180. The origin of Canada and the United States (Listen and Read)
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Most people are aware that Canada and the United States are two very large countries in North America.
However, most people do not know how these countries came to exist.
The story of the creation of these countries is a very interesting one.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,
some people from England and from France moved across the Atlantic ocean.
English people lived on what is now the east coast of the United States,
and French people lived in what is now Quebec, in the eastern part of Canada.
The kings of England and France were often at war with each other.
This meant that there was often fighting in North America between the soldiers of England and France.
By about the year 1750,
there were many more people in the English colonies than in the French colonies.
When the next war began,
the English king was determined to defeat the French and gain complete control of North America.
The English assembled a large force of ships and soldiers and attacked the French at Quebec.
The French fought bravely, but they were too few in numbers, and the English won the war.
England then gained control of all of North America.
After this war, the people of the English colonies in North America
began to feel dissatisfied with their government.
They were not represented in the English government,
but they had to pay taxes to the English king.
The taxes were used to pay for English soldiers who defended the American colonies,
but the Americans did not want these soldiers.
In 1775, the American settlers began to rebel,
and in 1776 the Americans declared their independence.
For several years, there was much fighting between the Americans and the English soldiers.
For a while, it appeared that the Americans would lose, even though they fought bravely.
Then, the king of France decided to help the Americans.
He sent his ships and soldiers to America,
and they helped the Americans to defeat the English forces.
England recognized the United States of America as an independent country in 1783.
However, England kept control of Canada.
When the American colonies rebelled against England,
some of the people who lived in those colonies did not rebel.
Those people were called "Loyalists" because they were loyal to the king.
When the war ended, the Loyalists had to leave the country.
They moved northward to Canada, where they started new English-speaking colonies.
During the year 1812, the Americans invaded Canada,
but they were not able to conquer the country.
During the 19th century,
the people of Quebec continued to speak French and to maintain their French culture.
Meanwhile, many more people moved to the English-speaking areas of Canada.
In the year 1867,
Quebec and the English-speaking colonies agreed to form a single country, Canada.
By this time, there were two very large countries in the northern part of North America!
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