The Peoples of British North America

The Peoples of British North America

The Peoples of British North America Since time immemorial, the Europeans and First Nations have been different. After contact, immigrants from other parts of the world started coming here to create even more cultural differences. Immigrant- A person who comes to live in a country

that is not his or her original home. In the early 1700s and 1800s most immigrants to NA were from Europe but many African people also came to BNA. The British and the Irish The

population in BNA in the 1800s increased due to immigration from Great Britain and Ireland. Mid 1800s- 2/3 of the European population in BNA was either British or Irish. The Elite Elite- A class of people

with more political, economic and social power than the majority. Elite in BNA- Scottish or British families living in BNA for several generations. Loyalists- People from the US who sided with Britain and came to Canada after the American Revolution. Many of the elite were Loyalists as well. Some

of the families were rich because they were given pieces of land for nothing and then sold it. In NL, the elite were merchants who controlled the fishing industry. Newer Immigrants Between 1815 and 1850

aprox. 800 000 English, Scottish and Irish immigrants came to BNA. They had a difficult time in their homeland-much poverty and hard economic times. Life wasnt easy for new immigrants- finding work and land was difficult. However, life was easy for English and Scottish immigrants compared to that of other immigrants. They

found it easy to fit in to the culture. If they worked hard and stayed healthy they could gain power and wealth over time. The Irish, however, were treated quite differently. Many English were prejudiced against the Irish. Prejudice- A dislike or distrust of a person or group based on biased ideas or information.

Another reason for conflict between the English and the Irish was religion. English- Protestant. Irish- Catholic. Many Irish people fished in NL for many years but were banned from better paying jobs. In other colonies, the Irish faced discrimination when trying to get jobs in English owned businesses. Discrimination- Unfair treatment based on prejudice. People of French Heritage

There were French people in all colonies but the majority were in Canada East and in PEI, Nova Scotia and NB (Acadians). By mid 1800s- A few small French communities along the French Shore in NL. The French in Canada East For many years the French were

the majority in Canada East. Many families had lived there since the 1600s. A few elite, but most were habitants. Habitants- farmers who lived in rural areas. 1763- GB took over the French colonies. French were given special rights. Ex. Keep their own language, customs, laws and faith. Britain gave them special

treatment because they didnt want them to rebel. For the most part farmers did well. Supported each other in difficult times. As more British and Irish immigrants moved to Canada East the French feared they would lose their rights and become a minority. Acadians Acadia- Name given to the first permanent French

settlers in NA. It included PEI, NS and NB (Maritimes). Acadians were descendants of the first settlers. 1600s &1700s- Acadians had strong farming and fishing communities. During the war between England and French their land changed hands many times until Britain finally won. British

made Acadians leave because they didnt believe they would stay loyal to Britain. During the Grand Drangement in 1755, between 8 000 and 10 000 Acadians were forced to leave their homes. Many were either sent south or put in prison. Others went to live deep in the woods. Some moved to Canada East or to NL.

Some even went to France or Louisiana. Families were broken up and about 50% died. Over time Acadians were allowed to return to BNA. Many chose to return but now their farmland was owned by the British. They had to start over as fishers or loggers. This was difficult because the fishing industry was owned by English merchants. By the mid 1800s Acadian communities were strong again but some still lived with poverty.

Aboriginal People The arrival of European settlers had a huge impact on aboriginals. By the mid-1800s this effect was strong in the Atlantic region. Political changesgovernment no longer seeing Aboriginals as separate nations. FN were considered to be under the control of

Britain. Many government members were racist towards the FN. Racism- A prejudice based on a persons heritage or skin color. Racist attitudes resulted often in discrimination. Loss of Land Canada West and MaritimesArrival of Loyalists, British and

Irish created a great demand for land. Canada West- agreement to take over more FN land. Sometimes this happened through treaties and sometimes they bought the land. NS, PEI and NB, government usually allowed settlers to take whatever land they wanted. FN leaders complained so

governments set aside land for FN only. Government, however, did not stop settlers from taking over this land either. Eventually FN were left with very little, poor quality land. Mid 1800s- Most lived in poverty and faced starvation. Drop in Population Pop of FN and Inuit

dropped from about 500 000 before Contact to 102 000 by 1871. Mostly due to disease. Poverty, lack of foodbecame weak and sick very easily. FN and Inuit were not able to fight off European diseases like smallpox, tuberculosis and measles. When the disease was around for several generations it was easier

for bodies to fight it off. But the European diseases were new so thousands died. Sometimes whole communities were wiped out. Tuberculosis- A lung disease. Measles/pox- Rash or sores and a high fever. The Mtis: Finding their Place Mid 1800s- Largest Metis

community in Ruperts Land in the Red River Settlement. Followed cultures of their heritage, but eventually started creating their own culture. Under the control of HBC. Employed in the fur trade- carried goods by foot, canoe or wagon. Supplied food to fur

traders. Ex. Vegetables, from their gardens and buffalo meat. Because of racism, they were not promoted to better or easier jobs. They saw themselves as a separate people and were proud of their work. Black Colonists Black

people have been in BNA since the earliest days. Slavery was legal until 1834. Slavery became less common after 1800. Black people moved to BNA because they thought they had a better chance of not becoming a slave. Black Loyalists During the American

Revolution, about 3000 Black Loyalists came to BNA. Settled mostly in NS and NB. Didnt get the same benefits as other Loyalists. Given smaller pieces of land with fewer resources. Not given a title to the land- a legal record that they owned the land. Easily

forced to move It was difficult but they set up strong communities with health care, churches and schools. Slavery Outlawed in BNA Many Black immigrants moved to BNA when slavery was outlawed. Between 1840 and 1860, 30 000 Black immigrants moved to BNA from the US to escape slavery. Settled in Canada West,

NS and NB. Also set up communities in Ruperts Land and Vancouvers Island. Opportunities for Black Colonists Although they were not enslaved in the mid 1800s, they did not have the same opportunities as White colonists. Experienced discrimination and could only get low paying jobs and poor land to live on.

Black colonists were forced to land with less resources and White communities grew.

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