Canada History

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Aboriginal tradition holds that the First Peoples inhabited parts of Canada for a very long time, and some archaeological studies support human presence in northern Yukon to 26,500 years ago, and in southern Ontario to 9,500 years ago. Europeans first arrived when the Vikings settled briefly at L'Anse aux Meadows circa AD 1000. The next Europeans to explore Canada's Atlantic coast included John Cabot in 1497 and Martin Frobisher in 1576, for England; and Jacques Cartier in 1534 and Samuel de Champlain in 1603, for France. The first permanent European settlements were established by the French at Port Royal in 1605 and Quebec City in 1608, and by the English in Newfoundland, around 1610. European explorers and trappers unwittingly brought diseases that spread rapidly through native trade routes and decimated the Aboriginal population.

The Death of General Wolfe, painted by Benjamin West, depicts British General Wolfe's death after his victory at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.For much of the 17th century, the English and French colonies in North America were able to develop in relative isolation from each other. French colonists extensively settled the St. Lawrence River valley, while English colonists largely settled in the Thirteen Colonies to the south. However, as competition for territory, naval bases, furs and fish escalated, several wars broke out between the French, English and Native tribes. The French and Iroquois Wars erupted between the Iroquois Confederation and the Algonquin, with their French allies, over control of the fur trade. A series of four French and Indian Wars were fought between 1689 and 1763; these culminated with a complete British victory in the Seven Years' War. By the terms of Treaty of Paris in 1763, Britain gained control of all of France's North American territory east of the Mississippi River, except for the remote islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon.

Following the war, the British found themselves in possession of a mostly French-speaking, Roman Catholic territory, whose inhabitants had recently taken up arms against Britain. To avert conflict, Britain passed the Quebec Act of 1774, re-establishing the French language, Catholic faith, and French civil law in Quebec. The act had unforseen consequences for Britain, however, as it angered many residents of the Thirteen Colonies, helping to fuel the American Revolution. Following the independence of the United States, approximately 50,000 United Empire Loyalists moved to Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. As they were unwelcome in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick was carved out of that colony for them in 1784. To accommodate the English-speaking Loyalists in Quebec, the province was divided into francophone Lower Canada and anglophone Upper Canada under the Constitutional Act in 1791.

Canada was a major front in the War of 1812 between the United States and British Empire and its successful defence had important long-term effects on Canada, including the building of a sense of unity and nationalism among British North Americans. Large-scale immigration to Canada began in 1815 from Britain and Ireland. A series of agreements led to long-term peace between Canada and the United States, interrupted only briefly by raids made by political insurgents such as the Hunters' Lodges and the Fenian Brotherhood.

Following the failed Rebellions of 1837, which demanded responsible government, colonial officials studied the political situation and issued the Durham Report in 1839. One goal—which proved unacceptable for the alliance of anglophone and francophone reformers that had rebelled in 1837—was to assimilate the French Canadians into British culture. The Canadas were merged into a single, quasi-federal colony, the United Province of Canada, with the Act of Union (1840). The signing of the Oregon Treaty by Britain and the United States in 1846 ended the Oregon boundary dispute, extending the border westward along the 49th parallel and ending joint occupation of the Oregon Country/Columbia District. This led to the creation of the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1849 and, with the outbreak of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, the colony of British Columbia in 1858, but both were entirely separate from the United Province of Canada. By the late 1850s, leaders in Canada launched a series of western exploratory expeditions, with the intention of assuming control of Rupert's Land and the Arctic region. The Canadian population grew rapidly because of high birth rates; high European immigration was offset by emigration to the United States, especially by French Canadians moving to New England.

Sir John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister.Following the Great Coalition, the Charlottetown Conference, the Quebec Conference of 1864, and the London Conference of 1866, the three colonies—Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick—undertook the process of Confederation. The British North America Act created "one dominion under the name of Canada", with four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. After Canada assumed control of Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory, which together formed the Northwest Territories in 1870, inattention to the Métis led to the Red River Rebellion and ultimately to the creation of the province of Manitoba and its entry into Confederation in July 1870. British Columbia and Vancouver Island (which had united in 1866) and the colony of Prince Edward Island joined the Confederation in 1871 and 1873, respectively. To connect the union and assert authority over the western provinces, Canada constructed three trans-continental railways, most notably the Canadian Pacific Railway, encouraged immigrants to develop the prairies with the Dominion Lands Act, and established the North West Mounted Police. As settlers went to the prairies on the railway and the population grew, regions of the Northwest Territories were given provincial status forming Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905.

Canadian soldiers advance behind a tank at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.Canada automatically entered the First World War in 1914 with Britain's declaration of war, and sent formed divisions, composed almost entirely of volunteers, to the Western Front to fight as a national contingent. Casualties were so high that Prime Minister Robert Borden was forced to bring in conscription in 1917; this move was extremely unpopular in Quebec, resulting in his Conservative party losing support in that province. Although the Liberals were deeply divided over conscription, they became the dominant political party.

In 1919, Canada joined the League of Nations in its own right, and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster confirmed that no act of the British Parliament would extend to Canada without its consent. At the same time, the worldwide Great Depression of 1929 affected Canadians of every class; the rise of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Alberta and Saskatchewan presaged a welfare state as pioneered by Tommy Douglas in the 1940s and 1950s. After supporting appeasement of Germany in the late 1930s, Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King secured Parliament’s approval for entry into the Second World War in September 1939, after Germany invaded Poland. The first Canadian Army units arrived in Britain in December 1939. The economy boomed during the war mainly due to the amount of military materiel being produced for Canada, Britain, China and the Soviet Union. Canada finished the war with one of the largest militaries in the world. In 1949, the formerly independent Dominion of Newfoundland joined the Confederation as Canada's 10th province.

By Canada's centennial in 1967, heavy post-war immigration from various war-ravaged European countries had changed the country's demographics. In addition, throughout the Vietnam War, thousands of American draft dodgers fled to and settled in various parts of Canada. Increased immigration, combined with the baby boom, an economic strength parallelling that of the 1960s United States, and reaction to the Quiet Revolution in Quebec, initiated a new type of Canadian nationalism.

At a meeting of First Ministers in November 1981, the federal and provincial governments agreed to the patriation of the constitution, with procedures for amending it. Despite the fact that the Quebec government did not agree to the changes, on 17 April 1982, Canada, by Proclamation of Queen Elizabeth II, patriated its Constitution from Britain, thereby making Canada wholly sovereign, though the two countries continue to share the same monarch.

After Quebec underwent profound social and economic changes during the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, some Québécois began pressing for greater provincial autonomy, or partial or complete independence from Canada. Alienation between English-speaking Canadians and the Québécois over the language, cultural and social divide had been exacerbated by many events, including the Conscription Crisis of 1944. While a referendum on sovereignty-association in 1980 was rejected by a solid majority of the population, a second referendum in 1995 was rejected by a margin of just 50.6% to 49.4%. In 1997, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession by a province to be unconstitutional; Quebec's sovereignty movement has continued nonetheless.

Economic integration with the United States has increased significantly since World War II. The Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement of 1987 was a defining moment in integrating the two countries. In recent decades, Canadians have worried about their cultural autonomy as American television shows, movies and corporations became omnipresent.[14] However, Canadians take special pride in their system of universal health care and their commitment to multiculturalism.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Canada calling cards

Canada calling cards
Calling cards
IP-telephony phone cards experience great popularity all over the world.
And it is not surprising, the newest information technologies offer Internet-users opportunities unattainable in the past.
IP-telephony is the most modern technology, that provides an alternative way of low tariff long-distance and international telecommunication by means of the Internet.
The use of Internet reduces the price of telecommunication multiple times!