Canadian-American Relations: Sleeping with the Elephant

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
HIST 2245
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
HIST 2245: Canadian-American Relations: explores the Canada-United States relationship – politically, economically, environmentally, and culturally – from the colonial era to the present. Topics include: Indigenous societies and the consequences of colonialism; the origins, impact, and outcomes, from a North American perspective, of such military conflicts as the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the United States Civil War, the World Wars, and the Cold War; campaigns for and against continental economic integration; ecological transformations and crises; and the trials and triumphs, in both Canada and the United States, of marginalized communities, including women, workers, peoples of colour, and sexual minorities.
Course Content

1. Indigenous Cultures, European Empires, and the Creation of Settler Societies to 1763

2. The Unmaking of the First British Empire and the American Revolution, 1763-1783

3. The Continuing Revolution, 1783-1815

4. Manifest Destinies, 1815-1854

5. Conflict and Consolidation, 1854-1885

6. Imperial Rivalry, 1885-1914

7. Canadian and American Perspectives on the Great War, 1914-1919

8. Interwar Upheaval, 1919-1939

9. North America’s Second World War, 1939-1945

10. Continental Integration I, 1945-1965

11. Ambivalent Allies, 1965-1984

12. Continental Integration II, 1984-1993

13. The ‘End of History,’ 1993-2001 

14. Canadian-American Relations Since 2001

Learning Activities

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills. Online instruction may occur synchronously or asynchronously, with a blend of learning activities similar to that offered in person.

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

Students will have opportunities to build and refine their research capacity and historical thinking skills through assessments appropriate to the level of the course. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation.

The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.

An example of one evaluation scheme:

Participation 15%
Book review essay 15%
Research proposal 10%
Research essay 25%
Midterm Exam 15%
Final Exam 20%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills by:

1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).

2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).

3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).

4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history).


Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers will be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically.

An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be

Azzi, Stephen. Reconcilable Differences: A History of Canadian-US Relations. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Bothwell, Robert. Your Country, My Country: A Unified History of the United States and Canada. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.



One 1000-level History course, or permission of the instructor





Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for HIST 2245
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX HIST 2XX (3)
Athabasca University (AU) AU HIST 3XX (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU HIST 208 (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR HIST 208 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU HIST 2304 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG HIST 2269 (3)
North Island College (NIC) NIC HIS 2XX (3)
Northern Lights College (NLC) NLC HIST 2XX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU HIST 2XX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HIST 436 (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW HIST 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO HIST 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV HIST 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC HIST 2XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV HIST 1XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC HSTR 323 (1.5)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) No credit
Vancouver Community College (VCC) VCC UNSP 2XXX (3)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU HIST 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023