Category Archives: American History

Teaching Canada–U.S. Relations in 2020

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Patrick Lacroix Didn’t you guys burn down the White House? – Donald J. Trump From television news programming to social media, a politically unaware visitor to Canada would easily believe that we are in the midst of a heated national election. We aren’t, of course, but we have had front-row seats—the mediatic splash zone—to unending American electioneering. Early reports suggest… Read more »

Defund the police

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Tamara Gene Myers Amidst the call to “Defund the police,” it bears thinking about removing police from our schools as well. “Defund the police” has become the rallying cry of anti-Black racism protests following the public murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Relentless police violence has generated heated discussion about how decades of policies intended to “reform”… Read more »

Epidemics and Racism: Honolulu’s Bubonic Plague and the Big Fire, 1899-1900

Yukari Takai More than a century before the global outbreak of Covid-19, another deadly disease struck Honolulu, one that ignited the tragic unfolding of many stories about public health, urban fires and social inequalities, particularly racism. The bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, hit Honolulu’s crowded and throbbing Chinatown in December 1899 when it took the life of… Read more »

Covid-19: An Unprecedented Militarization of the Canada-US Border or a Return to the Old?

By Benjamin Hoy On March 26, 2020, news reports circulated across Canada and the United States that President Donald Trump was considering deploying more than a thousand military personnel near the Canada-US border. The decision seemed baffling to many. Who President Trump hoped to protect Americans from was not altogether clear. Within a few days of the proposal going public,… Read more »

Talking History Podcasts, Vol. 2; or, The Podcast Lover’s Quarantine Survival Kit

Edward Dunsworth For my post this month, I’ve decided to revisit a piece I wrote last year in which I shared some of my favourite history podcasts. As many of us hunker down for extended periods of “social distancing” with the spread of COVID-19, we will be looking for ways to pass the time while at home. And what better… Read more »

Half Oil and Half Green: The Southern Roots of the Prairie West’s Anti-Environmental Rhetoric

Louis Reed-Wood This past autumn, Aatash Amir, a Vancouver man concerned about emissions caused by gas-powered leaf blowers, circulated an online petition to have them banned in his hometown of Saskatoon. Upon posting the petition to a local Facebook group, he quickly received a flood of hateful comments, ranging from racist remarks, threats of violence, and calls for Amir to… Read more »

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 »