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Modern Canada

On July 1, 1867, the three British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the United Province of Canada (early Québec and Ontario) joined to create the Dominion of Canada. From the time of Confederation to the end of the Great War, Canada remained in the shadow of Great Britain. In the period following the war, the dominion moved toward closer relations with the United States. It is between these two empires, one across the Atlantic Ocean, the other on the North American continent, that Canada’s evolution as a nation might be understood in the broadest sense.

Early Canada

Early Canada, 1534-1867.   After laying eyes upon the eastern coast of Canada in May 1534, the French explorer Jacques Cartier remarked that it resembled the “land that God gave to Cain.” Despite Cartier ’s initial misgivings, Canada presented numerous opportunities to Europeans, as it had for the First Nations.

The Cold War

The United States and the Soviet Union were the rival superpowers in the Cold War, but European, African, Asian, and Latin American and Caribbean nations also were enmeshed in the conflict, sometimes in “hot” wars that killed hundreds of thousands of people and devastated communities and natural environments. In class lectures, discussions, and research-based presentations, this course explores answers to such questions as: What caused the Cold War, and could it have been avoided?

Colonial British America

In this course we examine the lives of the Native American, European, and African inhabitants of Colonial British America. The history of colonial British America includes more than stereotypes of Puritans, Plymouth Rock, Thanksgiving, and witches. By focusing on the social, economic, and intellectual factors that comprised the colonial world, we come to understand the influences that reach beyond this era into the present day.