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Word Count: 234
The Europeans who discovered North America it has been said were those men who believed least in its existence merchants and adventurers looking for a northwest ocean passage to the Far East The continent - inhabited by Inuits and Amer-Indians - that blocked their way gradually became the site of permanent settlements first French and then English Eventually bitter trade rivalry leading to war between Britain and France resulted both in the decimation of the native peoples movingly registered in the lamentations of the female memorizers of the Nootka oral tradition for example and also notwithstanding the decisive British military victory at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 in permanent linguistic cultural and religious divisions between anglophone and francophone Canada After the American War of Independence in 1776 the immigration of tens of thousands of Loyalist men women and children from New England - colonists who chose to remain loyal to Britain and were rewarded with land grants - added another indelible mark on the Canadian character which is generally seen as more respectful of law and order and less ruggedly individualistic than the American Loyalist immigration not only strengthened the political social and economic dominance of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant community but it also determined that Canadian literature in English would represent the confluence of the two main streams in the language-those of Britain and the United States
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