Canada History

Canada History

Aboriginal tradition holds that First Nations have inhabited Canadian territory for a long time. Some archaeological studies confirm human presence in the northern Yukon 26,500 years ago, and in southern Ontario 9,500 years ago.

The Vikings visited the Atlantic coast of Canada around the year 1000, in a small expedition that Leif Eriksson, son of Erik the Red, made from Greenland to the northern coast of the island of Newfoundland, where later a short-lived settlement called Leifbundir. In 1963 some Viking remains traditionally identified with that settlement were found in the town of L´Anse-aux-Meadows.

Centuries later, in 1497, the Italian navigator Giovanni Caboto explored the Atlantic coast in the service of England, claiming the island of Newfoundland as an English possession. Jacques Cartier explored the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1534 and claimed Canadian territories on behalf of France. The French colonized the province of New France in 1663 after founding Quebec (1608) and Montreal (1642). The competition for territories, naval bases, the fur trade and fishing became more and more fierce, originating conflicts between the Spanish, French, Dutch and English and the Amerindian tribes as allies. There were four Franco-Iroquois wars between 1689 and 1763 to obtain the sovereignty of Newfoundland.

In April of 1713 the signed Treaty of Utrecht with which a territorial agreement between France and established Britain by which the latter retain dominance in Hudson Bay and Newfoundland, keeping the peace until 1744, when the British invaded Louisburg, followed by the Seven Years’ War.

The British finally seized New France in 1763, after several previous frustrated raids, forcing the French military out of Quebec. The British North American Act (BNA) or Statute of British North America (EABN) of 1867 proclaimed the Dominion of Canada, composed of Ontario, Quebec and the former colonies of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick; in 1871 the territory of British Columbia would be united to the confederation, and in 1873 the Island of the Prince Eduardo. The BNA established a system of federal parliamentary government under the British Crown. Canada was proclaimed autonomous rule within the British Empire in December 1931: The sovereign became the Monarch of Canada, advised in this role only by the Canadian Parliament, thus the British Parliament ceased to have direct authority over Canada although fundamental legal decisions continued to be made in the United Kingdom. Canada finally gained its constitutional autonomy with the repatriation of the constitution in 1982.

Québec conflict

While Canada achieved its autonomy, the Quebec region was experiencing profound social and economic changes through the so-called “Quiet Revolution”, giving rise to the birth of a nationalist movement in the province and a more radical front called the Quebec Liberation Front. (FLQ), whose actions were centered in the year 1970. A decade later, in 1980, a failed referendum was held on the sovereignty or association of the province.

In 1990, there were unsuccessful attempts to make a constitutional amendment, followed by a second referendum in 1995, in which sovereignty was rejected by 50.6% against and 49.4% in favor. In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that unilateral secession by a province would be unconstitutional, so parliament passed the Clarity Law, which outlines the negotiation terms for a province to withdraw from the Confederation.

In addition to Quebec sovereignty issues, a series of crises shook Canadian society in the 1980s and early 1990s. These include the 1985 Air India Flight 182 explosion, the 1989 École Polytechnic massacre and the 1990 Oka Crisis, the latter stemming from a first series of violent clashes between the government and Aboriginal groups. That same year, Canada joined the Gulf War as part of a US-led coalition force and participated in various peacekeeping missions throughout the rest of the decade. Although he sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, he refused to send troops to Iraq when it was invaded by the United States in 2003.


After the beginning of the 21st century, according to Topschoolsintheusa, Canada experienced two governments, the first of the liberal Paul Martin, in whose government the nation stayed out of international conflicts and improved its state of health and education. Then in 2006, the conservative Stephen Harper, who applied certain measures, among which were the hardening of economic-financial policies, as well as the fight against the criminal situation in the country, modifying the sentence from five to ten years in prison. those who commit crimes with firearms and suppress the parole of those who had two-thirds of the sentence served. The application of the Federal Accountability Act (Federal Accountability Act) that aimed to fight against administrative and governmental corruption. It also proposed an improvement in the quality of the Medicare system, reducing the waiting time for patients to receive medical treatment [4] .

Canada History