Canada is both a constitutional monarchy, with a Governor General (the Queen of England’s representative in Canada) as the head of state, and a self-governing democracy, represented by
301 Members of Parliament (MPs) who sit in the House of Commons and 104 appointed representatives who sit in the Senate.
From the time of Confederation in 1867 to the establishment of Nunavut more than 130 years later, Canada evolved from a scattering of provinces and communities to a transcontinental nation that has become a leader in the global economy. Yet the building of the nation was not without its struggles. The Canada of 1867 was far from complete. Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland refused to join Confederation. Vast, unsettled plains and mountain wilderness stood between the fledgling nation and British Columbia. It would take nearly 50 years for most of the provinces and territories to assume their present-day boundaries. The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885 opened up the West. Over time, Hudson’s Bay Company land was carved into new provinces and territories. Drafting boundaries was sometimes a straightforward matter of following lines of latitude and longitude; at other times, the source of dispute.
Building a nation
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