Canada is the world's second largest country after Russia by covering the northern two-fifths of Northern America. The capital of this country, which stretches 4.600 km from north to south and 5.380 km from east to west, is Ottawa. However, Canada is one of the most thinly populated countries.
The highest mountain of Canada, Mount Logan is situated in the Canadian Cordillera. Canada's rivers and lakes are sensations, too.
5 rivers, the St. Lawrence River, the Mackenzie River, the Yukon, the Fraser and the Nelson river, are among the worlds largest 40. Lake Superior, Lake Huron, both shared with the USA, the Great Bear and the Great Slave belong to the 11 biggest lakes in the world.
Canada's climate is dominated by extreme long and cold winters. With the exception of the Pacific coast.
Just 8% of Canada's land area is farmland, more than 30% of Canada is forest. The forest between Newfoundland and the Yukon is one of the worlds biggest. More northern areas are occupied by tundra and the arctic islands are covered by permanent ice caps. Some characteristic animals are the moose, the beavers, and the Canada lynx.
Canada's population consists of two main and several smaller national groups. About 25% are British and 25% are French. The remaining 50% are mainly German, Ukrainian, Italian, Chinese, American Indian and Inuit, the native Canadian peoples. The principal Religion of Canada is Roman Catholism. English and French are principally spoken languages.
When the Europeans came to Canada, there were about 200.000 Indians. They lived from fishing and hunting. During the next 300 years they were reduced by new diseases and alcohol. Since 1910 their number has been increasing again.
Canada is a federal state with a parliamentary political system. Governmental structure is based on both the British North America Act of 1867 and unwritten customs. Britain´s influence ended with the Constitution Act of 1982. Supreme political authority rests with Canada's bicameral Parliament, Which consists of a Senate and a House of Commons. The leader of the majority party becomes automatically the Prime Minister.
Each province owns the ability to organise its own school system. Most children enter elementary school at the age of 6 or 7 and continue by attending a 4 year secondary school.
Native Indian and Inuit inhabited Canada in antiquity. Europeans entered Canada around 1000 AD first. Finishing expeditions in the area around Newfoundland started as early as 1500 AD and did involve just British and French fisherman- Portugese and Spanish fished there as well. The first claim was made by the French in 12534 when Jacques Cartier entered the Gulf of St. Laurence. The first settlement appeared in Nova Scotia in 1605 and 1608 the French arrived in Quebec. A serious colonisation started in the mid- 1600´s when the French noticed the fine furs of Canadian animals. Because of the French's efforts Britain made its first settlement on the Hudson Bay. That was the beginning of a, more or less, never-ending rival between the Births and the French Canadians.
After the American Revolution a lot of loyalists immigrated to Nova Scotia and the new established New Brunswick. Due to the growing of colony, the British divided it into Upper and Lower Canada. Upper Canada mainly was settled by British people- Lower Canada by French. With the Canada Act the Northern America Act was transferred to Canada giving it the status of an own state.
The Canada Act has been approved by the British Parliament on March, 25th 1982 and has been proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II. This act had made Canada fully intended.