Canada is a country of North America
with a surface area of 9,984,670 km² (density of 3.35 inhab./km²). The population of Canada is 33,476,688 inhabitants in the last census.The capital of Canada is the city of Ottawa which has 870,250 inhabitants. The Queen of the constitutional monarchy is Elizabeth II.
"Form an ocean to another"
Canada is a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy in North America that shares borders with the United States. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean and to the west by the Pacific Ocean, which represents more than 202,000 kilometers of coastline. With nearly 10 million square kilometers, Canada is the second largest country in the world, after Russia and ahead of the United States.
Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada, represented by the Governor General.
Canada at a glance
Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Administrative divisions: 10 provinces (federal states) and 3 federal territories
Population: more than 36 million inhabitants
Main Languages: English and French
Main religion: Christianity (24% of atheism)
Current Monarch: Elizabeth II
Current Governor General: David Johnston
Current Prime Minister: Justin Trudeau
Currency: Canadian Dollar (1 Canadian Dollar = 100 cents)
Conversion into euro: 100 Canadian dollars = 67, 53 euros
Tourism: no special restrictions
A mosaic of landscapes
Due to its size, Canada offers visitors a wide variety of landscapes and reliefs. The highest peak in the country, Mount Logan, at an altitude of 5,959 meters, is located in the Yukon, a region characterized by snow-capped mountains, its glacial lakes and its subarctic polar climate.
Nevertheless, Canada is essentially a country of plains and uplands bordered to the west by mountain ranges forming part of the American Cordillera. This range extends from the Brooks Range (Alaska), borders the Northwest Territories, Yukon and British Columbia (Canada) and follows the Pacific coast of the United States, Central America and South America to Graham's Land in Antarctica.
The northern tip of the Appalachian Mountains lies in eastern Canada, on the Island of Newfoundland. These mountains are characterized by eroded and flat peaks culminating at an altitude of 800 to 1,200 meters. The highest Canadian summit of the Appalachians is Mount Jacques-Cartier (1,270 meters) in southern Quebec.
In Canada, the Appalachians are covered with maple and birch forests that give way to an alpine tundra on the summits. There are many species of animals including the wild caribou, Canadian lynx, the raccoons, the American marten, the black bears and the wolves.
Half the area of Canada is formed by the Canadian shield, also called the Laurentian or Precambrian Shield, which extends into the United States (New York, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota).
The shield is characterized by its bare rock eroded during the last glaciation (the Wisconsin glaciation corresponding to the Würm glaciation in Europe), which shaped the relief by erasing the high volcanic peaks and pushing back the land between 85,000 and 7,000 before our era. This erosion has leveled the Canadian shield, whose average altitude is now between 300 and 600 meters. Only a few massifs are higher, the Torngat Mountains, Otish, Groulx and the Laurentians which extend into the United States by the Adirondacks.
The Canadian shield is extremely rich in minerals and has attracted gold, silver, nickel and copper researchers who founded mining towns.
The Boreal forests, the rivers and the lakes make up the largest part of the Canadian shield landscape. Only the Hudson Bay Lowlands are marshy. This immense bay, which is part of the Arctic Ocean, is surrounded by three Canadian provinces, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario, and by the federal territory of Nunavut, which is mainly inhabited by Inuit.
Nestled between the Canadian Rockies (the Rocky Mountains), which form a natural boundary with the United States to the west and the Canadian shield to the east, a large area of plains partially overlies the Prairie Provinces, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. This sedimentary area is covered with coniferous forests and the vast grassy meadows exploited for cattle breeding. The forests were sacrificed to the benefit of wheat crops, but this deforestation resulted in floods that, combined with wind, eliminated nutrients from soils that also suffered from drought and global warming.
Northern Canada, including the Arctic Archipelago, accounts for 40% of the country's territory. It includes the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and all islands between 60 and 141 ° W longitude and the North Pole.
This vast area is separated in two by the "tree line", the south is covered with forests that give way to the tundra in the north. The climate is subarctic to polar. The density of the population is particularly low and the vast areas of which the majority of the islands are uninhabited.
Canada is a highly hydrographic country. There are an impressive number of rivers, including the Mackenzie River, the longest Canadian river that runs 1,738 kilometers from Great Slave Lake to the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean and the St. Lawrence River discovered by Jacques Cartier in Southern Quebec.
The Lowlands and the Gulf of St. Lawrence were once covered by the Champlain and Goldthwait seas that formed at the end of the glaciation and disappeared during the Canadian shield lifting from its ice cap.
Canada's water system also includes the Great Lakes region in the province of Ontario. Four of the five Great Lakes form natural boundaries with the United States (Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario), while the fifth, Lake Michigan, is entirely located in the United States.
These lakes, which also formed at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation, all flow into the St. Lawrence River and form the largest freshwater reservoir on the planet with the river and the thousands of small lakes in the region. An immense waterway that allows the Canadian Prairies to quickly connect the Atlantic Ocean.
Canada's climate is as diverse as its landscapes. The seasons are much differentiated mainly in the south-east of the country, these regions benefit from a humid continental climate with average temperatures that can drop below -15 ° in winter and exceed 35 ° in summer.
The regions of the Canadian Prairies and the Rocky Mountains (in low elevation) have a much drier continental climate but with equally marked seasons. The winters are longer and colder in the center of the country occupied by the Canadian Shield, which has even periods of blizzards and temperatures that can drop to -60 ° (the record of -63 ° was recorded in 1947).
The Great North has a dry arctic or tundra climate characterized by ten-month winters and summer temperatures not exceeding 10 °. On the other hand, the rainfall is rare.
Finally, the coasts bordering the oceans have an ocean (Pacific) or eastern (Atlantic) climate. The winters are relatively mild and the summers cool on the west coast and cool to hot on the east coast.
Canada is a country rich in biodiversity and home to a particularly diverse fauna and flora. The enormous uninhabited areas are covered by deciduous, coniferous, taiga (boreal forest), grassland and tundra forests. These different biotopes harbor a rich and diverse flora and fauna. Beavers, caribou, moose, mouflons, black bears, grizzly bears, gray squirrels, wolverines, wolves, blue whales, and so many species are living in Canada.
An early settlement
The settlement of Canada probably dates back to about 25,000 BC, as evidenced by the traces left by hominids (marks made using tools on animal bones) in the Blue Fish caves along the eponymous river in northern Yukon. These archaeological findings drew a definitive feature on the theory of a first settlement that would have taken place around 10,000 BC.
Beringia, a vast area extending from the banks of the Canadian MacKenzie River to the banks of the Russian Lena River, was occupied during the last glaciation by several tribes of common origin living apart from other peoples. This assumption implies that humans from Russia would have borrowed the Bering Strait to settle in North America. It turns out that scientific studies have revealed that the Strait could not have been crossed until 12.600 BC when a steppe formed in the passage, which renders the reasoning null and void since the proof of A stand prior to this period has been certified.
As a result, the first occupants of Canada would not have arrived by the Bering Strait at least at the time previously envisioned. The several successive waves could have populated the continent.
This thesis has not been reversed or confirmed and the analysis of the latest findings is still ongoing.
The First Amerindians
What is much more certain is that Amerindian ethnic groups populated the Canadian territories from the 10th millennium and that the Inuits settled in the north towards 2000 BC. These different tribes subsisted mainly from the hunting and the fishing.
The Native Americans (known as First Nations since the 1980s because the term "Indians" is equated with discrimination) form the group of "Aboriginal peoples of Canada" with Inuit and Métis. It is now estimated that 4% of Canadians (approximately 1 million people) are Aboriginal, mostly the First Nations.
By the end of the first millennium AD, the Vikings led by Leif Erikson, a Germanic people from Scandinavia, landed on the American continent, probably on the island of Newfoundland or Labrador through Greenland. They give the name of Vinland to this region. The discoveries of Scandinavian villages established at Pointe Rosée and in Anse aux Meadows confirmed the hypothesis of the Viking colonization of the Americas, five centuries before the "discovery of the New World" by Christopher Columbus. At that time, the climatic conditions were milder and the area was green, favorable to the propagation of the vines and the wild cereals. The Vikings took with them their know-how, especially with regard to the iron work. For a still unknown reason, the sites were only inhabited very shortly. The several theories have been forged to explain the departure of the Vikings only a few years after their arrival, including internal misunderstandings and conflicts with the natives called "Skrælings", probably the MicMacs.
Although the Vikings quickly abandoned these first settlements, it seems certain that they subsequently led many expeditions in these countries as mentioned in the sagas (Scandinavian stories) and confirmed by the Vinland chart, a precious authenticated document in 1995 but which is still the subject of controversy, many historians considering that it is false.
The arrival of Europeans
In the 15th century, European fishermen set up outposts in these same areas in order to benefit from the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, particularly in Red Bay. Several British and French expeditions were sent to North America to explore the new lands while Portuguese navigators undertook to map the Labrador coast without claiming territory.
At that time, several semi-nomadic hunting and farming tribes built sometimes temporary settlements near Lakes Erie and Ontario and on the west coast. These tribes, particularly the Huron and Neutral tribes, have a well-structured clan society and practice religious rites that are of great importance in their lives.
Other Indian tribes, including the Cree and Assiniboine, are clustered in the Prairie region and join forces during the hunting season. They obey rules established by the chiefs and whose application is controlled by the forces of the order.
When Jacques Cartier, a French navigator, described first the indigenous populations met in Newfoundland, they were probably the Beothuk. The contacts are then rare but friendly. They soon became complicated after the beginning of British colonization and the Beothuks were decimated by the diseases brought by the Europeans and by the conflicts that opposed them to the whites. The Beothuks gradually lost their land but also their freedom, and died completely in 1829 when Shanawdithit, the last representative of his tribe, died.
Unable to compete with Portugal and Brazil, which occupy large territories in South America, French decided to go further north. In 1534, Jacques-Cartier sailed in the Gulf of Saint-Laurent, landed in Gaspé (Gaspésie) and made a map of the region, opening the door to the new expeditions. The first attempts at colonization failed in particular because of scurvy and cold. At the beginning of the 17th century, a first permanent French trading post was created in Tadoussac. The French founded the city of Quebec in 1608 and developed a real colony in the valley of the St. Lawrence in the region discovered by Cartier more than 70 years ago.
Québec, which is mainly a trading post specialized in the fur trade, became the capital of New France, a viceroyalty of the Kingdom of France.
French had to take the other Europeans by speed to seize the neighboring lands. The city of Quebec was even temporarily occupied by the British from 1629 to 1632.
French, Quebec remains a garrison town and plays a defensive role. The walls rise around the city which is rapidly expanding. Young women often destitute orphans but endowed by the King of France called "Filles du Roy" are sent to Canada to marry settlers and soldiers and to found families. It is estimated that a thousand girls were sent to populate the colony.
It was also at the beginning of the 17th century that the first Recollet and Jesuit missionaries landed in order to convert the Amerindians. New France, which includes Canada, Acadia (Nova Scotia), the Great Lakes and Louisiana, is governed by a governor who establishes a feudal system. The commerce was entrusted to the Compagnie des Hundred Associates of New France (replaced by the Compagnie des Habitants in 1645), who, in exchange for this monopoly, was to secure the settlement, economy and protection of the colony. In 1663 the company which failed in its mission is dissolved and it is the king of France Louis XIV who takes control of the colony then composed of 69 seigneuries and 7 establishments held by religious orders.
A difficult cohabitation
Meanwhile, the British claimed Newfoundland in the name of Queen Elizabeth 1st in 1583, but these early attempts at colonization were doomed to failure and the island was granted to David Kirke, a London adventurer and merchant who became governor from 1638 to 1651. The British also established thirteen settlements which later formed the United States
French faced increasingly frequent attacks by the Iroquois and the British, but nevertheless managed to expand their territories and intensify the fur trade by multiplying the counters. At the same time, the Church plays an increasingly important role in the political life of the colony and the diocese of Quebec now covers the whole of New France. The military forts are built along the Richelieu River, which marks the border between New France and New England (northeastern United States), and many cities are founded to regroup the settlers and protect them against The Iroquois. In 1701, the Treaty of the Great Peace of Montreal signed by France and 39 Amerindian nations put an end to the "war of the fur trade" and the conflicts with the Iroquois.
The end of New France
The 18th century was marked by the wars between British, French and, to a lesser extent, Dutch and Spanish colonies, who all wished to profit from the products of the fishery and the fur trade, against a background of European wars (War of Seven Years). Four large inter-colonial wars opposing France supported by the Amerindians and England took place from 1689 to 1763, the date of the Treaty of Paris which fixes the possessions of the two nations at the world level. France must in particular cede Canada, Acadia and part of Louisiana, New France no longer exists.
It loses its colonial empire in favor of the United Kingdom which now dominates a large part of the world. Canada became the "Province of Quebec" and a Governor General representing the British Crown was appointed. French Canadians lose their civil and religious rights while the oppressed Amerindians try to rise up against the British (Pontiac rebellion). Following this attempt at revolt, a boundary was drawn between the British colonies and the Indians, who were kept in a "reserve" covering a territory comprised between the Appalachians and the Mississippi on one side and between Florida and Quebec, other side. The recognition of the rights of the Indians on these lands provoked the anger of the British colonists who considered themselves despoiled. This is one of the factors that will trigger the American Revolution and the American War of Independence, which began in 1775.
English-speaking Canada, French-speaking Canada
The French settlers who had recovered some of their rights in 1774 did not support the Americans when they attacked Quebec City. In 1783, the United Kingdom recognized the independence of the United States but retained Canada, which was to welcome more than 50,000 immigrants (the Loyalists) wishing to remain under the British crown. This situation led to the division of the Province of Quebec into two colonies in 1791: English-speaking Upper Canada (Ontario) occupied by the Loyalists in the west and Francophone Lower Canada (Quebec) in the east separated by the river Of the Outaouais. However, British influence is increasingly felt in Lower Canada, due in part to the influx of new English and Irish settlers, causing the tensions between the French Patriots and the Loyalists and leading to the "Rebellion of Patriotes "in 1837. In order to put an end to the conflict and, above all, to force Francophones to integrate into British culture, the two colonies were unified in 1841, giving rise to the Province of Canada or United Governed by representatives of the people. This form of autonomy led to an unexpected alliance between Francophones and Anglophones, French became the second official language of Canada, while Toronto and Quebec shared the status of capital until 1856 when Ottawa is definitely the capital of Canada.
At that time, Canadian industry was booming and many businesses were built. This was a real split between the English-speaking Canadians who occupied important positions and the working-class minority Francophones living in the countryside and with the poverty.
The Domination of Canada
The end of the treaty is guaranteeing the free trade between Canada, which favored the southern slave states during the American Civil War and the United States, caused a major economic crisis in 1866. The following year, Ontario and Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia unite and form the Dominion of Canada (an independent state that is a member of the British Empire).
From then on, the British crown was concerned only with foreign policy and with the High Court of Appeal of Canada. The country will gain more and more independence.
In 1892, the Constitutional Act, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, was promulgated. The other provinces were subsequently incorporated into Confederation during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The World wars and the post-war
Canada, however, is still part of the British Empire, and it is in this capacity that the country goes back to war against the Bœrs in South Africa. Many Canadian volunteers also took part in the First World War. The loss of human life is such that there is a shortage of volunteers who do not want to defend British imperialist interests. Faced with this lack of recruits, a compulsory military service system was set up in 1917 despite the opposition of the population (Conscription Crisis). Between the two world wars, Canada gained recognition of its sovereignty by the United Kingdom (Statute of Westminster of 1931). At the same time, the global economic crisis is affecting Canada, which adopts the status of a welfare state in order to provide the people with social reforms that will give birth to the New Democratic Party in 1961.
In the meantime, Canada again agreed to go to war in 1939. The country then enjoyed a real economic boom by supplying much of the military equipment to the British, Chinese and Soviet armies.
At the end of the war, Canada became a unique social and economic model in the world at that time and the end of the British Empire allowed it to become totally independent.
This real country of Cocagne attracts waves of European immigrants who flee the desolation of the countries ruined by the war.
Canada experienced a turbulent period in the 1960s and 1970s as a result of an independence movement demanding Quebec sovereignty (Rally for National Independence). Even today, the “Party Québécois” is fighting for independence from Quebec.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II represented by a Governor General is the Head of State, but the Canadian Crown is not assimilated to the British Crown. The General Governor (now David Johnston), who has a purely honorific function, is appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Canada, currently Justin Trudeau.
The executive power is provided by the government, which includes the various ministries. The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is from the Liberal Party of Canada.
The legislative power is exercised by the Parliament of Canada consisting of two chambers (Senate and House of Commons). The monarch participates in the federal Parliament and the provincial parliaments).
Canada's highest judicial authority is provided by the Supreme Court, composed of nine judges, three of whom are competent to deal with the matters that depend on the civil law of Quebec.
A diversified and stable economy
Canada's economy is flourishing and relies heavily on the tertiary sector, which accounts for more than 70% of GDP, while the industry and the agriculture account for 27% and 3% of GDP, respectively. Canada is the traditional trading partner of the United States despite the introduction of a more stringent customs policy.
Canada mines its mineral resources, including the aluminum, the copper, the nickel, the gold, the silver and the titanium. It also derives significant resources from its oil, oil sands and natural gas reserves. It is also the largest oil supplier in the United States
The agriculture occupies less than 10% of Canada's land area and is primarily geared to the wheat production. In recent years, a policy of diversifying crops has been put in place. The fishing is a traditional activity in Canada that provides much of the salmon, the shrimp, the lobster and the crayfish.
The immense boreal forests covering one-third of the land allow Canada to be one of the world's largest exporters of wood and paper. Unfortunately, this industry combined with climate change is causing a deforestation and the threat to certain animal species, including the iconic caribou.
The tourism is an important economic player for Canada, which is the 5th most visited country each year.
A diverse culture
Canada's total population exceeds 36 million and is concentrated mainly in urban areas. The population growth depends largely on the immigration, with a fertility rate of 1.5 children per woman. On the other hand, the excellent health system and the low level of poverty stabilized life expectancy at 82 years.
The population is very diverse and there are 34 ethnic groups accounting for more than 100,000 people. More than three-quarters of Canadians are of European origin, mostly British, French and German. Amerindians represent only 3.5% of the Canadian population.
The first Nations, the native Americans, Inuit and Métis are grouped under the name "Canadian Aboriginal Peoples". They speak more than 1,300 different dialects grouped into fifty languages. Despite great cultural differences, there are commonalities among Amerindian peoples, including belief in a single Creator God (Great Spirit) and secondary gods (auxiliary spirits), the practice of the shamanism, the sacredness of the earth- Mother, the prayers and the dances.
English and French are the only official languages of the country and are spoken by 57% and 22% of the population respectively. However, the recognition of indigenous languages has enabled the various representatives of indigenous peoples to establish contacts with the government in these indigenous peoples.
The main religion of Canada is the Christianity (67%) but it is not recognized as an official religion since freedom of religion is part of the constitution of the country.
It should be noted that nearly a quarter of Canadians say they are atheists, agnostics or humanists.
Canadian culture has been strongly influenced by its history and combines Amerindian and European traditions. It should be noted that there are still significant differences between Francophone and Anglophone Canadians today.
These differences are also evident in culinary specialties that vary from one region to another.
Inuit cuisine is mainly based on fish, seals, whales and bear or reindeer meat, depending on the hunting and the fishing, accompanied by bread patties.
Amerindian cuisine is not very varied, the traditional dish called pemmican consists of dried meat of bison or moose mixed with the saskatoon berries, the cranberries or the red fruits and the animal fat. It keeps for several weeks or even years and serves as the basis for a stew or a soup.
British and the French have also imported their recipes which are still part of the traditional cuisine of the soil such as the soup of the gourganes (beans of the marshes), the Poutine (fries and cheddar) and its variants variants or the desserts in the syrup d ' maple.
Canadians appreciate the local beers, Canadian whiskey, Quebec wines and the cider, and Caribou, a blend of red wine and alcohol (vodka, gin, whiskey ...) that can be enjoyed cold or hot.
Canada is a secure country with an excellent health care system. No special precautions are necessary to visit the country. The visa is not compulsory for stays of less than six months but it is necessary to have a return ticket and being able to justify any income that will enable you to meet one’s needs during the stay.
The tourism is very important to Canada's economy, which welcomes nearly 20 million travelers, mostly from the United States each year.
Niagara Falls is located on the border between Canada and the United States, the vast national parks and the various exceptional natural sites including the Rocky Mountains.
The cities are also important destinations, including Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Quebec City.