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Transcript of Canadian History
The first people to live in Canada arrived 30,000 yrs. ago from the Bering Strait; which was believed to connect Asia with Alaska.
Another group of settlers were believed to have crossed the same land bridge about 5,000 years ago. In time they became known as the Inuit-Eskimos.
The Europeans arrived later. In the year 1,000 a Viking explorer named Leif Erikson sailed from Greenland to Newfoundland. The Vikings led other brief explorations there and evidence of settlement was found, but never established.
In 1497, John Cabot landed on Canada's eastern coast. He was an Italian explorer that claimed the land for Great Britain.
In 1530, Jacques Cartier landed in Canada
and claimed the land for the French.
The explorers who arrived in Canada were looking for a shortcut to the East Indies, but such a shortcut did not exist. They did find many riches such as fur, fish, timber, and other precious natural resources.
In the 1500's and 1600's the French and British
started permanent settlements in Canada.
They met Native Americans and traded with them.
Most French settlers stayed in eastern Canada.
Most British settlers moved north and west.
More and more of the land was explored and settled.
The arrival of the Europeans brought problems.
They took Native American land for their own use.
They brought diseases that killed the natives and
many of them were killed in battles with the Europeans.
There was trouble with the French and the British over the claim of Canada. They fought several wars before the British won in 1759 at the Battle of the Plain of Abraham. This is when Canada turned into a British colony.
In the 1800's many people in Canada wanted to be independent.
It was felt that Great Britain passed unfair laws and that it
was too far away to make good decisions for Canada.
On July 1, 1867, The North America Act was passed.
This formed a union of provinces called the Dominion of Canada.
The new country had it's own government, but the colony still belonged to Great Britain.
At first there were only 4 provinces, but by 1900 all the other provinces had joined the union. Newfoundland was the last to join in 1949.
The 1870's were known for the eastern and western link between Canada. This began with the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It took 7 years to build and many Chinese and Irish immigrants worked on it.
In 1885, the first transcontinental train traveled across Canada.
It went from Montreal to Vancouver. It opened the west and midwest to many new settlers.
In 1896, gold was discovered in the Yukon Territory. Thousands rushed there to pan for gold. Most never found treasure, but some stayed and started new lives in Canada.
In the 1900's Canadians wanted even more independence.
In 1923, William Lyon Mackenzie King, the Prime Minister
of Canada, signed a fishing treaty with the U.S.
This marked the first time in history that an independent
agreement was made with another foreign government.
In 1931, Britain recognized Canada
as an independent nation.
Canada become part of
a British Commonwealth.
In 1982, the Constitution Act was passed.
This was the end of Great Britain's influence on Canada's government.
Today, Canada is truly independent. The Prime Minister is Justin Trudeau.