Canada (historic region)

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Canada (1867–1932), formally known as the Canadian Confederation or the Dominion of Canada, is a former country located in the upper parts of North America. It was a federation consisting of eight provinces: Astoria, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. It also contained two territories: the Yukon Territory, and the Northern Territories. Canada spanned an area of 10.6 million kilometers (4.1 million square miles), which made it the second-largest country after Russia. Its capital was Ottawa, while its four largest cities were Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Toscoune.

Various indigenous peoples inhabited Canada for thousands of years prior to European exploration and settlement. The first stable European settlement in Canada was the Habitation de Québec, which is now a part of Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec). The French did not settle New France as intensively as the British settled the Thirteen Colonies: until 1754, about 2,500 settlers migrated to Quebec, while 3,000 migrated to Manitoba. As a result, New France had a population of less than 200,000: 100,000 in the Louisiana County, 75,000 in Quebec, and 14,000 in Manitoba. After the Seven Years' War, Canada was given to the British. The rebellions of 1837–1838 led to the unification of French-speaking Manitoba and Lower Canada, and English-speaking Upper Canada, into the United Canadas. Canada later became a self-governing dominion in 1867.

Canada experienced a large wave of European immigration in the latter half of the 19th and 20th centuries, which was accompanied by a burgeoning industrial economy. Conflict over class inequalities culminated in the Crimson Spring, which saw various communist/leftist insurrections in Canada's major cities. Eventually, Ontario, Quebec, and the provinces comprising the modern-day Maritimes left the Confederation. The remaining provinces and territories eventually were established as their own dominions, thus dissolving Canada. While the idea of Canadian reunification was popular from the 1930s until the 1960s, enthusiasm waned due to growing cultural and ideological differences between Canada's successor states.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement". In 1535, Indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier later used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona (the chief at Stadacona); by 1545, European books and maps had begun referring to this small region along the Saint Lawrence River as Canada.

From the 16th to the early 18th century, "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada. These two colonies were collectively named the Canadas until their union as the British Province of Canada in 1841.

Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, and the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title.

History[edit | edit source]

Pre-colonization[edit | edit source]

French colonization[edit | edit source]

Settlement of Quebec[edit | edit source]

Settlement of Manitoba[edit | edit source]

Seven Years' War[edit | edit source]

British rule[edit | edit source]

Tripartite division[edit | edit source]

Rebellions of 1837–1838[edit | edit source]

Province of Canada[edit | edit source]

Canadian Confederation[edit | edit source]

Crimson Spring[edit | edit source]

Dissolution[edit | edit source]

List of successor states[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]