Hist 114 Fall 2014 Canada from 1860: Territory and Nationality

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HIST 114 Fall 2014 Canada from 1860: Territory and Nationality

Prof. Claire Campbell claire.campbell@bucknell.edu Coleman 69

570-577-1364 Office hours: Thursday 2:30-3:30 & by appointment

Catalogue Title: Canada from 1860
Catalogue Description: An introduction to the history, politics, and culture of the northern half of North America, emphasizing the relationship between environment and national identity.
Course Description
“Pioneers, then few in number, reached across a vast continent.

They forged an independent country where none would have otherwise existed.”

Governor General David Johnston, Speech from the Throne, 16 October 2013
Really? Is that how we should understand Canada, the second-largest country in the world and the northern part of North America? What does this version of events and Canadian identity say about how we think about our history in the “New World”? What effect would it have on Canada’s actions on the continent? And on nature and environmental sustainability? Is Canada special in this way, or does it say something about settler societies more generally?
This course examines how a relatively young country has claimed, used, and represented its vast and complex territory to its citizens and to the world, with three main themes or clusters:

  • continental expansion,

  • ideas of wilderness,

  • and issues and concepts of the north.

For each of these clusters we will examine numerous political and cultural sources to study the evolution of a distinct Canadian imagination and Canadian state on the North American continent, next to the most powerful country in the world. The arc of the course is roughly chronological, beginning with discussions in the 1860s about the creation of a new Dominion of Canada from a series of British colonies in North America, and ending with questions of sovereignty in the Arctic.

Ultimately, the course is about understanding some aspects of Canada today through its political, cultural, and geographical pasts. But it is also about identifying ways that nature affects the development of national histories and national identities.
This course is also an introduction to the study and value of history. Here the focus is on the range of sources, whether visual, literary, archival, or material, which historians can use, and on the relationship between historical literacy and active citizenship.

Learning Goals
We will aim to achieve the following goals (and History Department outcomes):

- Develop an understanding of the political, cultural, and environmental factors at work shaping the history of Canada from 1860, through lectures, readings, discussion, and independent research projects (outcome 1, 2, 4, 5).

- Recognize the broader historical and ecological dynamics of modern North America (Canada and the United States), and ways in which the environment factors into history (2, 7).

- Critically analyze the authorship and meaning of primary sources (textual, visual, material, and physical) from the period, considering particularly the evolution of a national sensibility and national boundaries (3).

- Write reflectively and articulately a query of investigation that demonstrates both intellectual curiosity and rigorous, critical thinking, and then sketch a plan of research (4, 6).

- Engage in thoughtful, informed discussion about historical landscapes, issues, and artifacts, and how they have shaped the world around us today, especially in terms of environmental sustainability (5).

The Course at a Glance



Thursday August 28

Where and what and why is Canada?

Cluster 1: Nation-Building in a “New” World

Tuesday September 2

Designing a country: The Politics of Confederation

Thursday September 4

Tuesday September 9

National Dreams as Eastern Ambition

Thursday September 11

Tuesday September 16

The West’s Own National Dreams

Thursday September 18

Tuesday September 23**

Frontier/Breadbasket/Reserve: Redefining the Continental Interior

Thursday September 25

Cluster 2: A Wilderness Nation?

Tuesday September 30

Wilderness as National Culture

Thursday October 2*

Tuesday October 7

Destination: Wilderness

Thursday October 9

Tuesday October 14*

Thursday October 16

Tuesday October 21**

Wilderness as Aboriginal in/and Settler Canadas

Thursday October 23

Tuesday October 28

Wilderness Besieged

Thursday October 30

Cluster 3: The Northern Part of North America

Tuesday November 4

The Romance of the North

Thursday November 6

Tuesday November 11

The “undefended” border I: Disputes over Territory

Thursday November 13

Tuesday November 18**

The “undefended” border II: Disputes over Culture

Thursday November 20

Tuesday November 25

Thursday November 27*

The Cause of Sovereignty

Tuesday December 2

Thursday December 4

Tuesday December 9

Where in the world is Canada?

*No class

**Assignment due

  1. J.R. Bumsted, A History of the Canadian Peoples, 4th edition (Oxford University Press, 2011)

  2. Neil Forkey, Canadians and the Natural Environment to the Twenty-First Century (University of Toronto Press, 2012)

  3. Additional readings as listed below.

  4. Please also check www.cbc.ca/news/canada regularly (ie. three times a week).

Course Schedule
Week 1 Where and what and why is Canada?
Alan MacEachern, “A Little Essay on Big: Towards a History of Canada’s Size,” in Big Country, Big Issues: Canada’s Environment, Culture, and History, eds. Knopfler and Mauch, Perspectives, 4 (Rachel Carson Center, 2011), 6-13.


Molson Joe “I am Canadian,” “The Rant,” 2000 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMxGVfk09lU

Cluster 1: Nation-Building in a “New” World
Week 2 Designing a country: The Politics of Confederation

Bumsted, History of the Canadian Peoples, Chapter 5: 166-209.

The Quebec Resolutions (1864), Clauses 1-29


Letter to the Earl of Carnarvon by Mr. Joseph Howe, Mr. William Annand, and Mr. Hugh McDonald stating their objections to the proposed scheme of union of the British North American provinces (1867), pp. 3-4 only http://eco.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.04679/2?r=0&s=1

Week 3 National Dreams as Eastern Ambition

Bumsted, History of the Canadian Peoples, 210-240.
Forkey, Canadians and the Natural Environment, 23-28.
“Canada as a Field for the Solution of Imperial Problems,” speech to the Empire Club of Canada by Reverend R.A. Falconer, President of the University of Toronto (26 March 1908)

Available online, http://speeches.empireclub.org/62188/data?n=9

Gordon Lightfoot, “The Canadian Railroad Trilogy” (1966)


Week 4 The West’s Own National Dreams
Bumsted, History of the Canadian Peoples, 240-255.
“Declaration of the people of Rupert’s Land and the North West,” Fort Garry (8 December 1869) http://manitobia.ca/content/en/records/RRS/RRS_1869_1207
A Son of the Fur Trade: The Memoirs of Johnny Grant (University of Alberta Press, 2008), 210-227.
William Butler, Chapter 9, The Great Lone Land: A Narrative of Travel and Adventure in the North-West of America (1872), 113-142. https://archive.org/stream/cihm_30041#page/n11/mode/2up

Week 5 Frontier/Breadbasket/Reserve: Redefining the Continental Interior

Bumsted, History of the Canadian Peoples, 258-275.
Forkey, Canadians and the Natural Environment, 46-62.
Nellie McClung, Chapter 10: “The Land of the Fair Deal,” In Times Like These (D. Appleton, 1915), 155-160 only. https://archive.org/stream/intimeslikethese00mcclrich#page/154/mode/2up
Wallace Stegner, “The Question Mark in the Circle,” “History is a Pontoon Bridge,” and “Whitemud, Saskatchewan,” in Wolf Willow: A History, A Story, and A Memory of the Last Plains Frontier (originally published Viking, 1962; Penguin, 2000 edition: 3-30 and 246-253).
Text of Treaty 1 (1871) http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100028664/1100100028665
The Indian Act (1876) http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100010252/1100100010254
Stan Rogers, “Northwest Passage,” Northwest Passage (1981)
The Tragically Hip, “At The 100th Meridian,” Fully Completely (1992)

Cluster 2: A Wilderness Nation?
Week 6 Wilderness as National Culture
Bumsted, History of the Canadian Peoples, 281-291.
Forkey, Canadians and the Natural Environment, 68-77.
Archibald Lampman, “Temagami” (1900) http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poems/temagami

Lawren Harris, “The Group of Seven in Canadian History,” Annual report of the Canadian Historical Association (1948)

Al Purdy, “The Country North of Belleville,” Poems for all the Annettes (1962)
Margaret Atwood, Chapter 1: “Survival,” Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (House of Anansi Press, 1972), 29-44.

Week 7 Destination: Wilderness

Forkey, Canadians and the Natural Environment, 77-83.
Claire Campbell, “Pragmatism and Poetry: National Parks and the Study of Canada,” in Big Country, Big Issues, 101-111.
Stephen Leacock, “Back to the Bush,” Literary Lapses (1910). http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Back_to_the_Bush
Douglas LePan, “Canoe Trip,” The Wounded Prince and Other Poems (Chatto and Windus, 1948).
Pierre Trudeau, “Exhaustion and Fulfillment: The Ascetic in a Canoe” (1944, published in English in 1970) http://www.canoe.ca/che-mun/102trudeau.html

Week 8 Wilderness as Aboriginal in/and Settler Canadas

Forkey, Canadians and the Natural Environment, 35-46, 107-123.
Pauline Johnson, “The Song My Paddle Sings” (1912) http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poems/song-my-paddle-sings

Grey Owl [Archibald Belaney], Chapter 2: “The Land of Shadows,” The Men of the Last Frontier (Scribner’s Sons, 1932), 29-45.

Sharon Wall, “Totem Poles, Teepees, and Token Traditions: ‘Playing Indian’ at Ontario Summer Camps, 1920-1955,” Canadian Historical Review 86:3 (2005), 513-544.

Week 9 Wilderness Besieged

Forkey, Canadians and the Natural Environment, 84-106.
“Nature’s Past” Podcast, Network of Canadian History and Environment [NiCHE], Episodes 33 (Environmentalism I), 34 (Environmentalism II), and 38 (Tar Sands) (2012-13)


Cluster 3 The Northern Part of North America
Week 10 The Romance of the North
Stephen Leacock, “I’ll Stay in Canada” (originally published 1936) http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/documents/arts/Stephen%20Leacock.html
Arthur Lower, “The Sea of the North,” Unconventional Voyages (Ryerson Press, 1953), 20-27.
Adam Gopnick, Winter: Five Windows on the Season (Harper Collins, 2011), 31-38.

Week 11 The “undefended” border I: Disputes over Territory

Bumsted, History of the Canadian Peoples, 363-366, 423-428.
Forkey, Canadians and the Natural Environment, 62-67.
Robert Service, “The Cremation of Sam McGee” (1907)


Thomas Berger, Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland: The Report of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry (1977):

“Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland” and “The Corridor Concept,” 1-2 and 9-12 https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/livelink.exe/fetch/2000/90463/238336/234916/A0F3I9_-_BergerV1ch123_-_English_Version.pdf?nodeid=234923&vernum=0

“The Native People’s Own Voice,” 111-113


“The Lessons of History” and “Postponement of the Pipeline,” 194-196


“Epilogue: Themes for the National Interest” 197-200


Sherrill E. Grace, “Constructing a Northern Nation,” Canada and the Idea of North (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002), 57-75 only.
David Neufeld, “Parks Canada and the commemoration of the north: History and Heritage,” Northern Visions: New Perspectives on the North in Canadian History, eds. Abel and Coates (University of Toronto Press, 2001), 45-75.

Week 12 The “undefended” border II: Disputes over Culture

Bumsted, History of the Canadian Peoples, 341-346, 358-363, 389-412.
Earle Birney, “Canada: Case History, 1945” (1977?) http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poems/canada-case-history-1945
The Guess Who, “American Woman,” American Woman (1970)
Pierre Berton, Why We Act Like Canadians: A Personal Exploration of our National Character (McClelland and Stewart, 1982), Chapter 6, “The Solemn Land,” and Epilogue, 93-111.
Paul Gecelovsky, “Northern Enigma: American Images of Canada,” American Review of Canadian Studies37:4 (2007), 517-535.

Week 13 The Cause of Sovereignty

Lyle Dick, “People and Animals in the Arctic: Mediating Between Indigenous and Western Knowledge,” Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History, eds. MacEachern and Turkel (Nelson, 2009), 76-101.
P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Matthew Farish, “The Cold War on Canadian Soil: Militarizing a Northern Environment,” Environmental History 12: 4 (2007), 920-950.
Ken Coates and William Morrison, “‘The Army of Occupation’: Americans in the Canadian Northwest During World War II,” Calgary Papers in Military and Strategic Studies 4 (2011), 55-68. http://cpmss.synergiesprairies.ca/cpmss/index.php/cpmss/article/view/6

Week 14 Where in the world is Canada?

Please note: You are responsible for any information or announcements made in class.

The evaluation for this class is divided between written assignments that ask you to locate primary source materials (ie. records that date from the historical period we are discussing) and secondary sources (analyses by other historians), class participation, and a final exam.

  • Assignment 1: Document Search 15% Due September 23 in class

As part of Cluster 1, locate a document that records an aspect of Canada’s efforts to claim the continental interior, dated between 1860 and 1920. This may be a piece of correspondence, a pamphlet, a speech or other political document, or another kind of unpublished text.

For your choice, include:

- author and date of creation

- full citation, including the holding institution

- 500 words arguing for the historical value of this item in the context of the cluster. Do not summarize the document; explain how it fits into the arc of Canadian western expansion and what it reveals that is new to you and the course.

Library of Congress:


Libraries and Archives Canada:


  • Assignment 2: Artifact Search 15% Due October 21 in class

As part of Cluster 2, select an artifact that reflects Canada’s historical preoccupation with wilderness, dated between 1900 and 1960. This may be a map, painting, or other image, or a material object.

Here again, for your choice, include:

- creator and date of creation

- full credit to the holding institution

- 500 words arguing for the historical value of this artifact in the context of the cluster. Think of it as: if you were illustrating a book on Canada, or curating an on-line exhibit, why would you have chosen this item? What does it say about Canada’s historical relationship with wilderness?

Do not use Google Search, but rather, a recognized archive, such as:

Library of Congress:


Libraries and Archives Canada:


The National Gallery of Canada:


Canada Science and Technology Museum :


McCord Museum, Montréal


  • Assignment 3: Who are the Neighbours? 20% Due November 18 in class

For Cluster 3, you will be asked to choose some aspect of Canada’s position in North America and/or its relationship with the United States that intrigues you. This might include: shared (or disputed!) waters or resources, Canadian-American cooperation or disagreement on the world stage, or representations of Canada in popular media.

This assignment is designed to help you focus a question (or series of questions) for investigation out of a larger curiosity, which is the first step of academic research. Consequently, it should include:

- an introductory paragraph that identifies the subject and lays out a “road-map” for the reader of what is to follow, as well as a concluding paragraph that summarizes your position and rationale;

- an explanation of why this topic interested you;

- a concrete and focused research (thesis) question;

- at least three follow-up questions or sub-themes that emerge from the primary research question. This frames the outline of a research project, by representing the arguments or subsections in a longer essay.

- an explanation of why this question and this approach is valuable and productive.

This section should be approximately 750-800 words.
In addition, you should include:

- at least three secondary sources that you have a)looked at b)judged relevant. These may be scholarly articles or scholarly books. I strongly recommend you take advantage of two resources:

a) the Bertrand Library subject guide to History http://researchbysubject.bucknell.edu/hist?hs=a especially the database “America History & Life”;

b) the Bertrand Library reference desk!**

Late assignments will be penalized 5% per day.

Assignments must be submitted in class.

Please keep an electronic copy of any assignment you submit.

I do not assign extra work in lieu of the assignments outlined in this syllabus.

Participation is essential, in both classes and life! To quote Bill Cronon, a leading American historian, “Learning how to talk intelligently and enthusiastically about significant subjects is actually one of the most important skills you can learn in college.” This mark will reflect equally your attendance and your informed contributions (ie. based on your analysis of the readings and relevant materials). Please see the note on professionalism, below: come prepared, and come to engage in considered, thoughtful, informed, and on-topic ways. Absence will negatively affect your grade. 25%
There will be a final exam comprised of short-answer identification and essay questions. 25%

Expectations and Professionalism in the Classroom
The university and the classroom can be spaces for wonderful freedoms – freedom of thought, of discussion, of exploration – but are also places that (like workplaces and the public sphere) require mutually respectful and professional behaviour. This means arriving on time and prepared, and treating each other civilly and generously in listening and conversation.
It also means refraining from using electronic devices in ways that might be considered disruptive or disrespectful to others. Please turn off your phones, and do not leave the room to use them. Laptops and tablets are to be used only for note-taking, dependent on class consensus. If your use of electronic devices interferes with the class it may negatively affect your grade. I will respond to email during business hours (8:30-4:30, Monday-Friday).
(This may all sound heavy-handed, but it is my way of emphasizing the importance of the university learning environment and our conversations with one another.)
We are very privileged to be here, and should treat these opportunities for learning with the utmost respect.
Style Guide
In History, we generally follow what is called the Chicago Manual of Style. For a guide to this, see https://my.bucknell.edu/x53459.html.
Academic Integrity
Academic integrity and honesty are at the core of the community of scholarship of which we are a part. I will follow University policies for academic honesty and plagiarism, which can be found at http://www.bucknell.edu/x1324.xml.

Bucknell University Honor Code
Please note the University Honor Code (or in Canadian, Honour Code):
As a student and citizen of the Bucknell University community:

1. I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors.

2. I will forthrightly oppose each and every instance of academic dishonesty.

3. I will let my conscience guide my decision to communicate directly with any person or persons I believe to have been dishonest in academic work.

4. I will let my conscience guide my decision on reporting breaches of academic integrity to the appropriate faculty or deans.

Bucknell University expectations for academic engagement
Courses at Bucknell that receive one unit of academic credit have a minimum expectation of 12 hours per week of student academic engagement. Student academic engagement includes both the hours of direct faculty instruction (or its equivalent) and the hours spent on out of class student work. Half and quarter unit courses at Bucknell should have proportionate expectations for student engagement.
Student Needs and Accommodation
If you have anything you would like to talk to me about that would help me work with you, please contact me. Students with University-recognized disabilities who may need classroom accommodations should contact me as soon as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. See http://www.bucknell.edu/x7752.xml for more information.

HIST 114 Canada since 1860

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