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Course Description

A painting of soldiers at warCalendar Description: This course examines Canada’s experience with the Second World War. Topics include: Canada’s changing roles in the world; the role and growth of the state; gender and sexuality; conscription and English-French relations; race, ethnicity and the experiences of Indigenous peoples during the war; the homefront and social transformations; military engagements and soldier experiences; nationalisms, citizenship and identity; wartime legacies and post-war ramifications; public history and the memory of the war.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the social, cultural, political, economic, and military transformations and continuities that shaped Canada and its relationships with other countries both during and in the aftermath of the Second World War;
  2. Explain why the Second World War was experienced differently by various groups in Canada, depending on their race, gender, sexual orientation, class, Indigeneity, and other determinants of identity;
  3. Interpret and analyze primary source materials pertaining to Canada’s Second World War experience, including diaries, newspapers, government documents, newsreels, Hansard parliamentary transcripts, advertisements, and propaganda materials;
  4. Summarize and critically evaluate historical arguments presented by historians in their assessments of aspects of the wartime experience;
  5. Present and defend an argument about a controversial topic by analyzing a variety of primary and secondary sources reflecting different positions on the issue; and
  6. Communicate your ideas and arguments clearly in written form, and demonstrate your analytical abilities through the skills developed in your written assignments.

Course Topics

  • Canada in the 1930s and the Outbreak of War
  • Declaring War and Mobilizing for War
  • The Politics of Wartime – Transforming the Role of the State
  • The Soldiers experience and Military Engagements (1941-43)
  • On the Homefront
  • Canada’s Military Roles in the War
  • Internment, Censorship, and Control
  • Race and Indigeneity during the War
  • French Canada, Quebec, and Conscription
  • Canada, its Allies, and its Place on the World Stage
  • Gender and Sexuality during the War
  • Planning for War’s End

Additional Requirements

Pre-requisite(s): 7.50 credits

Co-requisite(s): None

Equate(s): None

Restriction(s): None



Assessment Item Weight Learning Outcomes
Response Papers (10% each) 20-60%* 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Essay Proposal 10%* 1, 3, 4, 6
Essay 30%* 1, 3, 4, 6
Discussion Participation (2 @ 10% each) 20% 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Take-Home Final Exam 20% 1, 2, 4, 6
Total 100% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6

Note: *The in-course written assignments submitted during the semester add up to 60% of your final grade, but you may opt to complete this component of your grade in one of the three following ways:

  1. Submit 6 response papers (10% each);
  2. Submit 2 response papers (10% each), the essay proposal (10%), and the essay (30%); or
  3. Submit 5 response papers (10% each) and the essay proposal (10%).

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

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Section Title
Canada and the Second World War
January 08, 2024 to April 08, 2024
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
Domestic Tuition Fee - Non-Ontario (0.5 units) $745.75 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $3,379.57 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes
If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.
Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) There is no required textbook for this course.
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