You are on page 1of 15

Brief History of the United States Brief History of Canada


United States emerged from the British colonization of America, starring British waves of immigrants who founded between the seventeenth and eighteenth Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic coast of the North American continent, east of the Appalachians. These colonies turned against the French possessions in Quebec and Louisiana. After a rather peaceful development of the settlers, the wars against the French in the north forced the creation of colonial corps, one of the first expressions of national identity

Six of the eventual thirteen colonies had originated before the civil war un England during the 1640s, which temporarily halted colonizing activities from abroad. Then Charles II returned from this wandering exile to reign as the Merry Monarch and reward his faithful courtiers with truly regal gifts of land in the New World. He not only acknowledged with royal charters the various colonies which had broken off from the detestable Puritan commonwealth of Massachusetts, but he also gave rise within a quarter of a century to

six additional colonies: North and South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

The Quaker Colonies: The society of Friends originated in mid-seventeenth-century England in response to the preachings of George Fox, a Nottingham shoemaker, whose followers came to be known as Quakers From his admonition to them to "tremble at the name of the Lord". Much more than a more real state promoter, Penn was interested in Pennsylvania most of all as what he called a Holy Experiment. Colonies, he said, were the "seeds of nations," and he proposed to plant the seeds of brotherly love. He personally voyaged to Pennsylvania (1682) to oversee the laying out, between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers; of the city he appropriately named Philadelphia ("Brotherly Love"). HIs colony prospered from the outset because of his thoughtful planning and also because of the mildness of the climate and the fertility of the soil, the well-to-do and well equipped class of settlers he brought in, and the assistance they received from the people of other colonies and from the Hollanders and Swedes and Finns.

Georgia, the last of the mainland colonies, was unique in its origins. It was founded by neither a corporation nor a proprietorship, and its guiding purpose was neither to make profits nor to create a sectarian refuge. In the beginning Georgia was the work of trustees

serving without pay. Their main purpose was twofold: to provide a new start in life for Englishmen imprisoned for debt, and to erect a military barrier against the Spaniards on the southern borders of English America. And last but not least in their colonization policies they were to keep in mind the needs of military security.


In June the Congress appointed a committee to prepare a declaration of independence. On the committee was Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, who wrote the first draft. Like many colonial leaders, he was familiar with the works of John Locke and the Enlightenment thinkers. Jefferson's declaration reflected the ideas of natural law and the social contract. He wrote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it...

The Congress adopted Jefferson's Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A few days later George Washington had it read to his troops to inspire them and give them hope.

The War of Independence: The war of Independence was long and bitter. Although the Americans did not have an army that could face the British in the open field, they had a skillful general in Washington. They also had help from the French in the form of arms and ammunition. The French were eager for an American victory, hoping to revenge the losses of the Seven Years War. However, they did not actively join forces with the Americans until victory seemed certain.

The turning point came in October 1777 with a British defeat at Saratoga. This American victory persuaded France to come in on the American side. Spain followed in 1779. Faced with a naval war against France and Spain, Britain became less interested in defeating its rebellious colonies. In August 1781, Britains largest army was forced to surrender at Yorktown. For the Americans, the war was virtually over. Britain, however, continued to fight France and Spain for the next two years. By the terms of the Treaty of Paris in September 1783, the United States was recognized as an independent nation. Spain regained Florida, which it had lost to Britain in the Seven Years War. France won some West Indian islands but was left with a huge debt.


The American people dedicated their new nation to the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, and opportunity for all. From the start, the United States welcomed immigrants to its shores. Attracted

by the opportunity for freedom and a chance for a better life, newcomers form many lands poured into the United States by the millions. Immigration and natural growth caused the nations population to mount steadily-from fewer than 3 million people in 1776 to more than 250 million people today.

World Wars:

World War I: The second event to affect the war was the American decision not to remain neutral any longer. Until this point, Americans had mixed feelings about the war. Many Irish-Americans were staunchly antiBritish, and many German-Americans sided with the Central Powers. Many other Americans favored the Allies. The majority of Americans, however, agreed with President Wilson that the war was strictly a European conflict. While incidents such as the sinking of the Lusitania angered them, they were not ready to take an active part in the war.

The Germans did not want the Americans in the war. At the same time, however, they were determined to break the British control of the seas. They believed that the way to do this was to follow a polity of unrestricted submarine warfare. They thought that even if the United States entered the war, Germany would win it before the

Americans could become a real threat. So Germany announced that beginning February 1, it would sink on sight any merchant ships heading to British or western European ports. President Wilson responded to the announcement by breaking off relations with Germany.

The American entry into the war raised Allied morale. It also gave the allies much needed resources, both industrial and human. The Americans threw themselves into the war effort. A selective Service System was instituted to draft soldiers into the army. The British and the French urged the Americans to speed up their arrival on the continent. They did not want to launch any more offensives without reinforcement from the Americans. It look time to build and train an army, but the American navy was of immediate help. The German Uboat campaign was growing more effective daily. By April, Britain was down to a six-week supply of food. American Admiral William S. Sims went to London to discuss with the British how to deal with the submarines.

World War II:

World War II was the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind. However, the half century that now separates us from that conflict has exacted its toll on our collective knowledge. While World War II continues to absorb the interest of military scholars and historians, as well as its veterans, a generation of Americans has grown to maturity largely unaware of the political, social, and military implications of a war that, more than any other, united us as a people with a common purpose.

Highly relevant today, World War II has much to teach us, not only about the profession of arms, but also about military preparedness, global strategy, and combined operations in the coalition war against fascism. During the next several years, the U.S. Army will participate in the nation's 50th anniversary commemoration of World War II.

A Brief History of the U.S. Army in World War II highlights the major ground force campaigns during the six years of the war, offers suggestions for further reading, and provides Americans an opportunity to learn about the Army's role in World War II.


Immediately prior to Confederation, there were six British colonies in what is now Canada. There was the pre-Confederation Province of Canada, which was the union of the former colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. The other five colonies were Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and British Columbia.

On July 1, 1867, the four original provinces of Confederation were Ontario (the western part of the pre-Confederation Province of Canada), Quebec (the eastern part of the pre-Confederation Province of Canada), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.On July 15, 1870, Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territories were transferred from Britain to Canada. The Province of Manitoba was created on the same day.

The colony of British Columbia joined Confederation on July 20, 1871 and the colony of Prince Edward Island joined on July 1, 1873. Yukon Territory was created on June 13, 1898. The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created on September 1, 1905. The colony of Newfoundland joined Confederation on March 31, 1949. The territory of Nunavut was created on April 1, 1999.


Canada's transition from a self-governing British colony into a fully independent state was an evolutionary process, which arose in such a gradual fashion that it is impossible to ascribe independence to a particular date. The Supreme Court of Canada reflected this uncertainty when it said in Re Offshore Mineral Rights of British Columbia that Canada's "sovereignty was acquired in the period between its separate signature of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the Statute of Westminster, 1931..." However, the development of this independence had its roots before 1919, and was not actually completed until well after 1931. As Frank Scott has argued, "Never at any time in [1919-39] was the full international personality of the Dominions, as distinct from Great Britain, established beyond equivocation". Indeed, symbolically-important legal traces of

Canada's colonial status were only shed with the passing of the Canada Act by the British Parliament in 1982. That Act not only provided for the first time a process by which Canada's basic constitutional laws could be legally amended without action by the British Parliament, but it also declared that no British law passed thereafter would apply to Canada. There are still two final vestiges of colonialism to be eliminated, those found in ss.55 and 56 of the 1867 Constitution Act which provide for the reservation and disallowance of federal legislation. Of course Canada has been an independent nation for a number of decades, and these shadows of her former status are nothing more than anomalies which illustrate

how the legal provisions of the Canadian constitution failed to keep pace with the political developments which propelled Canada to full statehood.

At its inception in 1867, Canada's colonial status was marked by political and legal subjugation to British Imperial supremacy in all aspects of government - legislative, judicial, and executive. The Imperial Parliament at Westminster could legislate on any matter to do with Canada and could override any local legislation, the final court of appeal for Canadian litigation lay with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, the Governor General had a substantive role as a representative of the British government, and ultimate executive power was vested in the British Monarch who was advised only by British Ministers in its exercise. Canada's independence came about as each of these subordinations was eventually removed.

What is remarkable about this whole process is that it was achieved with a minimum of legislative amendments. Much of Canada's independence arose from the development of new political arrangements, many of which have been absorbed into judicial decisions interpreting the constitution - with or without explicit recognition. Canada's passage from being an integral part of the British Empire to being an independent member of the

Commonwealth richly illustrates the way in which fundamental constitutional rules have evolved through the interaction of constitutional convention, international law, and municipal statute and case law.

World Wars:
World War I: The new Conservative government, headed by Robert Laird Borden, had the responsibility of rallying the nation to Britain's side in World War I. Had Canadians remained as divided as they were at the end of Laurier's term, this might have been a difficult thing to do. But Germany's invasion of neutral Belgium in 1914 forged a unity of Canadian sentiment and a demand for participation in the conflict.

The first Canadian contingent, numbering 33,000, reached England soon after the outbreak of war in 1914, and it was in the thick of the fighting on the continent a few months later in the second battle of Ypres. By 1916 the Canadians had formed four divisions, with a fifth to provide reinforcements. The four divisions of the Canada Corps earned an outstanding reputation as a fighting force. More significant, however, was the fact that Canada was playing a respectable role on the world stage, a role that would soon help undo its colonial status.

Before the war ended in 1918, more than 619,000 officers and men had enlisted, including some 22,000 who had served in the British Royal Air Force. More than 60,000 Canadians were killed in action or died of wounds, a terribly heavy toll in relation to the country's population. Over 66 million shells were produced in Canadian factories. The gross national debt soared from 544 million dollars in 1914 to almost 2 1/2 billion dollars in 1919, most of the money being raised in Canada itself through public war loans.

The Canadian forces at the outset were made up wholly of volunteers. Casualties and the rapidly accelerating pace of the war made the bitter question of conscription a major issue by 1917. Borden met it by forming a coalition government of Conservatives and Liberals, though Laurier refused to join the coalition. In the election of that year, Quebec was almost unanimous in its opposition to the conscription policy that was supported elsewhere across the country. The political solidarity of the province during the next 25 years was largely derived from its memory of that episode.

On the battlefronts in France and Belgium, Canadians of both nationality backgrounds made magnificent contributions to the final victory. They faced with heroism the first poison-gas attack in the history of warfare during the second battle of Ypres in 1915. Other

engagements in which Canadian forces earned the admiration of all the Allies included the battles of Mount Sorrel (1916), the Somme (1916), and Vimy Ridge (1917). The victory of Passchendaele Ridge in the autumn of 1917 alone cost 16,000 Canadian casualties. In 1918 during the closing months of the war, Canadians again saw heavy action at Amiens, Cambrai, and Mons.

World War II: In 1867 the four existing provinces of Canada - Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick - were united into one dominion of the British Empire. Later Manitoba (1870), British Columbia (1871), Prince Edward Island (1873), Alberta and Saskatchewan (1905) joined the other provinces. By 1911 Canada had a population of 7.2 million. A quarter of Canadians were French-speaking and most of these lived in Quebec Province. The French-Canadian, Wilfrid Laurier, the leader of the Liberal Party, became prime minister in 1896 and he held office for fifteen years. Robert Borden, the leader of the Conservative Party, replaced Laurier in October, 1911.

In 1914 Canada had just over 3,000 regular soldiers. Based at harbor fortifications, the Canadian Army was backed up by a militia of local volunteers. Expecting a war in Europe, during the summer of 1914

the Canadian government asked for volunteers to join a Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). Of these, 418,000 served overseas with the Canadian Army and sixty-three of these won the Victoria Cross, including William Bishop and John MacGregor. The CEF had 210,000 casualties, of whom, 56,500 were killed. Overall casualties numbered in excess of 60,000 as some Canadians served in other military forces.On 10th September, 1939, the Canadian parliament declared war against Nazi Germany, but refused to send non-volunteers to Europe. The Canadian prime minister, Mackenzie King worked closely with the United States in the defense of North America.

In December 1939 the Its Canadian Division left for Britain. They were followed later by two other infantry divisions, two armored divisions and two armored brigades.In 1941 two Canadian battalions were sent to the defense of Hong Kong but they were captured by the invading Japanese Army in December 1941. Of these, 246 died as a result of harsh treatment while prisoners of war. The Royal Canadian Air Force contributed a squadron during the Battle of Britain and 48 other Canadian squadrons fought during the war. Canada also provided facilities and personnel for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan which produced 131,553 airmen for Commonwealth countries. Canadian soldiers were used on the raid on Dieppe in France in August 1942. The attempt to take and hold the port was a disaster and 3,367 out of the 4,963 Canadians who took part were killed, wounded or captured. The 3rd Canadian Division and second

armored brigade took part in the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. The Canadians suffered heavily casualties during the fighting at Pas de Calais, Caen and Falaise. They fought throughout the Netherlands and participated in the recapture of Antwerp. After the surrender of Germany in April 1945, a Canadian occupation force remained in the country until 1946.


Over the years, Canada has followed an immigrant tradition, but with a substantial difference during the last years. In fact, Governmental institutions are in charge of administering the influx of immigrants coming into the country. For this reason, Canadian Government follows international events in order to observe phenomena that probably could cause an impact on Canadian life. This research looks to analyze the Canadian Immigration policy and to give some examples about the Canadian migration policy.