There’s an unfortunate belief that Canadian history is too… well… boring to care much about. Yet those who actually take the time to study the topic usually leave impressed. Canada is really more of a “project” than a country in a lot of ways, and it can be quite fascinating to learn the story of how the nation was built, why it survived, and the different leaders and visions that made it all possible.
Canadian history is usually split into two categories, “pre-Confederation” and “post-Confederation,” with Confederation being the date (July 1st, 1867) that Canada’s modern constitution of self-government was adopted. For the purposes of this guide, I’ve divided Canada’s history into the following sections:
- Early History – Early exploration and colonization of British and French North America, 17th century to 19th century.
- 19th Century – Rise of colonial democracy, Confederation and expansion.
- 20th Century – Modernization, war and independence.
- 21st Century – Contemporary political and economic issues.
- The Prime Ministers – The men who led Canada through all of the above.
- Historically important politicians – Other figures from Canadian history worth knowing.