Canada and the First World War (HIST*3370) | College of Arts

Canada and the First World War (HIST*3370)

Code and section: HIST*3370*DE01

Term: Fall 2021

Instructor: Rebecca Beausaert


Course Synopsis:

This course examines Canada’s role in the First World War. The question of how much the war was a transformative experience for Canadians will be central to students’ learning, as they grapple with issues pertaining to race, ethnicity, class, gender, militarism, pacifism, religion, age, and memory.
This course is structured thematically so that each unit examines an important aspect of Canada’s wartime experience. The course endeavours to showcase some of the more understudied effects and consequences, so that you gain a more thorough understanding of the war’s significance. Within each unit, you will learn from a range of interactive sources, including film and audio, and examine primary sources, such as photographs, diaries, letters, and government memoranda.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the major social, political, and economic events that affected Canada, as they unfolded over the period between 1914 and 1918;
  2. Take a position and argue about a controversial topic by analyzing different explanations and claims resulting from alternative perspectives during a discussion with your peers;
  3. Use material culture analyses to critically assess primary sources, such as photographs, artifacts, magazines, and diary entries, and explain their usefulness to studies of Canada’s wartime experience; and
  4. Critically evaluate historical arguments and assess contemporary historians’ interpretations of historical events. 


7.50 credits

Method of Delivery:

Online (Distance Education)

Method of Evaluation and Weights:

Unit Knowledge Quizzes (6 x 5% each)        30%
Major Battles Research Paper             20%
Group Discussion: The Conscription Crisis    15%
Primary Source Research Assignment        20%
Weekly Assigned Readings Discussions        15%

Texts Required:

No texts need to be purchased for this course. Readings will consist of primary and secondary sources and other media available online or through Ares, the University of Guelph’s online Course Reserve system.

*Please note: This is a preliminary website description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.*

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.