France arrived in 1534, establishing the first permanent colony in Nova Scotia in 1604. A century later, conflict with Britain was underway, and the British won a decisive battle in Quebec in 1759.
Canada started to thrive in the early nineteenth century, and successfully repelled a hostile take-over bid by the United States in the War of 1812. In 1837 armed rebellions in both Upper and Lower Canada erupted. This resulted in the union of the two colonies as the Province of Canada in 1840. In 1867 Canada achieved dominion in a unique way: instead of fighting, they asked politely.
A Canadian magazine once held a contest to find the Canadian version of the simile "as American as apple pie." The winning entry was "as Canadian as possible, under the circumstances."