High School > History > Canadian History
Canada is a huge country to the north of the USA. It is still part of the North American continent, and it has its own fair share of an extensive history.
Canada traces its roots to native American indigenous peoples, who are commonly known as “Indians” (though they are not really from India). It is estimated that these natives had lived in early Canada since about 21,000 B.C. First living as nomadic tribes, the natives eventually congregated into more organized communities. As such, they had their own economy, politics, culture, and religion.
It was not until the 16th century A.D. that the first European colonizers set foot in Canada. During this time, many indigenous communities were displaced and forced into the far reaches of the country, away from the threats of violence of the Europeans. The conflicts killed off most of the natives, and disease caused their numbers to dwindle even further. More Europeans then migrated to Canada, overturning the country’s once indigenous population.
The first European settlers to enter Canada were the French. In 1603, a colony called New France was founded under the leadership of Samuel de Champlain. Later on in 1670, the English also found their way into Canada, claiming the entire northern coast.
Most of Canada thrived on what is known as the Fur Trade, where both the French and the English colonies sold animal skins to Europe. In turn, the fur was made into hats, and this industry had a lot of rich clients. Because of this, the French and the English colonies fought over control of the territories of Canada, as each one wanted to outdo the other in the Fur Trade. This part of Canadian history is known as the Fur Wars.
Because of the extensive influence of both France and Britain, Canada now has a population composed of both French and English speakers. That’s why Canada has two major languages today.