History of Canada

The earliest evidence of human habitation of the area that is now Canada has been found in Alberta at the sites of Grimshaw, Bow River, and in Lethbridge. Stone tools have been found at these sites that are between 20,000 and 40,000 years old, and indicate that Alberta may have been a corridor through which humans came from Asia through to the rest of Canada. Further sites have been found o­n the Pacific coastline of British Coloumbia, o­ntario, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces; those sites, while not as old as the sites in Alberta, indicate that there were significant indigenous populations in those areas prior to the arrival of Europeans in Canada.

The first Europeans to set foot in Canada were probably the Vikings. Evidence of a Viking settlement has been found in L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, and the area matches writings by Leif Erickson describing the area he called "Vinland". The French were the first Europeans to colonize Canada, establishing settlements in Quebec and throughout eastern Canada.

The French were later displaced by the British; the British established a colonial government in Canada, and, after the American Revolution, Canada became Britain's largest and most important colony in North America. The British North America Act of 1867 established Canada as a self-governing colony within the British Empire. Throughout the 19th century Canada continued to industrialize, and by the beginning of the 20th century was an economic power based o­n its huge wealth of natural resources and a significant industrial base.

Photo of Canada Provinces Territories
Throughout the the 20th century, Canada has been a strong partner of both the United Kingdom and the United States. The Canada of today is a parliamentary democracy within the British Commonwealth of Nations. Canada has a high standard of living and a quality of life rating that year after year is found at or near the top of the world rankings.


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