Canadian History Quiz

Canadian History quiz

How well do you know Canadian History?... Important dates in Canadian history... Canadian history trivia questions and answers...

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Canada - Photos and Stories

Torontos Disastrous First Hanging.jpg

Toronto's Disastrous First Hanging

A gruesome history of capital punishment in Toronto

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Railway from Sea to Sea.jpg

A Railway from Sea to Sea

A Railway from Sea to Sea - British Columbia joined Canada in 1871 after Ottawa promised to build a railway to the West Coast.

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Bytown.jpg

Bytown

The capital city, Ottawa, was originally named Bytown…

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Canada’s History

Indigenous Canadians Indigenous Canadians - When Europeans explored Canada they found all regions occupied by native peoples they called Indians, because the first explorers thought they had reached the East Indies. The native people lived off the land, some by hunting and gathering, others by raising crops. The First Europeans - The Vikings from Iceland who colonized Greenland 1,000 years ago also reached Labrador and the island of Newfoundland. The remains of their settlement, l’Anse aux Meadows, are a World Heritage site. European exploration began in earnest in 1497 with the expedition of John Cabot, who was the first to draw a map of Canada’s East Coast. Between 1534 and 1542, Jacques Cartier made three voyages across the Atlantic, claiming the land for King Francis I of France. Cartier heard two captured guides speak the Iroquoian word kanata, meaning “village.” By the 1550s, the name of Canada began appearing on maps. Royal New France - In 1604, the first European settlement north of Florida was established by French explorers Pierre de Monts and Samuel de Champlain, first on St. Croix Island (in present-day Maine), then at Port-Royal, in Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia). In 1608 Champlain built a fortress at what is now Québec City. Struggle for a continent -In 1670, King Charles II of England granted the Hudson’s Bay Company exclusive trading rights over the watershed draining into Hudson Bay. For the next 100 years the Company competed with Montreal-based traders. The skilled and courageous men who travelled by canoe were called voyageurs and coureurs des bois, and formed strong alliances with First Nations. English colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, dating from the early 1600s, eventually became richer and more populous than New France. In the 1700s France and Great Britain battled for control of North America. In 1759, the British defeated the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham at Québec City — marking the end of France’s empire in America. The province of Quebec - Following the war, Great Britain renamed the colony the “Province of Quebec.” The Frenchspeaking Catholic people, known as habitants or Canadiens, strove to preserve their way of life in the English-speaking, Protestant-ruled British Empire. The Beginnings of Democracy - Democratic institutions developed gradually and peacefully. The first representative assembly was elected in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1758. Prince Edward Island followed in 1773, New Brunswick in 1785. The Constitutional Act of 1791 divided the Province of Quebec into Upper Canada (later Ontario), which was mainly Loyalist, Protestant and English-speaking, and Lower Canada (later Quebec), heavily Catholic and French-speaking. Abolition of slavery - Slavery has existed all over the world, from Asia, Africa and the Middle East to the Americas. The first movement to abolish the transatlantic slave trade emerged in the British Parliament in the late 1700s. In 1793, Upper Canada, led by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, a Loyalist military officer, became the first province in the Empire to move toward abolition. In 1807, the British Parliament prohibited the buying and selling of slaves, and in 1833 abolished slavery throughout the Empire. Thousands of slaves escaped from the United States, followed “the North Star” and settled in Canada via the Underground Railroad, a Christian anti-slavery network. The War of 1812: The Fight for Canada - After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte’s fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), the Royal Navy ruled the waves. The British Empire, which included Canada, fought to resist Bonaparte’s bid to dominate Europe. This led to American resentment at British interference with their shipping. Believing it would be easy to conquer Canada, the United States launched an invasion in June 1812. The Americans were mistaken. Canadian volunteers and First Nations, including Shawnee led by Chief Tecumseh, supported British soldiers in Canada’s defence. In July, Major-General Sir Isaac Brock captured Detroit but was killed while defending against an American attack at Queenston Heights, near Niagara Falls, a battle the Americans lost. In 1813, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles de Salaberry and 460 soldiers, mostly French Canadiens, turned back 4,000 American invaders at Châteauguay, south of Montreal. In 1813 the Americans burned Government House and the Parliament Buildings in York (now Toronto). In retaliation in 1814, Major-General Robert Ross led an expedition from Nova Scotia that burned down the White House and other public buildings in Washington, D.C. Ross died in battle soon afterwards and was buried in Halifax with full military honours. Fathers of Confederation Confederation - From 1864 to 1867, representatives of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada, with British support, worked together to establish a new country. These men are known as the Fathers of Confederation. They created two levels of government: federal and provincial. The old Province of Canada was split into two new provinces: Ontario and Quebec, which, together with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, formed the new country called the Dominion of Canada. Each province would elect its own legislature and have control of such areas as education and health. The British Parliament passed the British North America Act in 1867. The Dominion of Canada was officially born on July 1, 1867. Until 1982, July 1 was celebrated as “Dominion Day” to commemorate the day that Canada became a self-governing Dominion. Today it is officially known as Canada Day The First World War - When Germany attacked Belgium and France in 1914 and Britain declared war, Ottawa formed the Canadian Expeditionary Force (later the Canadian Corps). More than 600,000 Canadians served in the war, most of them volunteers, out of a total population of eight million. In 1918, under the command of General Sir Arthur Currie, Canada’s greatest soldier, the Canadian Corps advanced alongside the French and British Empire troops in the last hundred days. These included the victorious Battle of Amiens on August 8, 1918–which the Germans called “the black day of the German Army”–followed by Arras, Canal du Nord, Cambrai and Mons. With Germany and Austria’s surrender, the war ended in the Armistice on November 11, 1918. In total 60,000 Canadians were killed and 170,000 wounded. The war strengthened both national and imperial pride, particularly in English Canada. Women get the vote - At the time of Confederation, the vote was limited to property-owning adult white males. This was common in most democratic countries at the time. The effort by women to achieve the right to vote is known as the women’s suffrage movement. Its founder in Canada was Dr. Emily Stowe, the first Canadian woman to practise medicine in Canada. In 1916, Manitoba became the first province to grant voting rights to women. In 1917, thanks to the leadership of women such as Dr. Stowe and other suffragettes, the federal government of Sir Robert Borden gave women the right to vote in federal elections — first to nurses at the battle front, then to women who were related to men in active wartime service. In 1918, most Canadian female citizens aged 21 and over were granted the right to vote in federal elections. In 1921 Agnes Macphail, a farmer and teacher, became the first woman MP. Due to the work of Thérèse Casgrain and others, Quebec granted women the vote in 1940. Between the wars - After the First World War, the British Empire evolved into a free association of states known as the British Commonwealth of Nations. Canada remains a leading member of the Commonwealth to this day, together with other successor states of the Empire such as India, Australia, New Zealand, and several African and Caribbean countries. The “Roaring Twenties” were boom times, with prosperity for businesses and low unemployment. The stock market crash of 1929, however, led to the Great Depression or the “Dirty Thirties.” Unemployment reached 27% in 1933 and many businesses were wiped out. Farmers in Western Canada were hit hardest by low grain prices and a terrible drought. There was growing demand for the government to create a social safety net with minimum wages, a standard work week and programs such as unemployment insurance. The Bank of Canada, a central bank to manage the money supply and bring stability to the financial system, was created in 1934. Immigration dropped and many refugees were turned away, including Jews trying to flee Nazi Germany in 1939. Canada and the Second World War The Second World War - The Second World War began in 1939 when Adolf Hitler, the National Socialist (Nazi) dictator of Germany, invaded Poland and conquered much of Europe. Canada joined with its democratic allies in the fight to defeat tyranny by force of arms. More than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders (Newfoundland was a separate British entity) served in the Second World War, out of a population of 11.5 million. This was a high proportion and of these, 44,000 were killed. The Canadians fought bravely and suffered losses in the unsuccessful defence of Hong Kong (1941) from attack by Imperial Japan, and in a failed raid on Nazi-controlled Dieppe on the coast of France (1942).

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