Canada's Immigration Term Paper

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The Europeans who "discovered" North America, it has been said, were those men who believed

least in its existence: merchants and adventurers looking for a northwest ocean passage to the Far

East. The continent - inhabited by Inuits and Amer-Indians - that blocked their way gradually

became the site of permanent settlements, first French and then English. Eventually bitter trade

rivalry, leading to war between Britain and France, resulted both in the decimation of the native

peoples (movingly registered in the lamentations of the female "memorizers" of the Nootka oral

tradition, for example) and also, notwithstanding the decisive British military victory at the Battle

of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, in permanent linguistic, cultural, and religious divisions

between anglophone and francophone Canada.

After the American War of Independence in 1776, the immigration of tens of thousands of

Loyalist men, women, and children from New England - colonists who chose to remain loyal to

Britain and were rewarded with land grants - added another indelible mark on the Canadian

character, which is generally seen as more respectful of law and order and less ruggedly

individualistic than the American. Loyalist immigration not only strengthened the political,

social, and economic dominance of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant community, but it also

determined that Canadian literature in English would represent the confluence of the two main

streams in the language-those of Britain and the United States.

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