The first people that lived in Canada were natives, primarily the Inuit (Eskimo). The Norse explorer Leif Eriksson may have reached the shores of Canada in 1000, but the actual history of the white man in the country actually began in 1497. This was when “John Cabot, an Italian in the service of Henry VII of England, reached Newfoundland or Nova Scotia. Canada was taken for France in 1534 by Jacques Cartier. France's colonization efforts were not very successful, but French explorers by the end of the 17th century had gone beyond the Great Lakes and south along the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.” (Canada) Hudson's Bay Company an English outfit had been established in 1670 and began exploiting the fisheries and fur trades. Over time, a conflict began to develop between the French and English and subsequently in 1713 Newfoundland, Hudson Bay, and Nova Scotia (Acadia) were lost to England. Later that century, during the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), England extended its conquest, and Quebec fell on Sept. 13, 1759. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 gave England control. At that time, Canada’s population was nearly all French, but over the next few decades thousands of British colonists immigrated to Canada from the British Isles and from the American colonies. In 1849, Canada won the right to self-government. By the British North America Act of 1867, the dominion of Canada was created through the confederation of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. In 1869, Canada purchased from the Hudson's Bay Company the vast middle-west (Rupert's Land) from which the provinces of Manitoba (1870), Alberta (1905), and Saskatchewan (1905) were later formed. In 1871, British Columbia joined the dominion, and in 1873, Prince Edward Island followed. The country was linked from coast to coast in 1885 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. (Canada) VITAL STATISTICS
Population (2009 est.): 33,759,742 (growth rate: 0.8%); birth rate: 10.2/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.9/1000; life expectancy: 81.3; density per sq km: 3; Languages: English=59.3%, French =23.2% (both official); other=17.5%; Ethnicity/race: British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, indigenous peoples and Inuit 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%. (Canada) TRADE
Canada, our neighbor to the north, is one of our (The United States) most important trading partners. Covering most of the northern part of the North American continent and with an area larger than that of the United States is a federation of ten provinces and three territories. Formally considered a constitutional monarchy, Canada is governed by its own House of Commons, the Canadian prime-minister - Stephen Harper since 2006 - and the governor-general - David Lloyd Johnston since 2010 - who is officially the representative of Queen Elizabeth II of England, but acts only on the advice of the Canadian prime minister. (Canada) One of the partners in NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement) along with the United States and Mexico, Canada was the first step in this trading bloc when the United States and Canada signed the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement in 1987. In 1994 that agreement was extended to Mexico. NAFTA created the world’s largest trading block at that time, combining 3 countries with 443 million people and a combined GDP of $15.4 trillion into a single market. (Steiner, 379) The purpose was to increase trade among the three nations. That has indeed happened. It wasn’t without controversy, though, United States labor unions were against it from the start, worrying about job losses as American companies moved to Mexico to take advantage of the lower wages that Mexican workers earned. The textile industry was hit hard; however, analysts agree that while jobs have been lost to Mexico, roughly an equal number have been created in the United States in the production of exports to Mexico. “The Carnegie Endowment for...
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