Europeans first arrived when Norse sailors (often referred to as Vikings) settled briefly at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around 1000; after the failure of that colony, there was no known further attempt at Canadian exploration until 1497, when Italian seafarer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) explored Canada's Atlantic coast for England. Subsequently, between 1498 and 1521, various Portuguese mariners reconoittered eastern Canada and established fishing posts in the region. In 1534 Jacques Cartier explored Canada for France. French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603 and established the first permanent European settlements at Port Royal in 1605 and Quebec City in 1608. Among French colonists of New France, Canadiens extensively settled the Saint Lawrence River valley and Acadians settled the present-day Maritimes, while French fur traders and Catholic missionaries explored the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and the Mississippi watershed to Louisiana. The French and Iroquois Wars broke out over control of the North American fur trade.
The English established fishing outposts in Newfoundland around 1610 and established the Thirteen Colonies to the south. A series of four Intercolonial Wars erupted between 1689 and 1763. Mainland Nova Scotia came under British rule with the Treaty of Utrecht (1713); the Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded Canada and most of New France to Britain after the Seven Years' War.
The Royal Proclamation (1763) carved the Province of Quebec out of New France and annexed Cape Breton Island to Nova Scotia. St. John's Island (now Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony in 1769. To avert conflict in Quebec, the British passed the Quebec Act of 1774, expanding Quebec's territory to the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. It re-established the French language, Catholic faith, and French civil law there. This angered many residents of the Thirteen Colonies and helped to fuel the American Revolution
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