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HIS 221: Canadian History, Pre-Confederation (to 1867): Research Essay Suggested Topics

Suggested Topics

  1. What was the role of slavery in New France?

  2. Explain the migration of Black loyalists to Canada after the American Revolution. Why did they come? What was their experience in Canada? What was the “back to Africa” movement?

  3. What was Canada’s role in the Underground Railroad?

  4. What are the origins of the RCMP in Canada? How has the force changed since its inception?

  5. When did the Klondike Gold Rush begin? What was its impact on the Yukon Territory?

  6. Who was Joseph Brant? How has the historical memory of his role in Canadian history changed over time? What is his ‘legacy’?

  7. Who won the war of 1812?

  8. Examine the Acadian expulsion and resulting Cajun culture in Louisiana. What stories can be told from this time? What were the effects on Canada? On the United States?

  9. What happened to the Jesuits in Canada after the British conquest?

  10. Examine a current movement (last ten years) to take down/deface a statue featuring a historical character in Canada. Why is there pressure to remove it? What does this reveal about the person themselves, and/or the way we perceive history and historical figures in the 2000s?

  11. What was the Great Peace of Montreal in 1701? How did it impact the future of the Haudenosaunee people in Canada?

  12. Examine the history of names and naming of indigenous people in Canada. Why have so many different names been used? What are the origins of different names? Why do we use certain names now, in 2020? What does this reflect about Canadian history, memory, and culture?

  13. How popular was the temperance movement in Canada? Did it have any lasting effects?

  14. Choose a historical treaty between the government and an Indigenous nation and examine the process of how the treaty was negotiated, written, and legislated. What were the effects on Indigenous people? How did the terms of the treaty change over time?

  15. Who were the filles de roi? What was their role in the shaping of New France? What can we learn about Canadian women’s history and gender roles from their experiences?

  16. Examine another epidemic in Canadian history (smallpox, measles, tuberculosis). Describe the circumstances surrounding the epidemic, the impact on a specific geographical area, and the changes made to the health system because of the epidemic.

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