Canada has been inhabited since around 24,500 BC in its Yukon Territory. After European contact beginning in the fifteenth century, many Native Americans became sick from diseases introduced by the explorers, and their
In 1840, Canada was united, becoming the Province of Canada. Canada's colonial roots are reflected in its status as a Commonwealth of Britain under the crown. The languages spoken in Canada also reflect its early colonial history. Both English and French are spoken in Canada, though French is primarily spoken in the province of Quebec, which was under French control for many years.
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Canada is the second largest country in the world by total area after Russia, and makes up most of northern North America. Canada's territories extend up into the Arctic circle, though most of this land is covered in a thick layer of ice. The Canadian Forces Station Alert is the farthest north settlement in the world, located not far from the North Pole.
To the south, Canada shares the world's longest land border with the United States, as well as the world's longest coastline. Alaska, completely separated from the contiguous United States, is located to the north-west of Canada, extending out toward Russia.
Canada's terrain is mountainous, with the coast mountains and rocky mountains, and heavily forested. Canada contains more fresh water than any other country in the world in its 31,700 lakes.
Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch is the head of state and the prime minister is the head of government. Parliament consists of 308 members and the Senate has 105.
Canada is divided into ten provinces and three additional territories. The territories are under the direction of the federal government, while the provinces handle their own governments with some level of autonomy. Canadian provinces are grouped into the following regions: Western Canada, Central Canada, Atlantic Canada, and Northern Canada.
Last Updated : July 30, 2014
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