Canada: Portrait of another America

mercredi 07 février 2018

Canada and the North
Aboriginal Peoples
The Encounter
New France
British North America
Dominion of Canada
Institutions of Canada
Canada and Quebec
Cultural Diversity
Society and Economy
Canada in the World





2017-2018, 2nd term

Thursday 4:15 to 6:15 pm, Olympe de Gouges, Amphi 1

Laurence Cros -









Taught in English, 2 hour lecture, 2 credits

From this side of the Atlantic, it is sometimes difficult to figure out in what way Canada is different from the United States; and yet, Canada often represents a sort of ideal America which offers all the attractive aspects of the US without its flaws. This course intends to clarify this image of Canada by exploring the elements that make Canada different from the US.

The first part of the course will present the history of Canada to show its specificity: from the heritage of the First Nations and the French period, the country continued building a nation through the association with the British Empire and the rejection of the American republican model.

Since the 1950s, Canada has entered a modern period in which it can no longer rely on the link with Britain to counterbalance the influence of the United States. The course will examine several themes that have dominated the modern period:

·       the ability of the French Canadians and the English Canadians to live together in a united country

·       the expansion of the multicultural model to harmoniously manage immigration, and the place given to the First Nations in modern Canada

·       the relationship with the US today in a context of growing continentalization through closer economic, military and security cooperation, and the question of the potential harmonization of the two nations’ political culture.





The final assessment for all students (controle continu and controle terminal) will consist in a 1-hour written exam held in May 2018.

The test will be made up of two parts:

-       10 multiple choice questions (10 points)

-       Writing a short answer to one question out of a list of two (10 points)

See sample test attached.


For those who fail the class, a make-up exam will be held at the end of June 2018. It will consist of an oral examination of 10 minutes on a topic covered in class, with a 20-minute preparation.




·       H.V. Nelles, A Little History of Canada, Oxford University Press Canada, 2005

·       Robert Bothwell, Penguin History of Canada, Penguin Global, 2010

·       Michèle Kaltemback, Jacques Dorin, Sheryl Rahal, Canadian Civilization, Toulouse, PU Mirail, 2007

For each topic, further reading will be indicated on the course website


Schedule and topics


18 January

A general presentation of Canada and its geographical features

Canada and the Arctic: stakes and challenges for the future

25 January

Pre-Contact First Nations

1 February

First Contacts with Europeans, 9th century to 1660

8 February

New France (1663-1763) and the Conquest of 1763

15 February

British North America, 1763-1867

22 February

Confederation and the Dominion of Canada (1867-1945)

9 March

The Institutions of Canada

Political parties and values

8 March

Canada and Quebec

15 March

Immigration and Multiculturalism in Canada

22 March

Canada’s Indigenous Peoples today

29 April

Canada’s Social and Economic Systems: How Different from the US?

5 April

          - No class -  English Department’s thematic day on “FAKE”

12 April

Review and preparation of exam




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