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Battle of the Plains of Abraham

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham (13 September 1759), also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal moment in the Seven Years’ War and in the history of Canada. A British invasion force led by General James Wolfe defeated French troops under the Marquis de Montcalm, leading to the surrender of Quebec to the British. Both commanding officers died from wounds sustained during the battle. The French never recaptured Quebec and effectively lost control of New France in 1760. At the end of the war in 1763 France surrendered many of its colonial possessions — including Canada — to the British.

(This is the full-length entry about the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. For a plain-language summary, please see Battle of the Plains of Abraham (Plain-Language Summary).)

Article

Battle of the Plains of Abraham (Plain-Language Summary)

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham took place on 13 September 1759. The Plains of Abraham are in Quebec City. It was fought between the French and their Indigenous allies against the British. The British won. Losing the battle was a major defeat for the French. Soon after, France lost all of Quebec. In 1763, France gave all of Canada to Britain. The era of New France was over. Until Confederation in 1867, Britain would control the colonies that became Canada. (See Confederation (Plain-Language Summary).)

(This article is a plain-language summary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Battle of the Plains of Abraham.)

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Battle of Vimy Ridge

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought during the First World War from 9 to 12 April 1917. It is Canada’s most celebrated military victory — an often mythologized symbol of the birth of Canadian national pride and awareness. The battle took place on the Western Front, in northern France. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, attacked the ridge from 9 to 12 April 1917 and captured it from the German army. It was the largest territorial advance of any Allied force to that point in the war — but it would mean little to the outcome of the conflict. More than 10,600 Canadians were killed and wounded in the assault. Today an iconic memorial atop the ridge honours the 11,285 Canadians killed in France throughout the war who have no known graves.

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Battleford

In 1905 a rail line finally reached the area, but the Canadian Northern Railway had chosen to bypass Battleford, an event that eventually led to the creation of the adjacent community of North Battleford.

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Bay

A bay is a body of water partly surrounded by land and connected to a larger body of water. It is typically bigger than a cove and smaller than a gulf. However, this is not always the case. For example, Hudson Bay is much larger than the Persian Gulf. Strictly speaking and by international agreement, to be defined as a bay, a water body’s mouth (the boundary between itself and the larger body of water to which it is connected) must not exceed 24 nautical miles. In addition, its area must exceed that of a semicircle drawn with the mouth as its diameter.

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Bay d'Espoir

Bay d'Espoir is a fjord-like arm of Hermitage Bay on Newfoundland’s south coast. More than 50 km from mouth to head, Bay d'Espoir — French for “hope” — is ice-free, with sheer cliffs and steep-sided hills rising 180 to 300 m. The bay divides into two principal arms to the north and northeast of Bois Island. Because of the tremendous watershed from a surrounding glacial plateau, the area is the site of a hydroelectric generating plant. Opened in 1967, today the plant has a generating capacity of more than 600 MW.

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Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine

Between about 15 000 and 10 000 years ago, as the glaciers retreated from the last ice age, parts of Georges Bank and other shallow areas were dry land; fragments of trees and mammoth teeth from this era are still found occasionally in fishing trawls.

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Beaconsfield

Beaconsfield is a reference to Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Count of Beaconsfield (1804-80), Queen Victoria's favourite prime minister.

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Beauceville

The history of the Beauceville area goes back to 1737 when the Seigneury Rigaud de Vaudreuil, or Saint-François-de-la-Nouvelle-Beauce, was granted to François-Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil (1703-79). The name Nouvelle-Beauce refers to the Beauce Region of France, famous for its wheat production.

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Beaufort Sea

The Beaufort Sea coast is low lying and subject to considerable scouring by ice and erosion by storm surges. The Canadian shelf and the Yukon/Alaskan shelf form the southern boundary of the Beaufort Sea, but they have significantly different widths and alignments.

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Beaumont

Beaumont, Alberta, incorporated as a village in 1973, as a town in 1980 and as a city in 2019, population 17,396 (2016 census), 13,284 (2011 census). The city of Beaumont is located immediately south of Edmonton’s city boundary.

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Beauport

In 1634, Robert Giffard received the seigneury of Beauport from the Compagnie des cent associés. In 1698, 444 French colonists settled just east of Rivière Beauport, attracted by the flour mill and agricultural land.

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Beausejour

After the railway was completed in 1887, and an influx of East Europeans and Scandinavians in the 1890s, the town consolidated its position as principal service and administrative centre for the surrounding agricultural district.

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Beaverbrook Art Gallery

Major Atlantic Canadian artists represented in the permanent collection include Mary Pratt and Christopher Pratt, Molly Lamb Bobak and Bruno Bobak, Tom Forrestall, Alex Colville, Avery Shaw, Fred Ross, Jack Humphrey and Miller Brittain.

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Beaverlodge

Beaverlodge, AB, incorporated as a village in 1929 and as a town in 1956, population 2365 (2011c), 2264 (2006c).

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Bécancour

The city is named for René Robineau de Bécancour, who led an expedition against the Iroquois in 1696. The first French missionary contact with the local Abenaki occurred in 1669, and a permanent European settlement was established 3 years later.

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Bedard Case

R v. Bedard (1971) challenged section 12(1)(b) of the Indian Act, which concerns the rights of Status Indian women in Canada. The appellant in the case, Yvonne Bedard, took the federal government to court after losing her rights as a Status Indian because of her marriage to a Non-Status man. In 1973, before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Bedard case merged with AG v. Lavell, another case concerning gender discrimination (see Status of Women) in the Indian Act. Although Bedard ultimately lost her reinstatement claims, her case inspired future legal battles regarding women’s rights and the Indian Act, including Lovelace v. Canada (1981) (see Sandra Lovelace Nicholas) and the Descheneaux case (2015).

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Bedford

Bedford, NS, Urban Community, is situated at the head of Bedford Basin, in Halifax Regional Municipality.

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Beechey Island

Beechey Island is on the north side of Lancaster Sound off the southwest corner of Devon Island at the entrance to Wellington Channel in the Arctic Archipelago.