Category Archives: American History

REJECTED: Border Crossing Records and Histories of Exclusion

By Edward Dunsworth Mollee West’s weekend was a total disaster. On a Saturday afternoon late in the summer of 1929, the 25-year old New Yorker put the finishing touches on preparations for the trip she and her two young sons were about to embark on. Kids dressed, bags packed, and train tickets tripled-checked, Mollee, her husband Jack, and the boys… Read more »

The Evolution of a History: Examining Commemorative Markers at the Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church National Historic Site

Mark T. S. Currie At the corner of Old Barrie Road West and Line 3 in the Township of Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada sits the Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church (OAMEC). Now open for tourists, special ceremonies, and celebrations, the church was originally built in 1849. Along with the plot of land on which it sits, it is a designated national… Read more »

What’s in a Monument? Part I: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Memory

By Jewel Spangler “What’s in a Monument?” is based on a public lecture delivered on March 11 in the History Matters Series organized by the University of Calgary History Department and the Calgary Public Library. This first post by Jewel Spangler is about the attempted removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville. Tomorrow’s post by Nancy Janovicek focuses… Read more »

History Slam Episode 118: Preserving the Civil War’s Legacy

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/History-Slam-Episode-118.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham Happy Independence Day to our American friends! In thinking about American historiography, one of my favourite things is to joke about how a new book on the Civil War seems to come out every ten minutes. And while that may be a little hyperbolic, it can be difficult to find new ground… Read more »

From Early Canada to Early North America: Why We Stopped Teaching History before the 1860s from a National Perspective

By Thomas Peace Let’s begin with a question: without help from the internet, can you name the person who founded the city of Chicago? I suspect that for many of our readers, the answer is ‘no’. “Founders” are not terribly in vogue these days, anyways. It was, however, the man who founded Chicago that helped me make a profound shift… Read more »

Teaching U.S. History Abroad during the Age of Trump

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By Frank Cogliano On a recent trip to Sweden I encountered an elderly gentleman out walking his dog. We engaged in a brief conversation. Hearing my accent, he detected that I was an Anglophone and asked me if I’m English. “No,” I replied, “American.” He broke into a smile, laughed, and made a Nazi salute and said, “Trump!” We continued… Read more »

History Slam 110: Blood, Sweat, and Fear

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/History-Slam-110.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham As far as I can remember, I’ve only been punched in the face once. It was in elementary school on the playground in the midst of an argument over something that I did. I was in the wrong in the situation, but that was the only time that I feel as… Read more »

No Truck or Trade with Trump? The Puzzling Absence of anti-NAFTA Sentiment in Canada

Asa McKercher There are many questions surrounding the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). To wit: will the treaty be renegotiated to meet the goals set out by the Mexican, Canadian, and U.S. governments? What provisions will be included in NAFTA 2.0? If the agreement is renegotiated, will it satiate public opinion in these countries? Will Prime… Read more »

The Great White Hype: Conor McGregor and the History of Race in Boxing

By Angie Wong and Travis Hay On the 12th of July, 2017, downtown Toronto was over-run with a sea of Irish flags and rowdy young white men.[1] More than 16,000 fans had flocked to the scene to witness the Mayweather-McGregor World Tour Press Conference, which promoted the upcoming boxing match between the undefeated African American champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (widely… Read more »

Donald Trump, Brexit, and the Gentrification of Progressive Politics

By Steven High Note: This op-ed piece was published in French in Le Devoir on March 16, 2017. FIRST BREXIT AND NOW THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP as President of the United States have shocked many of us. Outrage and anguish seem to be the dominant reaction in my social media feeds. It is as though the world that we… Read more »