European Colonization of North America

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How did French and British colonization influence Canada's history?

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The French were the first to start exploring and colonizing in Canada in the mid-15th century. They called the area that they colonized "New France." France controlled much of the East of what is now Canada. In "New France," there were five colonies. The largest was Canada, which was divided into districts: Quebec, Montreal, and Trois-Rivières.

The British started exploring and colonizing North America in the late 16th century. Gradually, throughout the 18th century, Great Britain started acquiring the territory from France that the French had colonized. After the French and Indian War, Great Britain and Spain acquired all of France's territory in Canada in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris.

Today, France's influence in Canada is felt more on a national scale. French is one of two national languages in Canada (with English being the other). Many Canadian citizens are bilingual. Most French descendants from the colonial era live in the province of Quebec. Much of French folklore has been transmitted as French Canadian folklore. The religion of most Christian Canadians is Roman Catholicism, and much of Canadian food is traditionally French. On the other hand, British influence is still felt, as Canada as a country was created in 1867 under the British North America Act. Starting in 1763, Canada was under British rule. Although Canada is entirely independent, it is still part of the British Commonwealth, and Queen Elizabeth II is still considered the Queen of Canada and the head of state, but she is not the head of government. English as a language is spoken by over 60% of the Canadian population.

Canada has been influenced by the French and the British in its history, and over this time, the two cultures have come together to give Canada its own national identity.

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Canada’s history has been influenced by the colonization of this land by both France and Great Britain. For many years, France controlled much of the eastern part of Canada.  The headquarters of the French empire in North America was in Quebec. As a result, French is spoken in Quebec, and many cities have French names.  French customs are also part of the history of Quebec.  When France lost the French and Indian War in 1763, France gave Great Britain all of its land in Canada.  As a result, there also is a heavy British influence in Canada. Additionally, Great Britain and the United States split the Oregon Territory with Great Britain controlling the northern part of that territory.  The northern part of the Oregon Territory compromises a good part of western Canada today.  As a result, Great Britain ruled in Canada until its independence in 1867.  Therefore, there are many English customs in Canada, and Canada is part of the British Commonwealth of Nations.  Canada's history has been influenced by both French and British colonization.

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