Sunday, November 25, 2012

No Tweets From the British

Henry IV, King of France in Armour, c. 1610 (L...
Henry IV, King of France in Armour, c. 1610 (Louvre) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I've finished four small blogs on Canadian history and I'm embarrassed to tell you how much I don't know, or if I knew it once, how much I have forgotten.

The first thing I've been wondering about is the valiant British explorers that we learned about in elementary school. 

Where the heck are they? 

I remember thrilling to the exploits of Thompson, Mackenzie, Fraser, Vancouver, etc. - the giants who explored and mapped the North American continent.

But as I worked through the time period from 1497 to the mid 1600s I began to think they'd frozen their laptops in Hudson's Bay because I wasn't getting many tweets from them.

Then I began to suspect that the timeline I was using had a French bias so, although I had originally decided not to, I looked ahead.

And much to my embarrassment I learned that all of those explorers came much later, near the end of the 17th century and into the 18th century.

And once I had peeked ahead the second thought that has stayed with me was how much we, i.e., the English, the French, the Canadians, the Americans, are all interconnected.

Third, I have to warn you that the demise of the Indian nations is interwoven like a bloody thread all the way down our historical timeline.


Anyway things are about to heat up. 

The French King granted a North American fur trading monopoly to the French in 1600. 

The English have given up on finding a north-west passage, (for now), and their king has granted THEM a North American fur trading monopoly.

Uh oh ...

Somebody's got some 'splainin' to do.

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