How the Celts helped Build Canada


In the beginning, Canada was a vast piece of land that had barely been examined. Many of the first explorers were Scots like David Mackenzie or Simon Fraser, who both mapped out a large part of the country. A Welshman named Sir Thomas Button led the first expedition for the Northwest Passage in 1612, while Welsh cartographer David Thompson is referred to as Canada's Greatest Geographer. As more and more settlers came, it brought about the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company, both crucial in mapping out the boundaries of Canada and pushing the borders to make Canada the shape and size it is today.

While some voluntarily came to Canada for a new life and opportunities, others had little choice. Many Highland Scots were forced out due to clearing. Many Irish left to save themselves from starvation due to potato famine. For many, religious disputes were the cause for departure. Whatever the reason, thousands left home for a new world. Many ships were overcrowded and unsanitary, causing many deaths. Hit hardest by this were the Irish; many didn't survive the journey. For those lucky enough to arrive safely, their new lives weren't easy. The first settlers had to clear the land and prepare it to grow food and to build shelter. It was not easy and many returned home. Those courageous enough to stay managed to build a new life. Many new towns were created, often named after those who founded them or in reflection of where they came from.

Canada began to take shape and Confederation came about in 1867, with Sir John A. MacDonald, a Scotsman, becoming our first Prime Minister. Irishman Thomas D'Arcy McGee was also a Father of Confederation. As the county grew, new developments and inventions came to light. The Scots gave us standard time, and the RCMP. They gave us advances in medicine including penicillin, anaesthetics, and hypodermic syringes. Many Irish were pivotal in building roads, canals and railroads. They explained why the sky is blue, gave us the binaural stethoscope, radiotherapy, and the modern tractor. The Welsh were pioneers in the use of radar, deep space photography, and mining advances. There is also evidence to suggest that a Welshman created the aeroplane before the Wright Brothers.

Thanks to their hard work and determination, the Scottish, Irish, and Welsh people helped to make this country what it is today.

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