European History

What is the “Right Way” to commemorate the First World War?

April 7, 2014

By Jonathan Weier Those who regularly read the British press have been exposed, over the past three months, to a vitriolic war of words over the legacy and meaning of the First World War in Britain.  This controversy has become increasingly acrimonious as representatives of the Conservative government and their sympathizers have sought to paint […]

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Why is this time Different? Political Implications of prolonged Economic Downturns

March 26, 2014

By David Zylberberg Historians place a disproportionate emphasis on the 1930s when teaching European History. The decade looms large in our courses with discussions of economic depressions, the rise of far-right political parties and the onset of the Second World War. We generally try to instill greater complexity to our lectures but a fairly straight-forward […]

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Preserving History as it Happens: The Internet Archive and the Crimean Crisis

March 25, 2014

By Ian Milligan “Thirty goons break into your office and confiscate your computers, your hard drives, your files.. and with them, a big chunk of your institutional memory. Who you gonna call?” These were the words Bob Garfield used in a recent episode of On the Media, to address the storming of the Crimean Center for […]

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Podcast – “Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland” by Jan Grabowski

March 14, 2014

Podcast: Play in new window | Download The Ottawa Historical Association welcomed historian Jan Grabowski in January. ActiveHistory.ca is happy to feature here his talk, “Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland.” Grabowski is a professor at the University of Ottawa. His talk is based on his recent book of the same […]

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The Aestheticization of Politics at the Olympic Games

February 17, 2014

By Eric Wright Disclaimer: I am an athlete and sports fan, despite what this article may lead you to believe. The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics has been embroiled in controversy from the start.  The games will be the most corrupt in history based on dollar value, with an estimated one third of the games’ $51 […]

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Did the Steam Engine or Spinning Mule lead to the Industrial Revolution?

February 10, 2014

By Jim Clifford I recently introduced a group of students to this question by asking them to listen to an episode of In Our Time from BBC Radio 4. After about ten minutes of background conversation the episode devolves into an ongoing argument between the host, Melvyn Bragg and Pat Hudson, one of the leading […]

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Love it or hate it: Stephen Harper’s Government is not Fascist

January 24, 2014

By Valerie Deacon No matter which way you spin it, Stephen Harper’s government is not fascist and making comparisons between the current Canadian government and fascism in the 1930s is both disingenuous and dangerous. This Huffington Post article about the government’s decision to close major scientific and environmental libraries and destroy much of the data […]

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Reconstructing the Future: Understanding Toronto’s Wild Weather of 2013

January 15, 2014

By Dagomar Degroot In Toronto, 2013 was a year of storms. The media storm kindled by the mayor’s chicanery was twice interrupted by meteorological storms that threatened lives and property on an unprecedented scale. On July 8th more than 100 mm of rain inundated the city in a matter of hours, triggering flash floods that […]

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On Scottish Independence – a Metis perspective

December 3, 2013

By Zoe Todd What does it mean to be a child of Empire? I’m not quite sure, but the complex roots of my ancestors stretch across small prairie towns and all the way back to Ireland, Scotland and England. I am Metis: an offspring of the fur trade and all of its complexities, paradoxes and […]

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Lessons from History: Santayana vs. Vonnegut

December 2, 2013

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana, 1905 I hear variations of this quote all the time. Often in praise of what I do for a living: “You’re a historian, well great, cause if we don’t know history, we’re doomed to repeat it!” In the face of this good […]

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