Canada has often hidden in the shadow of its big brother, America. But, this assessment is to diminish the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage. Canada is one of the most diverse, welcoming, and peaceful countries on earth. That gives it a unique history, and a unique set of values. Looking back through its history, it’s clear that Canada is a very different place to neighbouring USA. And today, we’re looking deeper into the country famous for its Maple leaf, mounties, and grizzly bears.
1000AD – Leif Ericsson makes first Viking expedition
Many people remember the name Christopher Columbus as Europe’s major pioneer in the USA and Canada. However, before he even set foot on a boat, the Vikings touched down in the region. Leif Ericsson is regarded as the first European person to reach the shores of Canada. The small settlement of Vinland in Newfoundland is the oldest relic to this journey.
1608 – Samuel de Champlain establishes Quebec City
Canada has rich European heritage and particularly close ties to France. In fact, French is the second most common language in the country. That’s what makes Samuel de Champlain’s contribution so important. When he established Quebec City, he was establishing a huge cultural turning point.
1783 – American Revolution
As a neighbouring country to the United States, Canada was inevitably caught up in the Revolution. The country accepted a number of refugees throughout the conflict. As for its allegiance, Canada mostly stayed out of conflict, but sympathised with the crown. There was a small attempt to attack Quebec, but it was quickly quelled.
1812 – USA invades Canada
As part of a declaration of war against Great Britain, the USA attempted to annex Canada. Britain moved to help protect Canada, and Canada’s forces themselves proved too strong. A series of mishaps and miscalculation by the USA sent them quickly backwards. It’s one of the rare moment of conflict between the two otherwise peaceful allies.
1914 – The Two World Wars
It’s difficult to find any country on the planet that wasn’t – in some way – connected to the two world wars. Canada was late to both wars (busy with its own internal conflicts). But, it stepped up to help the allied forces, and played an enormous part in the fall of Nazi Germany. If you’re looking for more information about this fascinating period, visit the Canadian military service records.
1929 – The Great Depression
On October 29th, or Black Tuesday, the stock markets witnessed their worst ever crash. What followed was a decade of poor industry, unemployment and poverty. As the USA’s closest allies and economic partners, Canada suffered a severe set back.
1960 – Native Canadians given the vote
Much like the United States, Canada’s relationship with indigenous peoples is fraught. However, things finally took a step forward in the 1960s, as part of America’s unification. Native Canadians were finally given the vote.
Canada’s history is rich and diverse. It’s cultural roots run deep into France and Europe, while ties with America have had a big influence on events. Canada remains one of the most peaceful, welcome, and beautiful countries on earth.