HIST 1301B: Conflict and Change in Early Canadian History
Fall 2024

Instructor: Dr. Jill St. Germain

In Conflict and Change in Early Canadian history, we will explore the unfolding story of the intermingling of peoples in the territory that will become Canada, from the confluence of peoples in the era of New France through the turning point year of 1885. The overall framework for the course will be the ongoing tension between impulses for domination and conformity on the one hand and the necessity for accommodation of diversity on the other. We will explore relationships among the different peoples – Indigenous, European, and African – who populate colonial North America, especially as these play out within the historic Anglo-French rivalry. We’ll pay particular attention to the role of Indigenous players in the contest for supremacy in North America and the experience of Indigenous communities within British North America and into the Confederation era, with emphasis on the nature and evolution of treaty relationships and the foundations of the post-Confederation institutions of the Indian Act and residential schools. And we’ll illuminate the history of Blacks in Canada, examining questions of slavery and abolition, Loyalism and loyalty, and the diversity in the Black population both in terms of origin and perspectives on life in colonial North America. A second major focus for the term will be an exploration of the development of the Canadian state, with emphasis on pre-Confederation milestones including the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Quebec Act, the achievement of Responsible Government, and follow this through the inauguration of the experiment of Confederation. A third aspect of the course will consider the “making” of Canadian history – how historians research and write Canadian history and what that means for what we know and how we learn it. The roots of Canadian society today stretch across the centuries. This course will help you to make connections between individuals, events, and ideas of the past and things that are happening today.

Class Format

HIST1301 will be offered in Fall 2024 as an online course in asynchronous format. Lectures will be presented in written and aural form – you may read the weekly lecture as an essay, listen to it as a podcast, or both, and do so at your leisure within that week. Each week will also involve a short quiz on lecture material.


Specific course requirements have yet to be finalized, but will include weekly quizzes, an online scavenger hunt for historical sources, and an essay.