Journey Through Time: Exploring Canada’s Past with 12 Major Historical Events

Priyanshi Sharma
Priyanshi Sharma Facts & How-To's
21 Min Read

Historical events in Canada began in 10,000 BC. We will discuss the events in Canadian history in the field of federal elections, economics, territorial changes, social and political changes, world war, migration of people, and many of the historical events of Canada.

Canada is a beautiful country with a small population in the middle of three oceans. It has various beautiful and heartwarming locations with natural beauty like mountains, rivers, lakes, and plains.

The events in Canadian history start in 10,000 BC. People started immigrating to this country, and from that time to now, many events have occurred in Canada’s history. We will discuss all of them.

List of 12 Major Historical Events in Canada

Many events in Canadian history will occur in a series every century, which we will discuss in this article. These events are related to the world war, immigration, political and social history, and the formation of rules.

1. From 14,000 to 10,000 BC

One of the important historical events in Canada took place in these years. The people from Paleo, India, started migrating towards the Beringia land bridge, reaching the Alaska and Yukon areas. However, extreme glaciation stopped them from traveling from the south to the continent.

In 14000 BC, the event occurred when the glaciers started melting, which covered the area of Canada so that the Paleo Indians could move further from south to east and reach Canada.

2. From 3,000 to 2,000 BC

People started to settle down in the area, which is surrounded by three oceans (Canada). The people from the northeastern woodlands started cultivating different vegetables like Cucurbita, pumpkin, and gourd.

They grow five different types of species of vegetables that are eaten worldwide, and they are collectively known as squash. Some people are Paleo Eskimos, settling in the Arctic region of North America and Atlantic Canada.

3. In the 8th Century

The 8th century is the period of 796 CE. The Canadian government signed treaties with the British Empire and the United States in this century.

It is known as the Council of Three Fires, in which the United Nations of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi occur.

These are names of some treaties which are signed in the 8th century:

4. In the 10th Century

In this century, the Norse exploration of North America happened. Norsemen is the area in the northwest territories which colonized Greenland.

5. In the 12th Century

In this century, the League of Peace and Power was formed. It was known as The Iroquois Confederacy.

6. In the 15th Century

In this century, John Cabot, an Italian explorer, claimed that the island of Newfoundland belonged to England. It was the first British claim on Canadian land.

7. In the 16th Century

Two major events happened in this century- one in 1534 and another in 1583. The two events are described below:

 7.1. The Year 1534

This year, one of the important historical events took place. An explorer named Jacques Cartier claimed France under the Doctrine of Discovery.

7.2. The Year 1583

This year, an explorer named Humphrey Gilbert claimed that the island of Newfoundland was under the Kingdom of England. Then Britain tried to plan to take the island of Newfound under their kingdom.

8. In the 17th Century

Various events in Canadian history took place in the 17th century. They are listed below:

8.1. The Year 1605

This year, a French colonist, Samuel de Champlain, established a permanent European settlement at Port Royal in Canada called Acadia.

8.2. The Year 1608

This year, Champlain founded Quebec City, and then it was discovered as the capital of New France.

8.3. The Year 1634

This year, the second permanent settlement was founded at Trois River in New France.

8.4. The Year 1642

This year, most immigrants came directly from France, led by Canadian women Jeanne Mance and Paul de Chomedey.

8.5. The Year 1666

This year, North America released the first census.

8.6. The Year 1670

This year, Hudson’s Bay Company was formed. It was a charter for trade. The Hudson’s Bay Company administered new colonies on the king’s behalf.

8.7. The Year 1690

This year is remembered for the Battle of Quebec, fought between Massachusetts Bay and New France.

9. In the 18th Century

The various events, along with the years, are described below:

9.1. The Year 1701

In 1701, the first event in this decade was The Great Peace Of Montreal, finalized between 39 First Nations and New France.

1701, The Great Peace of Montreal - Part 1 of 3

9.2. The Year 1710

The expansion of Nova Scotia by the British federal government. It happened in 1710 when the Siege of Port Royal defeated the French garrison, and they also refused to follow the Wabanaki Confederacy Indigenous allies. Hence, they fell to the British Parliament for help.

The British federal government helped them to make another empire by themselves, and it is present now and is named Nova Scotia.

9.3. The Year 1713

In 1713, the War of Spanish Succession took place. In this, France again started to take the territory of Acadia and then give its charge under British control. France also claimed that there were some British territories in Canada. At last, it was solved by the Treaty of Utrecht.

9.4. The Year 1749

In 1749, Britain wanted to establish a British colony in America. For that, they changed the private capital to the public capital and founded and settled Halifax for the same.

This action was considered an act of violation and the breakage of the treaty, which was signed after Father Rale’s War, and it was also against the War Measures Act.

The British colony subjects could drive the French and Mi’kmaq residents from Nova Scotia but could not do it from the Acadian settlement (now known as New Brunswick).

After this, the British General and Brigadier came and ordered all Acadia colonies to leave the place. So, many of them left the place in the next decade and settled in Louisiana.

9.5. The Year 1758

In 1758, the British soldiers were ready to attack French Canada.

So, after three months of the British siege of Quebec City, the war started. The soldiers from both sides were killed, but the Britishers finally won the war, and the French, who lost everything there in the war, moved to a safer place.

After seven years of this war, The Treaty of Paris was formed, which tried to finish the war between France, Canada, and Britain.

According to this, France would give its land and power to New France and Canada, its colonies would come under the British Province of Quebec, and some remaining colonies would mix with Nova Scotia.

9.6. The Year 1763

In the same year, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 was also issued, which drew and gave the details of the Appalachian Mountain and marked its boundaries as an Indian reserve. King George III issued it, a frightening settlement for Appalachian Mountain.

This was an aboriginal title, and the right of the Canadian constitution was banned in the 13 British colonies by this settlement. So, Canada became a part of the American Revolution. Hence, the royal proclamation became one of the most important events in Canadian history.

9.7. The Year 1774

In 1774, the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Quebec Act. According to this Quebec Act, the British government controlled Quebec City and its provinces. They did it to damage Quebec City socially and economically.

Canadian laws are left behind, and new laws are introduced there. Catholicism is compulsory there. There are no federal elections, and no province left for any elections.

9.8. The Year 1775

In 1775, a war occurred in Quebec City as the Canadian people wanted Quebec back to them. This war took place during the American Revolutionary War, and it was between Canada and Britain.

Canada was defeated by British soldiers in this war, so Canadian citizens requested French-speaking Canadians join Canada in the war against Britain. The Canadian troops are very few. So Britain has beaten Canada in that war.

A black and white image of a group of soldiers fighting in a war.
Photo by Duncan Kidd on Unsplash

9.9. The Year 1782-83

In 1782 and 83, the United States of America asked Great Britain to sign a peace treaty with them, a peace treaty to a quiet revolution. After that treaty, General Washington requested they release all their slaves and prisoners.

The enslaved people were sent to visit North America under the British North America Act. This first settlement was between the Britishers, the black Nova Scotians, and the Black Canadians.

So, the British North America Act was useful for the Canadian people and the Nova Scotians.

After releasing enslaved people and prisoners, another Treaty was signed by Great Britain and the United States of America. This was known as the Treaty of Paris. It was the end of the American Revolutionary War.

A stamp shows the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
Photo by rook on Unlimphotos

According to this treaty, the boundaries of different countries were specified. So, the boundaries of Britain, the United Nations, and North America. The different rights and properties are differentiated for these countries.

9.10. The Year 1784

In 1784, the British crown colony was formed. The British colony purchased land of around 3,000,000 acres from Northwestern Ontario and formed a British crown colony there.

In the year, New Brunswick and Cape Breton Island were separated from Nova Scotia, but Cape Breton Island rejoined Nova Scotia in 1820.

Another event was when Britain purchased land from the Mississaugas and the other five countries. They purchased land of about 550,000 acres. It was considered under the Haldimand Proclamation.

This land was located on either side of the Grand River. So, after some time, the Grand River land has become an issue of dispute between 7 countries, including Canada.

9.11. The Year 1791

In this year, Canada is divided into Upper and Lower Canada.

According to the Constitutional Act of 1791, the Province of Quebec was divided into upper and lower Canada.

Upper Canada is known as Ontario in present-day, and Lower Canada is known as Quebec City in present times.

10. In the 19th Century

Historical events that took place in the 19th century in Canada are described below:

10.1. The Year 1811

Settlement began near the Red River and was termed the Red River colony, around 300,000 square kilometers, by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, via an excellent land grant from the Hudson’s Bay Company, of which he was the official part-owner.

This territory later became part of Manitoba and the Missouri Territory.

10.2. The Year 1813

This was the time of the War Measures Act. During the War of 1812, Laura Secord learns of an American plan to launch a surprise attack on British Columbia forces and walks around 20 miles, warning the defenders.

After that, Canada defeated the American invaders in June at the Battle of Beaver Dam.

10.3. The Year 1818

The London Convention was signed. Setting the boundary between British North America and the United Nations to the 49th parallel from the northwest territories in Minnesota west to the Rocky Mountains continental divide also established joint control of the Oregon country.

A river between brown rocky mountains in Oregon.
Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

10.4. The Year 1821

The merger of Hudson’s Bay Company and the Northwest Company ended the pemmican Wartime Elections Act, a series of armed skirmishes between the rival fur trading companies.

As part of the basic merger, the monopoly of the HBC is extended north to the Arctic and Pacific oceans.

10.5. The Year 1829

Shanawdithit, the last known and popular full-blooded member of the Beothuk people native to the newly found land, dies. She was just around 29 years old.

10.6. The Year 1841

This year, only one event took place in Canada. Regarding the Act Union 1840, the British few colonies of Lower Canada and Upper Canada began to merge into a single province of Canada.

10.7. The Year 1846

The Oregon boundary dispute was settled with the signing of the Oregon Treaty. This allows and permits the extension of the boundary between British North America and the United States along with the 49th parallel from the Rocky Mountains to the Juan de Fuca Strait.

10.8. The Year 1850

This year, the Robinson treaties were signed among the Ojibwa and British Columbia, surrendering the northern shores of the famous Lake Superior and Lake Huron.

10.9. The Year 1854

The surrender of the Saugeen peninsula was signed among the Chippewa and the crown, surrendering the famous lands of the Saugeen in the Canada West part in exchange for the reserves and interest on the sale.

10.10. The Year 1862

This year, the first case of the 1862 Pacific Northwest smallpox epidemic was reported in Victoria, British Columbia.

Its spreading rate was very high and spread widely amongst the indigenous populations, killing around an estimated 20,000. This was the most disastrous incident in Canada’s history.

10.11. The Year 1864

The Charlottetown Conference, the first meeting to discuss a maritime union and confederation, is held in this place.

11. In the 20th Century

Various events occurred in this century. They are described as follows:

11.1. The Year 1903

This year, the Alaska boundary dispute was settled between the United Kingdom and the United States on the border of British Columbia.

11.2. The Year 1905

Two events took place this year. First, Saskatchewan and Alberta were separated from the northwest territories to make Canada’s eighth and ninth provinces.

A view of hills in Alberta Saskatchewan.
Photo by pictureguy on Unlimphotos

The second one is Treaty 9 was signed.

11.3. The Year 1906

This year, Treaty 10 was signed.

11.4. The Year 1910

This year, Canada took an important step: establishing the Royal Navy. The Canadian troops got the establishment and rights to save and fight for their country.

11.5. The year 1914

This year marked one of the most important events in Canadian history. That was the first world war that Great Britain and Germany declared.

11.6. The Year 1917

This year, the Canadian force got into the fight, fought the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and celebrated the Canadian identity.

11.7. The Year 1918

Two of the most important changes happened. The first was the right to vote, which was given to women to choose a responsible government.

The second one was the establishment of the Royal Canadian Air Force in September.

11.8. The Year 1921

Treaty 11 was signed this year.

11.9. The Year 1939

The second world war was declared, and Britain needed Canadian support, so Canada helped Britain with money and wealth.

11.10. The Year 1945

This year, Canada joined the United Nations.

11.11. The Year 1947

This year, Canada welcomed the Canadian Citizenship Act.

11.12. The Year 1995

50.58% of the provinces voted in Canada’s favor and want to remain there.

12. In The 21st Century

This is the present century. In 2005, the Civil Marriage Act was passed in Canada. According to that, same-sex marriage is allowed in Canada.

Final Note

Canada has a vibrant and interesting history. The Royal Canadian Air Force participated in the French and Indian Wars as well.

Events in Canadian history include the Chinese immigration act, the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Second World War, same-sex marriage, the stock market crash, World War II, the First World War, the Free Trade Agreement, the soviet union, the Dominion Elections act, battle of Vimy Ridge, Chinese exclusion act, national film board, the Korean war and many more.

Among all these, the First World War, the Second World War, the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and same-sex marriage are the most crucial events in Canadian history.

All these events in Canadian history had a sensitive effect on the British Empire. It affects not only the Canadian economy but also Canadian troops, South Korea, and Canadian identity. However, Canada has become one of the most popular countries worldwide.

Last Updated on by Narayani Bhardwaj

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