Canada Early History

Canada Early History

Canada has prehistory and early history in common with other parts of North America (history).

French rule

The first residents of the area that is now Canada were Indians (First Nations) and Inuit. Around 1000 Norman sailors (Leif Eriksson) reached the east coast of Canada (L’Anse aux Meadows), which was not rediscovered until 1497 by G. and S. Caboto (Newfoundland and South Labrador).

In 1534/35 and 1541 J. Cartier took possession of the St. Lawrence River area for France (New France); S. de Champlain founded Quebec in 1608. An extensive fur trade developed, which gave birth to the rangers (“coureurs des bois”, later also called “voyageurs”). At first the area was under a monopoly company, until 1663 the Compagnie de la France Nouvelle; then the French crown took over the administration of the colony. Under the artistic director J. Talon and the governor L. de Buade Frontenac, the western expansion of the area was continued; The latter promoted, inter alia. R. R. Cavelier de La Salle who drove down the Mississippi to its estuary in 1682. From the Saint Lawrence River, the French built a chain of forts as far as the Great Lakes and the Mississippi area, where they came into contact with Louisiana. Various Indian tribes were drawn into the early onset of the confrontation with the English colonists in the north (Hudson Bay, Newfoundland) and south (New England) (including the Iroquois as allies of the English, Hurons as allies of the French). In the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) France had to cede Acadia and Newfoundland to Great Britain; The war of 1756–63 (Seven Years War). Relying on the power of their colonies, the English under General J. Wolfe conquered Quebec in 1759 and Montreal in 1760; In 1763 (Peace of Paris) all areas of what is now eastern Canada became British and Louisiana Spanish.

British colonization

On October 7, 1763, according to ethnicityology, Great Britain gave the French-settled St. Lawrence River area the status of a province (Province of Quebec) by royal proclamation, the administration of which was in the hands of a governor. The increasing unrest in their old colonies caused the British government to make further concessions to the newly acquired territory by means of a law (Quebec Act) in 1774; the colony was expanded to the areas north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi. By granting freedom of religion and recognizing the French constitutional structures, Great Britain won the loyalty of the French Canadians in the American War of Independence. After the end of this war (1783; Establishing the border between the British provinces and the USA in the Peace of Paris) around 40,000 Americans (“loyalists”) who had remained loyal to British rule came to Canada. Of these, 30,000 reached Canada by sea, settled in Nova Scotia and established the province New Brunswick. Another 10,000 moved to Quebec and settled on Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence River. The policy of free land acquisition also later attracted large numbers of American border residents. So two settlement cores were formed that differed in terms of population, culture and religion. The Constitutional Act of 1791 accordingly established two provinces: the predominantly English Upper Canada and the French Lower Canada, which were separated by the Ottawa River; both had independent administrations. 1812-14 the attempt of the USA to conquer the British possessions in North America failed. a. the resolute resistance of the French-speaking British subjects as well. This success boosted the provinces’ sense of self and togetherness; This resulted in the growing demand for greater autonomy, which erupted in unrest in 1837. However, because French-Canadian radicals used this rebellion to pursue the establishment of a republic, Great Britain passed a law (Canada Union Act) in 1840, by which Upper and Lower Canada were united to the province of Canada, which received a government accountable to parliament.

Up until that time, the areas of British North America that did not belong to the province of Canada were barely populated; they were administered by the Hudson’s Bay Company, founded in 1670, which had established bases there for fur hunting and fur trading with the Indians. The border between the USA and the British possessions was established in 1818 between the Lake of the Woods and the ridge of the Rocky Mountains along 49 ° north latitude, the territory of Oregon between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific and between 42 ° and 54 ° 40 ′north latitude was neutralized. Since the mid-1830s, the number of American settlers in Oregon increased rapidly; so as not to lose the whole area, Great Britain was divided in 1846 by extending the border along latitude 49 ° north to Puget Sound. At the same time, the Hudson’s Bay Company was commissioned to create settlements on the Pacific coast that would secure British property: these became the crown colony of British Columbia in 1858. In order to counter the growing economic and political attraction of the USA, Great Britain agreed to federation negotiations of its North American provinces in 1864. (Dominion of Canada) on July 1, 1867; to these in 1869 the Hudson’s Bay Company ceded their territory (the later provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan). British Columbia joined in 1871 and Prince Edward Island in 1873. The rapid development of the west led in 1869/70 and 1884/85 to the unrest of the Métis (Indian-European mixed population) led by Louis Riel (* 1844, † [executed] 1885).

Canada Early History