This document was originally adapted for the Postcolonial Literature and Culture Web with the kind permission of the Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (CACLALS). It derives from a project directed by Dr Leon Litvack as a requirement for the MA degree in Modern Literary Studies in the School of English, the Queen's University of Belfast.


1535 Jacques Cartier is the first European to sail up the St. Lawrence river into the interior of Canada.
1608 Samuel de Champlain founds Quebec.
1608-1763 Creation of "New France"; exploration; fur trading; building of series of forts; British/French struggle for control.
1763 British conquest of New France.
1775-6 Canada refuses to join with the 13 states in rebellion. Subsequent invasion by the US fails.
1783 American independence leaves two British colonies in the north — Quebec and Nova Scotia.
1791 Creation of Upper (Ontario) and Lower (Quebec) Canada.
1812-14 British-American War of 1812; agreement on 49th parallel as Canadian border; rapid immigration from the former colonies and Europe.
1850 Beginning of "Indian Treaties" granting limited land rights and financial compensation for the European acquisition of territory.
1867 British North America Act creates united Canada, following US civil war, and amid fears of an American invasion.
1871 Canada reaches the Pacific after British Columbia joins the federation.
1914-18 World War I creates a desire for greater autonomy.
1923-31 Gradual ending of Imperial diplomatic unity and granting of autonomy to the Dominions of the Empire.
1945 End of World War II and beginning of economic boom.
1960s Rapid Asian and Third World immigration.
1971 Trudeau's government officially endorses the policy of multiculturalism.
1995 Referendum on French-speaking independence returns slight pro-federation majority; policy of First Nation's self-government officially endorsed.



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Last modified 26 July 2013