Canada was settled by a wide variety of immigrants. The territories were under the control of France. However, the French ceded their control to the British by the Treaty of Paris (1763) at the end of the Seven years war.
The Victorian era (1837 1901) saw the gradual development of Canada into a sovereign state. 1837 saw a number of rebellions in Canada. The result was that Lord Durham was sent to review the situation. The Durham report suggested responsible government. Yet unrest continued to persist. In 1840, Upper and Lower Canada were merged into a single union by the Act of Union.
The various political parties of Canada formed a great coalition under the leadership of Sir John Alexander Macdonald. It sought political reforms as well as the formation of a confederation. The demand was met when the colonies of Britain left in North America after the independence of USA were formed into a confederation in 1867 by the British North American Act.
It included Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Macdonald became the first Prime Minister and played a crucial role in the early days of the growth of the country. Soon several other territories like British Columbia, Vancouver Islands and Prince Edward Island etc. joined the federation.
One landmark event during the Victorian era in Canada was the creation of the North West Mounted police in 1867. They were to play a significant role in the politics of the country. Its first task was to suppress the second war of independence started by a tribal people. They also played a notable role in tackling several other unrests like the Red river rebellion of 1869 and theNorth-west rebellion of 1885.
Another landmark event during this era was the creation of the Criminal code of Canada in 1893. All the existing laws, codes, conventions and statutes were organized under this common code. It upheld the doctrine of equality of all before the law.
The Alaska boundary dispute also sparked off during this time. Alaska was purchased by the USA in 1867. Canada contested the legality of this action. The complications increased when gold was discovered in late 1890. This dispute would continue long before its resolution in the middle of the twentieth century.