Ukraine, Canada tightens its sanctions on Russia as punishment for Moscow’s support for the pro-Russian rebels. The sanctions target, among other things, ten Russian large companies, including several banks. The Ukrainian rebel republics and their leaders are also covered by the new measures.


Controversial electoral law comes into force

June 19

A new and controversial electoral law, the Fair Elections Act, gains legal power. The new law that was added to prevent electoral fraud means that the electoral authority can no longer conduct information campaigns to get more adult Canadians to vote and the voting rights of Canadians who have lived abroad for a longer period of time. Strict rules are put in place on how to identify when voting, whereby voting cards are sent to those who have a fixed address (which, critics say, risks striking against indigenous peoples).

Northern Gateway clear sign

17th of June

The federal government has, with some reservations, approved the construction of a large pipeline, the Northern Gateway, for the transportation of oil from Alberta to the Pacific coast. The project has met resistance from the indigenous peoples, the environmental movement and trade unions and triggered a fierce political debate. Resistance to the pipeline is particularly high in British Columbia, where opinion polls indicate that 67 percent of the population is critical to construction.

Liberals win in Ontario

June 12

The Liberals win the Ontario provincial election. The party has gone to elections with a left-wing policy where a new pension system for the province and investment in several infrastructure projects (both roads and metro) were some of the main points. The Liberals, who have already ruled the province for ten years, get their own majority in the provincial parliament (previously Kathleen Wynne had led a minority government with the support of the NDP). However, the province has a large budget deficit and new savings will come.


HD no to Senate reform

April 25

The Supreme Court (HD) unanimously rejects the federal government’s plans to reform or abolish the Senate. Among other things, the Harper government wants the senators in the future to be elected by universal suffrage and for a limited period of time, and he hopes that this can be done without changing the constitution. But according to the court, this is not possible. A reform must be approved by 7 provinces and at least 50 percent of the population. If the House is to be completely abolished, this must win support among all 10 provinces. Harper says he does not intend to move forward with the reform proposals. An important reason for this is that the Prime Minister does not want to risk new and lengthy deliberations on Canada’s constitution, which has created difficulties for previous governments (see Modern History). Harper is criticized by NDP leader Tom Mulcair who says he intends to seek support to abolish the Senate among provincial leaders.

The Liberals back in power in Quebec

April 7

The provincial election in Quebec leads to a shift in power, with the Liberals winning the election with 41 percent of the vote against 25 percent for the PQ. PQ’s position has been weakened by the fact that support has grown for two other French-speaking parties Coalition Avenir Québec and the Social Democratic Québec Solidaire. A few days before the election, PQ’s Pauline Marois had promised to lower the income tax as soon as her provincial government got the budget in balance. The party’s plans to make the provincial government completely secular through a Charter of Rights) will not be the voice magnet that PQ has hoped for (it will be prohibited, among other things, for civil servants to wear religious symbols when they are at work). The resistance is, among other things, strong from Québec Solidaire, which has a more multicultural profile than PQ. The collection of rights is also intended to mark the distinctiveness of the Québecs vis-à-vis the rest of the country, but issues such as language and identity are no longer as important as before for the French-speaking population of the province. The electoral movement has largely been about corruption deals, taxes, care and schooling and the province’s economy. After the election, Marois resigns as party leader.


Canada ends military operation in Afghanistan

March 18th

Canada ends its operation in Afghanistan and the last Canadian soldiers leave the country.


Harper travels to Israel

Harper visits Israel. He is being welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who calls the Canadian Prime Minister Israel’s “best friend”. At a speech in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, Harper opposes all talk of sanctions against Israel and emphasizes that all comparisons between Israel and the South African apartheid regime are “vicious”. However, he defends the Palestinians’ right to their own state, alongside an Israeli one. He also says he shares the Israeli skepticism about the diplomatic settlement that the major powers struck with Iran in 2013 (see Iran: Calendar).

Investment in vocational education

When the budget is presented in the middle of the month, Finance Minister Flaherty says that the state’s finances should be in balance, or even show a surplus for the 2015/2016 financial year. This time no taxes are lowered. The budget also includes a support package of half a billion Canadian dollars for the automotive industry, while the defense gets its appropriations reduced by 3 billion Canadian dollars. An important part of the budget is also what is known as the Canada job grant, which means that almost 130,000 Canadians a year will receive vocational training to better fit the labor market. Most provincial governments fear that this will go beyond the labor market training that is already being conducted at the provincial level, but at the end of the month the government will be able to agree with all provinces except Quebec on a new vocational training program.

Canada Old History