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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

HIST 1121: Canadian History to 1867

Students are provided a general chronological overview of Canadian history in the pre-Confederation era, including an introduction to major political, economic, and social events and developments that shaped Canada in that period. Students explore such themes as the relationship between European and First Nations populations; French-English relations; the changing relationship between colonies and their mother countries; the changing structure of the economy; the growth of political, economic, and social institutions; and, at the end of this period, the Confederation of the British North American colonies into one political unit, Canada.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and analyze the major events and issues in pre-Confederation Canadian history.
  • Compare historians' views about these major events and issues.
  • Analyze the effects of the contact with the Europeans upon native people and characterize the European-native relationship in pre-Confederation Canada.
  • Explain the origins of French-English conflict in Canada and analyse the evolution of this conflict up to 1867.
  • Explain the growth of political, social, and economic institutions in New France and British North America.
  • Characterize the nature of the relationship between colonies and their mother countries.
  • Comment on the role of gender and the relationship between men and women in shaping the development of pre-Confederation Canada.
  • Analyze the growth of the diverse provincial societies and explain how they were able to join together in Confederation in 1867.

Course topics

  • Unit One: Approaches to Canadian History
  • Unit Two: Aboriginal Canada before Contact
  • Unit Three: Europe in the Age of Contact
  • Unit Four: The Beginnings of New France
  • Unit Five: First Peoples and Second Peoples
  • Unit Six: Conflict, Conquest, and Consequences
  • Unit Seven: British North America in the Age of Revolution (1763-1818)
  • Unit Eight: Rupert's Land and the Northern Plains: Western Encounters
  • Unit Nine: The Economy of BNA, 1818-1867
  • Unit Ten: The British North Americans to 1867
  • Unit Eleven: Toryism, Reform, Rebellion, and Responsible Government
  • Unit Twelve: Shadow Histories
  • Unit Thirteen: West of the Rockies, East of the Pacific
  • Unit Fourteen: Confederation

Required text and materials

The following Open Education Resources (OER) textbook, free of charge, is required for this course:

  1. Belshaw, John Douglas. Canadian History: Pre-Confederation. (2nd edition) Vancouver: BCcampus, 2020.

The textbook for this course is offered for free online at the BCcampus website. Students can read it in the internet browser window, or download it in a number of e-book file formats.

If students prefer a print version of the textbook, they may print the readings on their own computer or purchase a printed copy of the textbook from BCcampus.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

Assessments: To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: Four Short Readings Notes 10%
Assignment 2: Article Analysis 15%
Assignment 3: Short Essay 20%
Assignment 4: Final Essay 25%
Final Exam (mandatory) 30%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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