Friday, November 16, 2012

Cabot and Cartier, You Shoulda Tidied Up

Project.Flickr - Strangers up close - John Cabot
Project.Flickr - Strangers up close - John Cabot (Photo credit: Kieren P)

English Canada isn't 'English' the way French Canada is French and it never really was.

Even the first 'Anglo' who stepped ashore, i.e., John Cabot, was actually an Italian named Zuan Chabotto.

But the Italian House of Medici was more interested in having sex and making poison than in conquering new worlds so Cabot claimed Newfoundland and/or Cape Breton Island for Henry VII of England on June 24, 1497.

Thirty-seven years after Cabot disappeared, probably somewhere in the mid Atlantic, Jacques Cartier swanned into town and rudely claimed the New World for France without even a tip of his chapeau to England.

 Arrogant French Johnny-Come-Latelies?

 Disinterested, slow-to-recognize-a-good-thing-when-they-see-it English?

It doesn't matter now. 

The French and the English went home long ago.

But, boy, did they leave a mess behind them!




In this series of blogs I want to take a look at the struggle that went into building this big, beautiful, ungainly, polite, self-destructive, honourable, loyal, courageous, sparsely populated, welcoming, unwelcoming, unique, (feel free to add your own adjectives), country called Canada. 

I have no plans or timeline, (bloggers are so free), it will just be a commentary on our history the way I see it and I guess it will appear when I feel like it. 












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