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By Roger E. Riendeau

"Canada's heritage has been an extended, attention-grabbing, and intensely self sufficient evolution, in marked distinction to the violence that typifies the United States's tale. such a lot americans comprehend embarrassingly little approximately their northern neighbor's exact historical past, from its first sighting by way of the Norse to its complete confederation in 1922 to cutting-edge social democracy. Now, within the wake of NAFTA and the Quebec main issue, an knowing of the forces that experience pushed Canada's improvement during the last four hundred years is extra very important than ever. a short historical past of Canada fills the distance with an authoritative narrative background that mixes reliable reference price with beneficial analysis."--BOOK JACKET. "With greater than 20 images and 8 maps. a quick background of Canada is an enlightening advent to the kingdom and its people."--BOOK JACKET.

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Since ancient times, the Indies—an all-encompassing term for southern and eastern Asia including India and China—had been a source of goods that Europeans valued highly: silks and other fine textiles, precious gemstones, and pungent and fragrant spices. Peppers, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves were vital in preserving and improving the taste of food, and especially in the aging of meat in the absence of refrigeration. But European access to these desirable commodities was restricted by the rising Islamic empire that had gained control of the overland routes to East Asia used by Marco Polo and other Europeans in the 13th century.

Nevertheless, de Monts remained dissatisfied with this colonial venture. The quest for furs and mineral resources in the region was insufficiently profitable, and the search for a westward passage through the continent proved futile. When he received word that the king had cancelled his monopoly, de Monts abandoned the colony in 1607 just as the English were establishing their first permanent settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia. De Monts succeeded in persuading the king to extend his fur-trading monopoly for one more year to allow him a final opportunity to recoup at least part of his investment.

A final attempt to colonize Vinland was led by Leif Eriksson’s half sister, Freydis, but it too ended in bloody confrontation among the settlers and the Natives. Although there were no further colonizing efforts, Norse traders from Greenland periodically returned to acquire timber until about the mid14th century when the Greenland settlements were abandoned. Knowledge of the western exploits of the Norse was derived from the Greenlanders’ Saga and Erik the Red’s Saga, both of which consist of stories passed down orally from generation to generation before they 20 ACCIDENTAL REDISCOVERY were written down in the late 12th and middle 13th centuries, respectively.

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