History of Canada
The Inuit or eskimos were the native Indians who first inhabited Canada. Leif Eriksson, the Norse explorer reached the shores of Labrador or Nova Scotia or Canada in 1000. But the story of white men in the country started in 1497, when John Cabot, an Italian in the service of Henry VII of England, reached Newfoundland or Nova Scotia. Jacques Cartier took Canada for France in 1534. In 1604, the actual settlement of New France began at Port Royal in what is now Nova Scotia. Quebec was founded in in 1608. The colonization efforts of France were not very successful. The French explorers by the end of the 17th century had penetrated beyond the Great Lakes to the western prairies and south along the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. The Hudson’s Bay Company of the English had been established in 1670. In 1713, a conflict developed between the English and the French because of the valuable fisheries and fur trade. Newfoundland, Hudson Bay, and Nova Scotia were later lost to England. England extended its conquest during the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), and James Wolfe, the British General won his famous victory outside Quebec over Gen. Louis Montcalm on Sept. 13, 1759. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 gave England control.
The population of Canada was almost entirely French at that time, but during the next few decades, thousands of British colonists emigrated to Canada from the British Isles and from the American colonies. The right of Canada to self-government was recognized in 1849. The dominion of Canada was created through the confederation of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick by the British North America Act of1867. Hudson’s Bay Company sold in 1869 to Canada the vast Rupert’s Land – middle west from which the provinces of Manitoba (1870), Alberta (1905), and Saskatchewan (1905) were later formed. In 1871, British Columbia joined the dominion, and in 1873, Prince Edward Island followed. In 1885, the country was linked by the Canadian Pacific Railway from coast to coast.