The Making of Canada offers a survey of Canadian history from the earliest days of contact between Indigenous peoples and Europeans to the present.
This course is divided into two parts.
In the first term we will explore the unfolding story of the intermingling of peoples in the territory that will become Canada from the earliest days of contact between Indigenous North America and Europe through the turning point year of 1885. The overall framework for the term will be the ongoing tension between the impulses for domination and conformity on one hand and the competing drive for accommodation and diversity on the other. We will explore how this plays out between different Indigenous and European settler communities as well as within the historic Anglo-French rivalry. We will pay particular attention to the role of Indigenous players in the contest for supremacy in North America and to the experience of Indigenous communities within British North America and into the Confederation era, laying a foundation of understanding for the unique position of Indigenous peoples in Canadian society as well as cultivating an awareness of ongoing issues involving land, the Indian Act, treaties, and culture. A second major focus for the term will be an exploration of the foundations of the Canadian state in pre-Confederation and Confederation era milestones including the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Quebec Act, the achievement of Responsible Government, and the experiment of Confederation. A particular effort will be made to link the issues, events, and ideas of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries past to current concerns.
The course is delivered in a two-hour lecture format, complemented by a one-hour discussion group that will involve primary source analysis and discussion of specific issues raised in lectures.