Category Archives: American History

Lab Partners: Experimenting with Active Learning

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(Editor’s note: this post first appeared in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives in April 2016) By Gabriel Pizzorno and Heidi Tworek One truism about World War I is the incompetence of German propaganda in the United States. The classic stories feature German officials forgetting briefcases with secret documents on the New York subway and ham-fistedly delivering speeches about German culture. But… Read more »

Celebrating Graphic Herstory

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The Graphic History Collective Historically, the comics industry has been male dominated, with male writers and male illustrators (working for companies owned by men) depicting women in stereotypically demeaning and derogatory ways. This is especially true of Golden Age comics in the 1940s and 1950s, with the possible exception of Wonder Woman in the United States and Nelvana of the… Read more »

Violence in Early Canada

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We are crossposting this essay as part of our partnership with the new early Canadian history blog Borealia. By Elizabeth Mancke & Scott See In the months since the 19 October election, Canadians – from Justin Trudeau to church groups preparing for Syrian refugees – are reasserting one of the most recognizable tropes about Canada, that the country is an international… Read more »

Film Friday: The Revenant is Beautiful, Disappointing Art

Stacy Nation-Knapper The Revenant is not history. Yes, as the film trailers, posters, and advertisements boast, the film was “inspired by true events” and it represents an amalgam of multiple historic fur trade events during the years 1820-24, and fantasy. Most of the non-Indigenous characters in the film existed. Other writers, including Clay Landry for the Museum of the Mountain… Read more »

Real American Hero? Military experience in U.S. presidential politics

Oscar Winberg In mid-December, Senator Lindsey Graham threw in the towel and dropped his struggling campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. The South Carolina senator had struggled to gain any traction in the crowded Republican field where Donald Trump continues to hog a disproportionate amount of the news coverage and a large lead in the polls. Graham’s exit… Read more »

Monica, Bill, History, and Sex

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By Marc Stein Twenty years ago this month, U.S. Democratic President Bill Clinton began having sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. More than two years later, during testimony in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Jones, Clinton denied that he was having a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. Several months later, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr reported to the U.S…. Read more »

Everybody Can Play: Avoiding Soft Constructionism when Teaching History

By Mark Abraham Accepting her Video of the Year award at the 2015 VMAs, pop singer Taylor Swift, surrounded by the women who appear as weapon-toting warriors in her victorious video “Bad Blood,” said she was grateful that “we live in a world where boys can play princesses and girls can play soldiers.” That same night, writer Adam Fleischer posted… Read more »

Can “The Donald” Trump History as a Third Party Candidate?

By Oscar Winberg The U.S. presidential campaign is already in full swing, even though it is roughly five months before the first ballot will be cast in the primaries and caucuses that select the major party nominees, and over a year until the people will actually elect the 45th president. This summer much of the coverage has been reserved for… Read more »

Little Bear’s Cree and Canada’s Uncomfortable History of Refugee Creation

By Benjamin Hoy Refugees create complicated political and social climates. Federal decisions to admit or reject individuals, families, and communities fleeing from hardships intertwine humanitarian concerns, political profiteering, immigration policy, domestic security, and racial perceptions into an often-ugly mess. Refugees force countries to consider their moral obligations to those less fortunate and to examine the possibility of their own complicity… Read more »

Lowered Expectations and The Historical Origins of the ‘Great Decoupling’ in Canada

by Christo Aivalis Recently many economists have emphasized that since the 1970s in western nations like Canada and the United States, high profits and productivity have been accompanied by stagnating wages, especially for lower income workers. These commentators, including Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The New York Times’ Steven Greenhouse, and UNIFOR economist Jim Stanford,… Read more »