Introduction of Upper-Canada
Former province corresponding to the S part of modernOntario. It became a province in 1791 and wassettled by English Loyalist refugees from the AmericanRevolution. From 1841 to 1867 it was namedCanada West under the Act of Union.Canada is an independent nation and a member ofthe Commonwealth of Nations. The name Canada isfrom an Indian word meaning вЂњvillageвЂќ or вЂњsettlement.вЂќOttawa is the capital. Canada is the secondlargestcountry in the world, occupying all of NorthAmerica north of the United States except Alaska.While it ranks 31st in population, Canada is animportant power in world affairs. A democraticnation with traditional and strong ties to the Englishspeakingworld, Canada is an active participant inUnited Nations affairs and a valued member of theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization, to which it contributesboth armed forces and political support.Strong both industrially and agriculturally, Canada isalso in the upper ranks of the economically importantnations of the world.The first inhabitants were the ancestors of themodern Indians and InuitвЂ”the Canadian вЂњFirstNations.вЂќ The first Europeans to set foot in NorthAmerica were the Vikings, who reached Canada ina.d. 1001 and spent the winter on the northern coastof Newfoundland . In the late 15th and early 16thcenturies, European explorers again reached Canadain their search for a sea route, the Northwest Passage,to the Far East. Among them were John Cabotand Henry Hudson for England , and Jacques Cartierand Samuel de Champlain for France. Cabotmade voyages to the New World in 1497 and 1498;Cartier in 1534, 1535, and 1541; Hudson in 1609and 1610; while Champlain undertook five voyagesbeginning in 1603. These voyages caused bothEn gland and France to claim large and vaguelydefined areas that included what is now Canada.The French under Champlain were the first tocolonize the country, the earliest permanent settlementbeing made at Quebec in 1608. The Frenchdeveloped the fur trade, and such men as the sieur deLa Salle, Louis Hennepin, Louis Jolliet, and JacquesMarquette were pioneer explorers of the inland regions, including the Great Lakes and the MississippiRiver. The English, by establishing the Hudson'sBay Company in 1670, competed with theFrench for the fur trade. Each side had Indian allies,the Hurons being the chief supporters of the Frenchand the Iroquois of the English.The first warfare between the rivals occurred in1613 when American colonists destroyed Port Royal,Nova Scotia, now Annapolis Royal. In 1629 theEnglish captured Quebec. Between 1689 and 1763,four European wars between the French and Englishwere also fought in North America. The last, from1754 to 1763, was known in North America as theFrench and Indian War. It ended after Great Britainonce more captured Quebec in 1759. The treaty of1763 gave the British possession of Canada. TheQuebec Act of 1774 created the province of Quebec,which took in the area E of the Mississippi River and N of the Ohio River, as well as eastern Canada.When the American Revolution began, the coloniststried to get the Canadians to join them in rebellion,but neither the English-speaking nor theFrench-speaking inhabitants were persuaded. TheAmericans invaded Canada and captured Montrealin 1775 but later had to retreat. In 1777 the Britishused Canada as a starting point for an invasion ofNew York but were defeated at Saratoga. Duringthe War of 1812 several battles were fought on Canadiansoil between the Americans and the British and Canadians with mixed results and no permanentadvantage to either side. The final section of theboundary between Canada and the United States, inthe Far West, was not settled until 1846.The British changed colonial boundaries and governmentalsystems several times in the 19th centuryuntil in 1867 the British North America Act establishedthe Dominion of Canada, with arrangementsfor a democratic form of government. At first thedominion consisted of four provinces: New Brunswick,Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Since thensix more provinces have been admitted: Manitoba in1870, British Columbia in 1871, Prince EdwardIsland in 1873, Alberta and Saskatchewan in1905, and Newfoundland in 1949. There are threeother governmental units, the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.The discovery of gold in the Klondike area ofthe Yukon brought a short-lived rush of prospectorsin 1897 and 1898. In World War I Canada sent anarmy to Europe to fight on the side of the Allies. Afterthe war, Canada joined the League of Nations and inthe 1920s established its own diplomatic service. In1931 the British Parliament's Statute of Westminstermade the dominions, such as Canada, completelyself-governing. The Canadian army, navy, and airforce played important roles in World War II.Modern Canada is a developed, industrializednation of more than 31 million people with a diverseeconomy. Its major cities are Edmonton, Calgary,Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.In recent years, the old differences betweenEnglish-speaking and French-speaking Canadians hasagain come to the fore, chiefly in Quebec, over suchmatters as teaching language in schools. There is alsoa conflict between the central government and someof the provinces over the sharing of the profits and taxes from Canada's extremely valuable energyresources. In October 1980 the government asked theBritish Parliament to transfer from London the BritishNorth America Act of 1867, to Canada so that thedominion could control and amend its own politicaland governmental affairs. Canada received this constitutionin 1982, but Quebec did not ratify the constitution.In 1984 the Meech Lake Accord proposedchanges in the constitution bringing in Quebec as aculturally вЂњdistinct society,вЂќ but it was rejected byEnglish-speaking Canada in 1990 as Newfoundland and Manitoba failed to ratify it. In 1992 voters alsorejected the Charlottetown Accord that wouldhave modified the constitution to suit the Quebecois.In 1992 Canada, the United States, and Mexiconegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) that established a North Americanfree-trade zone starting in 1994. In 1998 the governmentissued a formal apology to Canada's indigenouspeople for 150 years of mistreatment and establisheda fund for reparations. In 1999 Canada split theNorthwest Territories, creating the Inuit dominatedterritory of Nunavut out of the eastern part. In 2000a bill was passed making it harder financially forQuebec to secede from the nation. Canada supportedthe United States after the terrorist attacks of 2001 byhelping travellers strand ed after the hijackings, and later, by sending forces to Afghanistan. Canadaopposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.