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Editorial

Editorial: Baldwin, LaFontaine and Responsible Government

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

The BaldwinLaFontaine government of 1848 has been called the “great ministry.” In addition to establishing responsible government, it had an incomparable record of legislation. It established a public school system and finalized the founding of the University of Toronto. It set up municipal governments and pacified French-Canadian nationalism after a period of unrest. Responsible government did not transform Canada overnight into a fully developed democracy. But it was an important milestone along the road to political autonomy. Most importantly, it provided an opportunity for French Canadians to find a means for their survival through the British Constitution. The partnership and friendship between Baldwin and LaFontaine were brilliant examples of collaboration that have been all too rare in Canadian history.

Editorial

Clara Brett Martin: Hero or Villain?

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

"This application to the Law Society of Upper Canada is refused. The governing statute regulating this body, not having been drafted under the advanced views of the day and specifically referring to the admission of persons, does not permit the interpretation of 'persons' to include women. This was the spirit of the reply to Clara Brett Martin's application to study law in 1891.

Editorial

Roald Amundsen Crosses the Northwest Passage

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

The great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen clung grimly to the tiller of his little ship Gjøa. Adrift in the remote waters of Simpson Strait, the Gjøa had just spent two agonizing weeks in August 1905 avoiding the death grip of the polar ice. Over and over the exhausted crew begged Amundsen to turn back. Haggard and ill, he had not eaten for days and he dared not sleep. He knew that his dream of sailing across the top of the world was within his grasp.

Editorial

Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance and the Founding of Montreal

The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated.

Radiant sunshine bathed the Island of Montreal on the morning of May 18th, 1642. The hawthorns and wild cherry trees were in blossom and the meadow, where a group of French colonists had set up an altar, was dotted with trilliums and violets. Father Vimont celebrated mass, and declared that the new settlement, which they called Ville-Marie, was "only a grain of mustard seed... I have no doubt that this small seed will produce a tall tree that will bring forth wonders some day."

Article

Kondiaronk

Kondiaronk, Tionontati chief (born circa 1649; died 2 August 1701 in Montreal, QC). He has been known by several names throughout history, including Gaspar Soiaga, Souoias, Sastaretsi, and Le Rat (the Rat). Kondiaronk was one of the main brokers of the Great Peace of Montreal, signed in 1701. This peace agreement between the French and Haudenosaunee brought to an end almost a century of hostilities marked by atrocities on both sides. (See also Indigenous-French Relations in Canada.)

Article

Simon Girty

Simon Girty, frontiersman, British Indian agent, Loyalist settler in Upper Canada (Ontario), (born 14 November 1741 near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; died 18 February 1818 in Malden, Upper Canada). Girty fought in the American Revolution and in wars involving Indigenous peoples and white settlers. Girty had a great capacity to work with Indigenous leaders but was often remembered as a villain and controversial figure, mainly because of his allegiance to Britain, rather than to the Americans.

Article

Prince Rupert of the Rhine

Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland, military commander, privateer, administrator, artist, scientist, first governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company and founding member of the Royal African Company (born 17 December 1619 in Prague, Bohemia [now Czech Republic]; died 29 November 1682 in London, England [now United Kingdom]). A nephew of King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland, Rupert was a cavalry general and privateer during the English Civil Wars (1642–51). He was the first close relative of an English monarch to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Following the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, Rupert introduced Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard Chouart des Grosseilliers to his cousin King Charles II and persuaded the king to grant a royal charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company. Rupert’s Land and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, are named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine.

Article

North-West Mounted Police

The North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) was the forerunner of Canada's iconic Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Created after Confederation to police the frontier territories of the Canadian West, the NWMP ended the whiskey trade on the southern prairies and the violence that came with it. They helped the federal government suppress the North-West Resistance and brought order to the Klondike Gold Rush. The NWMP pioneered the enforcement of federal law in the West, and the Arctic, from 1873 until 1920.

Article

Canadian War Art Programs

Since the First World War, there have been four major initiatives to allow Canadian artists to document Canadian Armed Forces at war. Canada’s first official war art program, the Canadian War Memorials Fund (1916–19), was one of the first government-sponsored programs of its kind. It was followed by the Canadian War Art Program (1943–46) during the Second World War. The Canadian Armed Forces Civilian Artists Program (1968–95) and the Canadian Forces Artists Program (2001–present) were established to send civilian artists to combat and peacekeeping zones. Notable Canadian war artists have included A.Y. Jackson, F.H. Varley, Lawren Harris, Alex Colville and Molly Lamb Bobak.

Article

Jacques Cartier

Jacques Cartier, navigator (born between 7 June and 23 December 1491 in Saint-Malo, France; died 1 September 1557 in Saint-Malo, France). From 1534 to 1542, Cartier led three maritime expeditions to the interior of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence River. During these expeditions, he explored, but more importantly accurately mapped for the first time the interior of the river, from the Gulf to Montreal (see also History of Cartography in Canada). For this navigational prowess, Cartier is still considered by many as the founder of “Canada.” At the time, however, this term described only the region immediately surrounding Quebec. Cartier’s upstream navigation of the St. Lawrence River in the 16th century ultimately led to France occupying this part of North America.

Article

Joseph Howe

Joseph Howe, journalist, publisher, politician, premier of Nova Scotia, lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia (born 13 December 1804 in Halifax, NS; died 1 June 1873 in Halifax, NS). Howe was well-known in his time as an ardent defender of freedom of the press and freedom of speech, and was also a champion of responsible government. He was a prominent figure in the movement opposed to Confederation, yet later, as a federal Cabinet minister, played an important role in securing Manitoba’s entry to Confederation.

Article

Andrew Mynarski, VC

Andrew Charles Mynarski, airman, Victoria Cross recipient (b at Winnipeg 14 Oct 1916; d at Cambrai, France 13 June 1944). Mynarski was the mid-upper gunner of a Lancaster bomber that was shot down by a German aircraft.

Article

Vancouver Feature: Gassy Jack Lands on the Burrard Shore

The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated.


When Capt. Jack Deighton and his family pulled their canoe onto the south shore of the Burrrard Inlet in 1867, Jack was on one more search for riches. He had been a sailor on British and American ships, rushed for gold in California and the Cariboo, piloted boats on the Fraser River and ran a tavern in New Westminster. He was broke again, but he wasted no time in starting a new business and building the settlement that would become Vancouver.