Topic: History of Pre-Confederation Canada (the early beginnings to 1867)

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Topic: History of Pre-Confederation Canada (the early beginnings to 1867)
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• Some historians have argued that the spread of infectious disease among Canada’s
• Native peoples amounted to a “biological attack” by the Europeans. Do you agree with this thesis?
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• Was British North America in 1763-1867 a safe haven for black immigrants?
• Why did Newfoundland develop differently from the rest of British North America?
• To what extent was the 1837-8 rebellion in Lower Canada a conflict of “two races warring in the bosom of a single state”?
• Was William Lyon Mackenzie an example of effective leadership in the 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada?
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• What role did religious, social and political organizations play in the construction of Irish-Canadian identity?
• Discuss the impact of the Loyalists on the political culture and national identity of British North America.
• Was the Fenian movement a real threat to Canada?
You will write a 2,000-word research essay (approximately 9-10 pages of double-spaced 12-pt text excluding footnotes and bibliography).
The essay should be double-spaced, paginated, have a title page and adequate margins. It should be properly footnoted using the Chicago Humanities Style, with a full bibliography attached at the end. The bibliography should include a minimum of 5 secondary sources (books and/or academic articles).
For help on writing a history essay, consult The Essay Writing Guide, available from the Department of History and Classics in hard copy and online at
Secondary Sources
Secondary sources are works created by historians and other social scientists, normally after the events in question have occurred. You should only use specialized studies (books and articles) written by professional historians and other social scientists on the subject of your paper. Many academic articles in Canadian history can be found through the America: History and Life database.
Textbooks, general histories of Canada, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, book reviews, audio-visual resources and magazine articles will not be considered acceptable secondary sources for the purposes of this assignment. For useful selections of secondary sources on various topics covered in this course, check suggested readings at the end of each chapter in your textbook. If unsure about your selection of sources, contact the instructor. While Internet sites (such as Wikipedia, Canadian Encyclopedia Online or any others) may be consulted as starting points in your research, they do not qualify as secondary sources and should not appear in your notes or bibliography.
Your essay will be graded on your ability to select and evaluate sources, formulate a research argument and support it with evidence presented in a well-organized and logical form. Writing style is very important for history papers. Your paper should be written in coherent English, use correct grammar and punctuation throughout, and avoid colloquial, journalistic or pretentious expressions.
Late papers will be penalized one letter grade level per day. Thus, an A essay that is one day late automatically becomes an A- essay; a B+ essay that is two days late becomes a B- essay and so on. The only exception will be made in cases of severe illness, supported by appropriate medical documentation. Late papers will be marked without comments. No papers will be accepted 5 days after the due date. If the assignment is not submitted within the 5-day period after the due date, it will be graded “0”.

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