Canada and US History

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1583 Newfoundland Island in the far north claimed by Sir Humphrey Gilbert for Queen Elizabeth I.

1605 Port Royal, capital of Acadia, settled by France. Acadia included modern day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Maine south to the Kennebec River. Acadia was the first of five colonies of New France, the other four becoming Hudson's Bay, Plaisance on Newfoundland Island, Louisiana down in the south, and of course Canada itself — made up of Quebec in 1608, then Montreal, and Trois-Rivieres.

1621 British arrive in Nova Scotia in the east laying claim to Acadia.

1662 French build Fort Plaisance on Newfoundland Island and make Plaisance their capital.

1668 British build trading posts on Hudson's Bay.

1672 French arrive in Hudson's Bay, endeavouring to drive out the British.

1710 British capture Port Royal, capital of Acadia, and rename it as Annapolis Royal, capital of Nova Scotia.

1713 The Treaty of Utrecht forced the French to abandon their settlements in Hudson's Bay and Newfoundland, with Plaisance becoming Placentia. The French residents were moved to Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) where they began the construction of Louisbourg. Île Royale included Île Saint-Jean which today is known as Prince Edward Island.

1749 British establish a fort at Halifax in Nova Scotia and declare it the new capital.

1755 British occupied Nouveau Brunswick (New Brunswick) inside Acadia, and make it part of Nova Scotia. Over the next 8 years, the British deported most French Acadian residents to the New England, middle and southern colonies, also to France and Britain, causing much resentment, anger.

1758 British forces captured Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, allowing them to blockade the entrance to the St Lawrence River. This proved decisive in the war. In 1759, the British besieged Quebec by sea, and an army under General James Wolfe defeated the French under General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in September. The garrison in Quebec surrendered on 18 September 1759, and after an attack on Montreal which had refused to acknowledge the fall of Canada, by the next year New France had been conquered by the British. The last French governor-general of New France, Pierre François de Rigaud, surrendered to British Major General Jeffrey Amherst on 8 September 1760. France formally ceded Canada to the British in the Treaty of Paris, signed 10 February 1763.

1763 Canada renamed as the Province of Quebec.

1791 To accommodate the influx of English-speaking Loyalists in Central Canada, the Constitutional Act of 1791 divided Canada into French-speaking Lower Canada (Quebec) in the east and English-speaking Upper Canada (Ontario) further west along the St Lawrence River, granting each its own elected legislative assembly.
Upper Canada or Province of Ontario then had as its capital the city of York (modern day Toronto).

In 1813, as part of the War of 1812, the Battle of York ended in the town's capture and plunder by US forces. The surrender of the town was negotiated by John Strachan. American soldiers destroyed much of the garrison and set fire to the parliament buildings during their five-day occupation. The sacking of York was a primary motivation for the Burning of Washington by British troops later in the war. York was incorporated as the City of Toronto on March 6, 1834, reverting to its original native name. Reformist politician William Lyon Mackenzie became the first Mayor of Toronto and led the unsuccessful Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837 against the British colonial government. Toronto's population of only 9,000 included escaped African American slaves, some of whom were brought by the Loyalists, including Mohawk leader Joseph Brant. Torontonians integrated people of colour into their society.

1841 Province of Canada: The Act of Union 1840, passed 23 July 1840, by the British Parliament and proclaimed by the Crown on 10 February 1841, merged the Colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada by abolishing their separate parliaments and replacing them with a single one with two houses, a Legislative Council as the upper chamber and the Legislative Assembly as the lower chamber.
Unification of the two Canadas was driven by two factors. Firstly, Upper Canada was near bankruptcy because it lacked stable tax revenues, and needed the resources of the more populous Lower Canada to fund its internal transportation improvements. And secondly, unification was an attempt to swamp the French vote by giving each of the former provinces the same number of parliamentary seats, despite the larger population of Lower Canada. The new government was to be led by an appointed Governor General accountable only to the British Crown and the Queen's Ministers. Responsible government was not to be achieved until the second LaFontaine-Baldwin ministry in 1849.

The location of the capital city of the Province of Canada changed six times in its 26-year history. The first capital was in Kingston in eastern Ontario (1841–1844). The capital moved to Montreal in Quebec (1844–1849) until rioters, spurred by a series of incendiary articles published in The Gazette, protested against the Rebellion Losses Bill and burned down Montreal's parliament buildings. It then moved to Toronto (1849–1852). It moved to Quebec City from 1852 to 1856, then Toronto for one year (1858) before returning to Quebec City from 1859 to 1866.
In 1857, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa in the eastern portion of southern Ontario to become the permanent capital of the Province of Canada, initiating construction of Canada's first parliament buildings, on Parliament Hill. The first stage of this construction was completed in 1865, just in time to host the final session of the last parliament of the Province of Canada before Confederation. /wiki /Canadian_Confederation

1867 Canadian Confederation (French: Confédération canadienne) was the process by which the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. Upon confederation, the old province of Canada was divided into Ontario and Quebec. Along with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the new federation thus comprised four provinces. Over the years since Confederation, Canada has seen numerous territorial changes and expansions, resulting in the current union of ten provinces and three territories.

US Independence

American War of Independence (1775-1783). Fighting broke out on April 19 1775 (after the famous Paul Revere midnight ride) when 700 British troops were sent to confiscate militia ordnance stored at Concord Massachusetts. Independence was declared July 4 1776.  Most fighting occurred 1775-1778, then a stalemate with many US desertions (1779-1780) then victory again in October 1781 with Corwallis's defeat at Yorktown, Virginia, after France, Spain and India also went to war against England.
The Americans skirted these allies, recognizing that more favorable terms would be found in London. They negotiated directly with Prime Minister the Earl of Shelburne, who hoped to make Britain a valuable trading partner of America at the expense of France. To this end, Shelburne offered to cede all the land east of the Mississippi River, north of Florida, and south of Quebec, while also allowing American fishermen access to the rich Newfoundland fishery. According to one historian, Shelburne was hoping to facilitate the growth of the American population, creating lucrative markets that Britain could exploit at no administrative cost to London. As Vergennes commented, "the English buy peace rather than make it".
Preliminary peace articles were signed in Paris on 30 November 1782, while preliminaries between Britain, Spain, France, and the Netherlands continued until September 1783. The war formally concluded on September 3, 1783.
The last British troops departed New York City on November 25, 1783, marking the end of British rule in the new United States.


In 1803, Napoleon sold Louisiana click here for a map — an area west of the Mississippi River that extended from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the Canadian border in the north — to the USA. It prompted independence wars, a breaking away from the Spanish Empire throughout North and South America.


Click here for notes on Mexican War of Independence in 1810-1821, which led to the break-away Republic of Texas in 1835-36 with its English speaking American settlers and their refusal (at the time) to forego ownership of slaves.

History of the US States /wiki /List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union

War broke out again between Britain and America in 1812, lasting 3 years.
It inspired in 1814 the Star Spangled Banner (at the time the flag was 15 stripes and 15 stars) in reference to the Battle of Baltimore that occurred in September 1814. The flag incidentally in April 1818 changed to become 13 stripes and 20 stars, then adding a star as each state came on board.
The Star Spangled Banner used a tune known as "The Anacreontic Song", also known by its incipit "To Anacreon in Heaven" (a Greek Poet about 500BC). It was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th-century gentlemen's club of amateur musicians in London, and was written in 1780.
In 1931 it became the American National Anthem, replacing "The President's March or Hail Columbia" music-1789, lyrics-1796, "America My Country 'tis of thee-1831" and "America the Beautiful" (O beautiful for halcyon skies-1893 and O beautiful for spacious skies-1911).

"Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances" is the Boat Song in Sir Walter Scott's long narrative poem "The Lady of the Lake". There are six divisions or cantos in the poem, the Boat Song is in the second canto-The Island. These Lyrics were written in 1810, then the music was taken from a Scottish Gaelic melody and added in 1812, and attributed to James Sanderson.
Association with the President first occurred in 1815, when it was played to honor both George Washington and the end of the War of 1812 under the name "Wreaths for the Chieftain".
Been played ever since.
Under the term of Harry Truman (1945-1952) the Department of Defense made it the official tribute to the President.
Lyrics that were written by Albert Gamse (1901-1974) are set to James Sanderson's music, but they are rarely sung.
Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all. 

Back to the 1800s

1800: 16 States (mostly Crown Colonies)

1858: First Overland Mail Express New York to California
1869: First Transcontinental railroad

1900: 45 States

1907 Became 46th state.

Northern Mexico
1847-1848 War US and Mexico
1850 New Mexico became territory of USA
1862 Arizona (southern part) became a separate territory.
1912 Both territories became 47th and 48th states

1732 Siberian explorers from Russia
1799 Named as Russian America with capital Sitka
1867 Sold to USA as a territory
1959 Became 49th state

1874 Riots after king died no obvious heirs. US and UK intervene, appoint king.
1893 Monarchy overthrown after king died. Republic for 4 years
1898 Became a territory of the USA
1959 Became 50th state

2018: 50 States (and 50 stars on the flag)
i.e. 48 mainland states + 2 other states (Alaska and Hawaii) = 50

Plus 14 territories (5 that are permanently inhabited are American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands).

Plus Washington in Federal District of Columbia. (D.C.)

Regarding the word "Columbia", Massachusetts Chief Justice Samuel Sewall used the name Columbina (not Columbia) for the New World in 1697. The name Columbia for "America" first appeared in 1738, perhaps coined by Samuel Johnson, in a weekly English magazine that published the debates inside the British Parliament.

The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land in 1790 to form this federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia. In 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.

Click here for List of Presidents of the United States

Some main ones:
1789-1797 George Washington

1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War
After the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the US presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories, the Confederacy was formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states – South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas – in the Lower South region of the United States, whose regional economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves.

Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, which was considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch practically overnight. Generals were Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson (who died however after a battle in May 1863). After the Civil War began, four slave states of the Upper South – Virginia (but not West Virginia), Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina – also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy later accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither officially declared secession.  The War began with the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.

In early 1865, after four years of heavy fighting which led to over 620,000 military deaths, the Confederate army was devastated by casualties, disease and desertion. General Lee abandoned Richmond Virginia and retreated west. However, his forces were soon surrounded and he surrendered them to General Grant on April 9. The day after his surrender, Lee issued his Farewell Address to his army. Other Confederate armies followed suit. Lee was not arrested or punished, but he did lose some property as well as the right to vote.

On April 14, Lincoln was shot, dying the next day. Confederate President Jefferson Davis expressed regret at his death, later saying that he believed Lincoln would have been less harsh with the South than his successor, Andrew Johnson, who issued a $100,000 reward for the capture of Davis and accused him of helping to plan the assassination. Davis met with his Confederate Cabinet for the last time on May 5 in Washington, Georgia, and officially dissolved the Confederate government. He was then captured on May 10, and imprisoned for two years on May 19. The war lacked a formal end - nearly all Confederate forces had been forced into surrender or deliberately disbanded by the end of 1865.

1901-1909 Theodore Roosevelt (1838-1919)

1933-1945 Frankin Delano Roosevelt 5th cousin (1882-1945) in wheelchair from polio / neural disease after 1921. Died in office just a few weeks before Germany's surrender, though he had been unwell from 1940.

1945-1952 Harry Truman

1952-1960 Dwight Eisenhower

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