Category Archives: American History

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 »

Map the History of Redlining, It Works

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The history of redlining matters. For decades, the government sponsored Home Owners’ Loan Corporation created maps that defined African American neighbourhoods as high risk, which resulted in people not having access to a Federal Housing Administration insured mortgage in these districts. Ta-Nehisi Coates used the research in Kenneth Jackson’s Crabgrass Frontier, Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns, Robert Conot’s American Odyssey, Thomas Sugrue’s… Read more »

Trump & Mexico: Interventionism Again?

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Joseph Tohill If there’s any truth in the old adage that those who don’t know their history are condemned to repeat it, then Americans are in for a rough four years. The administration’s sometimes calculated but always casual disregard for the truth (some would say, reality) has become a hallmark of the administration’s first few weeks in office, beginning with… Read more »

Remembering the Voyage of the St. Louis

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By Laura Madokoro  The past two weeks have witnessed a bewildering amount of activity in the United States with regards to the admission, and exclusion, of migrants and refugees from seven majority-Muslim nations. On January 25 and 27, President Donald Trump issued two Executive Orders that immediately barred Syrian refugees from US resettlement, barred permanent and temporary migrants from Syria,… Read more »

Trumpism, Fascism, and the Lessons of History

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By Geoff Read, Cheryl Koos, and Samuel Kalman Many articles have appeared in the past year debating whether or not Donald Trump is a fascist.[1] Although some of these pieces are mere exercises in name calling, others offer political, social, and historical analysis. Just prior to the US presidential election, for example, Kevin Passmore, an eminent scholar of the French far right,… Read more »