Canada has a long history of population with the region being occupied by the Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago. The country was then colonized by the Europeans from around the 15th century and today the country is a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures. The region, prior to European colonization, had a healthy population of indigenous people with estimates that there were between 500,000 and 2 million people of the First Nations. The arrivals of the Europeans resulted in a 48% drop in their population as they couldn’t survive the diseases that were being brought into the area. Influenza, measles and smallpox were diseases that were killing off the local population.
There is still evidence in the country today of the huge competition among the European nations to colonize the region. Around 20% of Canadians speak French and they are largely situated in the province of Quebec. Within the province 80% of the people speak French as their main language, with 42% of the people considering themselves as being bi-Lingual in both English and French. Initially the country was colonized by the French and the region was under their rule from 1534 until 1763. The French were attracted by the fur trade with them being attracted to the North East of the country where the fur trade was founded on them exchanging guns with the First Nation tribes.
The French created Quebec City in 1535 and it is one of the oldest European Settlements in North America. The French explore Jacques Cartier built a fort at the site where the Saint Lawrence River narrowed and was perfect as a port to sail into and also to export the traded furs from. The French kept control of Quebec City until the British took control following the Seven Years War in 1763. Canada then remained under British control until Queen Victorian announced in 1867 that the region had become the Canadian Confederation initially with the four north east provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
As the 19th century progressed Canada’s control of the region spread westwards especially with the development of the railways. The confederation act of 1867 had left Canada’s foreign affairs still in the hands of the British, and this resulted in over 600,000 countrymen fighting in the First World War with 60,000 losing their lives. This led to great tension with the Quebecers as the Canadian government wanted to introduce conscription to maintain the military numbers. After joining the League of Nations in 1919 the country’s independence was confirmed with the 1931 Statute of Westminster.
Canada once again fought alongside Britain in the Second World War with a million Canadians seeing action. By the end of the war Canada were left with a strong and well-organized army and the period following the war was one of great economic success for the Canadians. From its early creation Canada was quick to introduce social reform and the creation of the institution of multiculturalism in 1971 showed how Canada was progressing as a tolerant society.
This is how the country has continued to move forward. It has an international reputation as being a country where its people are kind and helpful. The typical Canadian is seen as being down to earth and international polls have placed the country as being one of the most popular in the world.