Portal:History of Canada

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The History of Canada Portal
This is a sister portal of the Canada Portal

Introduction

History by province or territory

The history of Canada begins with the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago. Canada has been inhabited for millennia by Aboriginal peoples, who evolved trade, spiritual and social hierarchies systems. Some of these civilisations had long faded by the time of the first permanent European arrivals (c. late 15th - early 16th centuries), and have been discovered through archaeological investigations. Various laws, treaties, and legislation have been enacted between European settlers and the Indigenous populations.

Beginning in the late 15th century, French and British expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Over centuries, elements of Aboriginal traditions and immigrant customs have integrated to form a Canadian culture. Canada has also been strongly influenced by that of its linguistic, geographic and economic neighbour, the United States. Since the conclusion of the Second World War, Canada has been committed to multilateralism abroad and socioeconomic development domestically. Canada currently consists of ten provinces and three territories, and is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.

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King George V (seated centre) with his prime ministers at the Imperial Conference of 1926; William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, is seated at the King's left
The history of monarchy in Canada stretches from pre-colonial times through to the present day, though Canada's monarchical status is typically seen as beginning with the first European settlements of what is now Canada; Newfoundland was claimed for Henry VII in 1497 and the establishment of New France by King Francis I took place in 1534. Through both these lineages, the present Canadian monarchy can trace itself back to the Anglo-Saxon period and ultimately to the kings of the Angles and the early Scottish kings. Kings and queens reigning over Canada have included the monarchs of France (to Louis XV in 1763), those of the United Kingdom (to King George V in 1931), and those of Canada (to Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada today). Canadian historian Father Jacques Monet said of Canada's Crown: "[it is] one of an approximate half-dozen that have survived through uninterrupted inheritance from beginnings that are older than our Canadian institution itself."
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Lie In 15 -- John rehearses Give Peace A Chance.jpg
During the Vietnam War, in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal, which were their non-violent ways of protesting wars and promoting peace. Their second Bed-In was planned to take place in New York, but John was not allowed into the country because of his 1968 cannabis conviction. Instead they held the event in the Bahamas at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel, flying there on May 24, 1969, but after spending one night in the heat, they decided to leave. Eventually, they flew to Montreal on May 26 where they stayed in Room 1738 and 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. During their seven day stay, they invited Timothy Leary, Tommy Smothers, Dick Gregory, and Al Capp and all but Capp sang on the peace anthem Give Peace a Chance, recorded in the hotel room on June 1. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation conducted interviews from the hotel room.
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TerryFoxToronto19800712.JPG
Terrance Stanley "Terry" Fox, CC, OD (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer research activist. In 1980, as a one-legged amputee, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Though the spread of his cancer forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,280 kilometres (3,280 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his determination and example created a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$500 million has been raised in his name.

In 1980, he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. Fox hoped to raise one dollar for each of Canada's 24 million people. He started with little fanfare from St. John's, Newfoundland in April and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day. Fox was the youngest person ever named a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian award. He won the 1980 Lou Marsh Award as the nation's top sportsman and was named Canada's Newsmaker of the Year in both 1980 and 1981. Considered a national hero, he has had many buildings, roads and parks named in his honour across the country.

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Kamloops on to Ottawa.jpg
Strikers climbing on boxcars as part of the On-to-Ottawa Trek, 1935.

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Panoramic view of damage to Halifax waterfront after Halifax Explosion, 1917.jpg
Waterfront view of the damage after the Halifax Explosion of 1917.

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