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The series has now ended but you can still enjoy a wealth of information on the site, from the interactive timeline to historical narratives and profiles.





Below are all the relevant This Sceptred Isle: Empire episodes relating to Canada. These series include details the battle for Quebec with the French and the strengthening of Canada as a British colony after American independence. Please note that later historical episodes involving this region will be covered in series three of Empire. Therefore, corresponding episode pages will be available when this series is broadcast.

18th Century

Have Your Say

We are interested to read your comments about the historical events relating to the British Empire which took place in the Canada. Please complete the comment form below to add to our comments board.

Comments will be included at the producer's discretion, and may be edited for length and content before publication. Your email address and phone number will not be published on the site or disclosed to a third party. All personal information supplied is held securely by the BBC and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Susan Brophy
From the Canadian perspective, the story of the British in Canada (and the legacy that endures) could itself be the subject of 90+ episodes. Often the desire to present a detailed, high-quality, but no less sweeping account of a significant time in history is marred by the fact that all historical narratives are recounted from the perspective of the 'victor'. For that reason, what is not being said is usually infinitely more interesting than what is. By shedding light on certain events and occurrences, others are inevitably left in the shadows, and it is in the shadows of history that the true, albeit paradoxical, character of Canada has developed.

Anita Millar (Canadian)
I am greatly enjoying your Empire series and look forward to listening to your piece on Canada. Given the programme's efforts to underline the role of mercantile interests, I do hope that it might mention the Royal Charter granted by Prince Rupert which created the Hudson's Bay Company almost 200 years before Canada was formed in 1867. The Royal Charter granted the Hudson Company control over one-third of (present-day) Canada. This land - known as Rupert's land - included most of northern Ontario, north Quebec, all of Manitoba, most of Saskatchewan, the southern half of Alberta and a large part of the north west territories. Wow! What a Charter! And yes - The Hudson Bay Company still exists today.

Len Hambleton Canadian /American citizen
I am so enamored with the quality of the programmes the Beeb produces and have given up watching the telly to get back to good old fashion/modern radio listening. Your Empire series intriques me - have you done anything on the Northwest Company on the furtrade in Canada, as it relates to the Empire? I suspect Britain benefitted and I would like to hear it from your side - an insight into more great history. I am sure our beaver pelts made it in the form of tophats in London? Carry on with the fine work and Directors please take a sweeping bow for all your planning to make the Beeb so rich in programme offerings to a world otherwise congested with dull media coverage.

Kevin Chew
I hope to hear an episode about the completion of the transcontinental railway in Canada. For Canadians this is an almost mythical episode in the birth of the nation, but in the grander scheme of the Empire, the railway, in combination with the great trans-Pacific steamers, formed the "All Red Route" from Britain to the Far East, a secure route free of reliance on transit of North America via the United States. The railway also helped to prevent the annexation of the Canadian West by the USA (cf. "Manifest Destiny").

Laverne Bennett
As an native Albertan, I am always interested in the coverage eastern Canada receives when there are broadcasts about "Canada". Our country may have started as Upper and Lower Canada, but I think it would be foolish to overlook the influence of the Prairies in forming this truly great country and their relationship with the Crown.

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