Geo Notes Oct/12
- The first people: The first people on North America were old world hunters who crossed a land bridge
(Beringia) into Alaska and Yukon 30,000 years ago. Beringia was a product of the last ice advance, due to a
drop in sea level. Beginning 15,000 years ago, the climate warmed, the ice sheets retreated, and the sea level
rose, causing Beringia to become submerged underwater. People that were still in Alaska had to wait until
an ice-free corridor appeared 12,000-13,000 years ago before they could migrate into North America.
Another possible migration route was island-hopping to the west of the cordillera ice sheet. The first people
of North America were called paleo-indian (they developed into three distinct hunting cultures clovis,
- Paleo-indians: They were descendants of the old world hunters. They designed a fluted-point stone
spearhead. These spearheads and woolly mammoth bones have been discovered in the prairies. 9,000 years
ago, mammoths and mastodons became extinct, forcing the early inhabitants to adjust their hunting
practices and become more mobile and less numerous. Paleo-indian culture areas were developed, which
were geographic regions with two characteristics 1) A common set of natural conditions that resulted in
similar plants and animals, 2) Inhabitants who used a common set of hunting, fishing, and food-gathering
techniques and tools. This allowed for the formation of more enduring social units.
- Around 10,000 years ago, the Laurentide ice sheet retreated to north of the great lakes. About 5,000 years
ago, Indians living in the tropical climate of Mexico began to domesticate plants and animals. This
agricultural system and its people spread northward into areas with more restrictive growing conditions.
This required Indians to adapt their agricultural system. Caribou was the primary food source. About 3000
years ago, Indians in the eastern US planted corn, beans, and squash. Algonquin Indians north of the great
lakes had to hunt caribou.
- Arctic Canada was settled later than the subarctic because of the ice sheet, but this began to recede 8,000
years ago. Paleo-eskimos (Denbigh) crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska 5000 years ago and they later
moved eastward along the arctic coast. They invented a harpoon and other tools that enabled them to hunt
seals and marine mammals. About 3000 years ago, a second migration from Alaska took place. This was the
Dorset culture and they replaced the Denbigh. The final arctic migration occurred 1000 years ago when the
Thule people arrived and migrated eastward, eventually reaching Labrador. The Thule are ancestors of the
Inuit, and they hunted whale but had to later hunt seal and caribou when the climate cooled. At the same
time, Vikings reached North America. The Thule never inhabited southern parts of Canada.
- When Europeans arrived at North America, they considered the new world terra nullius (empty lands), and
they claimed legal right to ownership of the land because it wasnt cultivated and it lacked permanent
settlement. The aboriginal population decreased a lot after contact due to loss of hunting ground and the
spread of diseases. Many aboriginals were killed in a war over the fur trade. John Cabot was the first
European explorer in Canada in 1497. Cartier and Frobisher also came to Canada while trying to find Asia,
and this contact ended badly. Many
- At the time of contact with Europeans, aboriginals had seven culture regions north-west coast (Haida),
plateau, plains, western subarctic (Athapaskans), arctic (Inuit), eastern subarctic (Cree), and eastern
woodlands (Iroquois, Huron). Each region developed distinct techniques suitable for the local environment
and wildlife. There were also many aboriginal languages.
- The second people: The colonization of North America by the French and British in the 1600s was the
second major development in Canadas early history. Quebec City was founded in 1608 by Champlain and
was the first permanent settlement in Canada. The first wave of British immigrants was refugees from theUS (Loyalists) in the late 1770s. The second wave of immigrants came from the British Isles, 1790-1860.
Most of the British people lived in the great lakes-st. Lawrence lowlands (80%) and the rest lived in atlantic
canada (20%). Across the rest of British North America, aboriginals made up most of the population. In the
Red River settlement, a new group the Metis emerged. They were of native and European descent. By 1869,
they outnumbered the white settlers and fur traders.
- Canada began as a collection of four british colonies upper Canada, lower Canada, New Brunswick, and
Nova Scotia. Britain believed that it was best for the colonies to be united. 1867, the population was either
British or French and each group had its own vision of Canada. French Canadians saw Canada as two
founding peoples and English Canadians preferred the idea of equality among provinces. The idea of equal
provinces grew out of the following factors 1) The nature of confederation was such that provincial
powers were shared equally. 2) The British formed the majority of the population in three of the four
provinces, and so dominated the political affairs of these provinces. 3) The British, while a minority within
QC, were the dominant business group.
- The third people: The CPR was completed in 1885. This was a good time for western Canada to be settled.
There was a wave of migrants from 1880s-1914. They were European people without a French or English
background. This was the start of multiculturalism. For Ottawa, there were two key advantages in
encouraging settlement the threat of Americans moving here would be diminished and the creation of a
grain economy would provide freight for the CPR. The government attracted people from Ukraine and
Russia (Doukhobors) to settle here. The people came from a cold grassland environment and so were well
suited for settling the prairies.
- The BNA of 1867 proclaimed Canada as a nation with four provinces and it soon acquired more territory.
For Britain, the union of its colonies had three advantages 1) A better chance for political survival against
the US. 2) An improved environment for British investment (monetary motive). 3) A reduction in British