Canada is the second largest country in the world (after Russia). It occupies an area of 10 million square kilometers and has about 30 million inhabitants. The capital of Canada is Ottawa, the political, cultural and economic center of the country.
Canada is a varied landscape. There are the Rocky Mountains, the Mackenzie Mountains, the Coast Mountains and other ranges running north to south. The highest peak of Canada, however is not in the Rockies, is Mt. Logan. Of course there are several important rivers. The rivers can be divided into three systems. The Atlantic system is represented by the St. Lawrence River which makes the longest waterway system in the inner part of Canada. Other rivers of the Atlantic system are the Winnipeg and the Saskatchewan. The Pacific system is made up mainly by the Columbia, the Frazer and the Yukon rivers. The Mackenzie is the backbone of another waterway system mainly in summer. It belongs to the Arctic system.
In this state there are very interesting places, for example the Great Lakes, which make up the biggest reservoir of fresh water in the world. The climate in the vast areas of Canada can’t be same everywhere. The most disagreeable climate is in the Arctic.
Canada has enormously rich sources of raw materials (for example: uranium, zinc, sulphur), big production of paper and is also one of the leading countries in agriculture (mainly in wheat).
The first people arrived to America from Asia about 3 thousand years ago crossing from Siberia to Alaska. Some of them settled in Canada, while others continued to the south. The first contact between the native Canadians and Europeans probably occurred about thousand years ago when Icelandic Norsemen settled for a short time on the island of Newfoundland. In 1497 John Cabot claimed the land for the English Crown, in 1534 Jacques Cartier planted the flag of France on the area of Canada. Large nubmers of English-speaking people, called Loyalists - wishing to remain faithful to the British Crown – came to Canada after the USA won its independence in 1776 by their Declaration of Independence. People settled mainly the colonies of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and along the Great Lakes.
In 1791 Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) were created and both were granted their own representative governing institutions. Rebellions in the 1830 prompted the British to form the united Province of Canada giving it responsible government – except in matters of foreign affairs in 1848. The development of Canada’s powerful neighbor – the USA – led Canada East, Canada West, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to join together under the terms of the British North America Act into the Dominion of Canada on July 1st 1867. Other provincies gradually jointed: Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and in the 20th century also Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoudland.
During the prewar period, Canada profited from the prosperous world economy and established itself as an industrial as well as an agriculture power. In 1931 Canada’s constituonal autonomy from Britain was confirmed with the passing of the Statute of Westminster.
Canada consists of 10 provinces and two territories (Northwest Territories and Yukon Territory). The currency in this state is Canadian dollar and the official languages are English and French but 70% people speak only English. The Canadian Parliament is composed of the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – Elizabeth II. (who is represented by the Governor General), the Senate and the House of Commons.
26. březen 2008