By Will Ferguson
A wild journey via Canadian heritage, absolutely revised and updated!
This re-creation of Canadian historical past For Dummies takes readers on an exciting trip via Canadian background, from indigenous local cultures and early French and British settlements via Paul Martin's shaky minority govt. This well timed replace positive factors the entire most modern, up to date findings in old and archeological study. In his trademark irreverent type, Will Ferguson celebrates Canada's double-gold in hockey on the 2002 Olympics, investigates Jean Chrétien's choice to not perform the conflict in Iraq, and dissects the hot sponsorship scandal.
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Extra info for Canadian History for Dummies
Entire populations collapsed. It was a demographic catastrophe. 04_CDN_Hist_C01_p11-32 5/26/05 2:23 PM Page 13 Chapter 1: First Nations Here’s just one example: The Huron Confederacy in what is now northern Ontario had a population of 25,000 in the year 1600. But once Catholic missionaries and French traders made contact, a smallpox epidemic swept through the Huron community, killing thousands and leaving the population at scarcely 9,000 by 1640 — a shadow of its former greatness. Demoralized, with their population depleted and the missionaries sewing seeds of discord among them (the community was divided between those who had been converted and those who had not), the Huron could no longer maintain their once vast farmlands.
The three big themes of Canadian history are keeping the Americans out, keeping the French in, and trying to get the Natives to somehow disappear. In Canadian History For Dummies, I’ve gone through and flagged these themes — along with some others. A quick note about these icons: The symbols I chose only represent the themes. They aren’t meant to be taken literally. The Union Jack/fleur-de-lis icon, for example, is used in this book to represent everything from Acadia versus New England, to the LaFontaine/Baldwin political alliance of the 1840s, to Québec versus Ottawa in the 1990s.
The process occurred as much by stealth as anything, and it took centuries to unfold, with European trade goods often preceding the arrival of the Europeans themselves by several generations. Trade is good. It allows people to redistribute materials, generate wealth, and improve their quality of life. Complex and long-standing trade routes were already in place among the First Nations long before the Europeans arrived. It is a myth that the Natives, gullible and innocent of the ways of the outside world, traded away valuable furs for trinkets.