What two European powers came into conflict over the territory we now call Canada? What were their primary interests in this territory?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the colonial era, the two European powers that came into conflict over what is now Canada (or, more precisely, the eastern parts of Canada) were France and England.  These two powers both wanted the territory and fought a number of wars that were, in part, caused by a desire to have it.  The main reason why they wanted this territory was economic.

The French and the British were the two main colonial powers in what is now the United States and Canada.  Spain had a foothold in Florida, but it was not strongly involved in the continent.  The French and the British had interests that were similar, but not identical.

In both cases, the European powers wanted Canada for reasons that were mainly economic.  However, they wanted to make use of Canada in slightly different ways.  France was mostly interested in Canada because of the fur trade.  By contrast, the English brought large numbers of settlers to North America and were interested in setting up full colonies with diverse economies.  Both of them were interested in Canada mainly because it could make money for them, but they wanted to make that money in different ways.