Spring 2016 - HIST 102W D100

Canada since Confederation (3)

Class Number: 4079

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SSCB 9200, Burnaby



Canadian social, political, and economic history from 1867, examining aboriginal/settler relations, immigration, regionalism, foreign policy, economic development, culture, and political movements. Students with credit for HIST 102 may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


One of my students once said, “Confederation sounds like a plot between a drunk and a bunch of greedheads! Everybody else got screwed!” Was she right? 

How we think about the past matters, because it echoes in the present to shape our actions and decisions. We’ll look at the connections between the economy and politics, conflicts between First Nations and European settlers, and the idea of nation. We’ll talk about who fought, who won, who lost, and the challenges we still face.  

We’ll explore questions such as: When should a country go to war? How free is the free market? How democratic is parliamentary democracy? What forms of protest and dissent are legitimate? How do historians interpret the past? Are we really as polite as everybody says we are? Does Canada matter?  

The course is designed for everyone, not just those who love history or those who studied Canadian history in high school. We’ll use film, song, academic articles, art, and popular writing to study the past to make sense of the present, so you can better shape the future.

The course counts towards SFU's writing requirements, but it is not a course in "how to write." Instead, we use writing as a way to learn history and to improve writing skills. It is assumed you can write in appropriate first-year university English. Some of the writing assignments will be marked as "pass/fail" or "done/not done" and completed in the lectures and tutorials.


  • Attendance at tutorials 10%
  • Participation in tutorials 15%
  • Writing assignments, including essays and in-class writing 75%
  • There are no exams in this course. That's right, no exams. No mid-term, no final.



History 102 Readings on Canvas and online

Margaret Conrad, Alvin Finkel, Donald Fyson, History of the Canadian Peoples, Volume 2, 1867 to the Present. References in the syllabus are to the 6th edition, but earlier editions may work if you check to make sure you’re reading the appropriate material each week.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html