Canada Since 1945

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
HIST 3315
Semester Length
Max Class Size
25 (writing intensive)
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
HIST 3315, Canada Since 1945, examines the political, social and cultural history of Canada from the end of World War II to the present day, focusing on the changing nature of Canadian society; the evolving role of the state in the lives of Canadians; and Canada’s place in the world.
Topics include: optimism and uncertainty in the postwar period; the demographic changes brought about by the post-war baby boom; the Cold War and consumer society; the Americanization of Canada; the emergence of new social movements and the social, political and ideological upheavals of the 1960s; Aboriginal people, land claims and the struggle for public voice; immigration, diversity and multiculturalism; francophones, anglophones and Quebec sovereignty; regional resistance to federal policies and politics; the emergence of environmentalism; and questions of national identity and national unity. Particular emphasis is placed on the social experiences of the generations born after World War II.
Course Content

A sample course outline may include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.

  1. Introduction
  2. Canada Reconstructs: The Postwar Reality
  3. The Baby Boom, Suburbanization and “Normal” Citizens
  4. Cold War/Hot War: Canadian-American Relations
  5. Oh, Canada! The Massey Commission, Maple Leaves, and Cultural Nationalism
  6. The Not-So Quiet Revolution in Quebec
  7. Youthquakes: New Social Movements and Protests
  8. Towards a Modern Welfare State: The Just Society
  9. Just Watch Me: Trudeau, Quebec and the October Crisis
  10. The Unjust Society: Indigenous Peoples in Postwar Canada
  11. Referendums and Repatriating the Constitution
  12. Canada Enters the Digital Age: Free Trade and Changing Economic Realities
  13. Immigration, Multiculturalism and Transnationalism
  14. Canada in a Global World
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 facilitation of student-led projects, 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.

Methods may include:

  • lecture/discussion
  • group work
  • peer review
  • independent research
  • instructor feedback on students’ work
  • individual consultation
  • presentation (individual or group)
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 and In-Class Work: 15%
  • Seminar Facilitation and Reading Notes: 10%
  • Primary Source Analyses: 20%
  • Research Project Proposal, Annotated Bibliography, and Peer Review: 15%
  • Research Project Presentation and Peer Feedback on Research: 10%
  • Research Project Essay: 20%
  • Public History Presentation: 10%
  • Total 100%
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 appropriate to the level of the course 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 assigned, and links to specific resources may be provided in the course outline.

Bothwell, Robert. Alliance and Illusion: Canada and the World, 1945-1984. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008.

Bothwell, Robert, Ian Drummond and John English Canada Since 1945: Power, Politics and Provincialism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.

Briggs, Catherine. Modern Canada: 1945 to the Present. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Christie, Nancy and Michael Gauvreau, eds. Cultures of Citizenship in Post-War Canada, 1940-1955. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004.

Edwardson, Ryan. Canadian Content: Culture and the Quest for Nationhood. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.

Fahrni, Magda, and Robert Rutherdale. Creating Postwar Canada: Community, Diversity, and Dissent, 1945-1975. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2008.

Finkel, Alvin. Our Lives: Canada After 1945. Toronto: Lorimer, 1997.

Iacovetta, Franca. Gatekeepers: Reshaping Immigrant Lives in Cold War Canada. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2006.

Owram, Doug. Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby Boom Generation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.

Palmer, Bryan. Canada’s 1960s: The Ironies of Identity in a Rebellious Era. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.

Vance, Jonathan. A History of Canadian Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.



One 2000-level History Course, or permission of the instructor


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

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 3315
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU HIST 3XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU HIST 3XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU HIST 3XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HIST 1XX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW HIST 305 (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO HIST 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV HIST 326 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC HIST 3XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC HSTR 3XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023

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Section Notes

HIST 3315 Pre-requisite: one 200-level HIST or permission of the instructor

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New Westminster - North Bldg.
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