Primary Source Archives
Gale Primary Sources contains archives and collections that provide researchers with firsthand content that can be used to examine and analyze the evolution of Canada over time.
Explore the history of Canada, a large country in the northernmost part of North America, which is home to large populations of First Nations people as well as people of British and French heritage.
The French were the first explorers to establish permanent European settlements in Canada, but the British became culturally and politically dominant after Britain defeated France in the French and Indian War (1754–1763), bringing the territory of Canada into the British Empire. The English dominance created tension with the French population, which was concentrated in what would become the province of Quebec. This tension created a secession movement within Quebec that advocated for Quebec to become its own country starting in the 1960s. As of 2019, voting referenda for secession had been defeated.
In 1931, the Statute of Westminster made Canada independent from the British Empire except in certain areas of government. Canada achieved full independence with the Constitution Act of 1982. Under the Constitution Act, the British monarch remains the sovereign of Canada and head of state. In addition to its close ties to the United Kingdom, Canada is also a strong ally and trading partner of the United States, with whom it shares the longest border in the world.
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