Grade 10 Academic Canadian History – Term Essay Topics canada: 1929 – 1945 Social, Economic and Political Context



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Grade 10 Academic Canadian History – Term Essay Topics

CANADA: 1929 – 1945

Social, Economic and Political Context

  1. Identify the key economic trends and developments that occurred in Canada during this time period (1929-45) and their affect on Canadians.http://history105.libraries.wsu.edu/fall2014/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/08/great-depression-food-line.jpg

Possible Talking Points:

    • Stock Market Crash of 1929

    • Pensions for Veterans.

    • The impact of the Dustbowl on Agriculture.

    • The expansion of American Branch Plants.

    • Buying on Margin.

    • High Unemployment rates.

    • Government Relief.

    • Public Works Projects.

    • The establishment of the Bank of Canada.

    • The Wartime Economy.

    • The 1945 Ford Strike

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • Did the Great Depression affect all communities in Canada to the same extent?

  • Who faced the greatest challenges?

  • What was economic impact of the Dustbowl?

  • How did it contribute to the creation of the Canadian Wheat Board?

  • What was the significance of the “Royal Twenty Centres”?

  • How were public work camps viewed at the time?

  • Do you think they have influenced attitudes towards unemployment today?




  1. Identify the main causes of a key political development/government policy in Canada during this period (1929-45) and asses its impact on different groups in Canada.

Possible Talking Points:

  • Mackenzie King’s Five Cent Speech

  • The formation of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation or Social Credit

  • The establishment of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) or the National Film Board (NFB).

  • Provincial Sexual Sterilization Acts targeting people with disabilities.

  • Social Welfare policies.

  • The Dominion Elections Act of 1938.

  • Quebec women receiving the vote.

  • Wartime Propaganda.

  • The decision to intern Japanese-Canadians.

  • The 1944 Racial Discrimination Act.


Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • What social and political values were reflected in the new political parties that were created in Canada during the Great Depression?

  • What amendments were made to the Indian Act in the 1930s? What was their impact?

  • What was the historical context for Maurice Duplessis’s Padlock Act? What impact did the act have on civil liberties of various groups in Quebec during this period?



Communities, Conflict and Cooperation

  1. Examine Canada’s participation in WWII and the consequences of their involvement.

Possible Talking Points:



  • The Battle of the Atlantic.

  • The Battle of Hong Kong.

  • The Italian Campaign (Ortona)

  • D-Day.

  • The Liberation of the Netherlands.

  • The Liberation of Concentration Camps.

  • The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

  • Camp X

  • Contributions of individuals (i.e. Paul Triquet, Charles Tompkins)

  • The Contributions of Women.




Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • What was the merchant Navy and what contributions did it make to the Allied War effort?

  • What was Camp X? Why was it given this name?

  • In what ways was Canada’s contribution to WWII different from its contribution in WWI? In what ways was it similar?



  1. Identify and explain some of the ways in which WWII affected Canada and Canadians and how the war changed the lives of various groups in the country.http://www.milsurps.com/attachment.php?s=3904f9de9fa20d7a9ca0f51376416d52&attachmentid=8644&d=1261484838

Possible Talking Points:

  • Economic Recovery.

  • Censorship.

  • Rationing.

  • Young men who fought and those who did not.

  • Farmers.

  • Women in the workforces and at home.

  • “Enemy Aliens”

  • Veterans

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • Who is the “Bren Gun Girl”? What does her image tell you about the role of some Canadian women during the war?

  • In what ways was their role similar to or different from the role of women in WWI?

  • How did the lives of Japanese Canadians change as a result of the war?

Identity, Citizenship and Heritage

  1. Identify how specific individuals, groups, organizations and symbols contributed to Canadian society and politics during this period (1929-45) and to the development of identity, citizenship, and heritage in Canada.

Possible Talking Points:



    • R.B. Bennett

    • Norman Bethune

    • Therese Casgrain

    • Moses Coady

    • Lionel Conacher

    • The Dionne Quintuplets

    • Maurice Duplessis

    • Foster Hewitt

    • Mackenzie King

    • Dorothy Livesay

    • Elsie MacGill

    • Tommy Prince

    • Sinclair Ross

    • Kam Len

    • Douglas Sam

    • Portia May White

    • The Antigonish Movement

    • The CBC

    • The Edmonton Grads

    • The NFB

    • The Bren Gun Girl

    • The Bennett Buggy




Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

    • How has the CBC contributed to Canadian heritage and identity?

    • Why is the Bennett Buggy a symbol of the Great Depression? Is it an appropriate symbol? Why or Why not?

    • What criteria might you use to assess the importance of the NFB to Canadian heritage?

  1. Analyze the impact of the Holocaust on Canadian society and Canadians’ attitudes towards Human Rights.

Possible Talking Points:marta wise was one of the few fortunate children to survive auschwitz, as well as the torturous medical experiments done on her.

  • Anti-Semitism in Canada in the 1930s and 40s

  • Changes in Canadian’s responses to minority groups.

  • Canada’s reaction to anti-Jewish persecution in Nazi Germany.

  • The role of Canadians in liberating Nazi concentration and death camps.

  • More open Refugee policies (including those affecting Holocaust survivors and other displaced persons)

  • Canada’s signing of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • The evolution of laws against Hate Crimes.

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • When you look at the paintings of Canadian war artists made during the liberation of Nazi concentration and death camps, what impact do you think they would have had on people in Canada?

CANADA: 1945 – 1982

Social, Economic and Political Context

  1. Identify the major demographic trend(s) that occurred in Canada’s Population between 1945 and 1982 and assess their impact on Canada’s development.

Possible Talking Points:

  • Origins of immigrants and refugees.

  • Arrival of War Brides.

  • The Baby Boom.

  • The Growth of Suburbs.

  • Increased Urbanization.

  • Changing status of established ethnocultural groups.

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • What was new about the teen subcultures that developed after WWII?

  • In what ways were the lives of the youth in the 1950s different from those who lived in the 1920s?



  1. Identify the main causes of a key political development/government policy in Canada during this period (1945-82) and asses its impact on different groups in Canada.

Possible Talking Points:

  • Response to the Cold War, including joining North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

  • Newfoundland’s joining Confederation.

  • The Massey Commission

  • The Creation of the CRTC

  • The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.

  • Social Welfare legislation.

  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • In what ways were government social programs from this period different from those created during the Depression?

  • Do you think the Royal Commission on the Status of Women was a turning point for women in Canada? Why or Why not?

Communities, Conflict and Cooperationflq

  1. Identify key factors that affected the relationship between French and English Canada during this period and assess their significance for both French and English Canadians.

Possible Talking Points:

  • The Quiet Revolution.

  • Bilingualism and Biculturalism.

  • The Flag Debate.

  • Expo ’67.

  • Formation of the Parti Quebecois.

  • The October Crisis.

  • The Montreal Olympics.

  • Bill 101.

  • Negotiations to patriate the Constitution.

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • What was the significance of the Asbestos Strike for French-English relations?

  • How did language rights affect the relationship between French and English Canada?

  • Why might language rights be more important to French Canadians than to English Canadians?



  1. Identify some major social movements in Canada during this period (1982-45) and explain their goals and perspectives.

Possible Talking Points:



  • Civil Rights.

  • Women’s Rights.

  • Aboriginal Rights.

  • Environmental Rights.

  • Peace.

  • Sovereignty.

  • Labour Rights.

  • Youth movements.




Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • What were some of the issues that motivated the early environmental movement in Canada?

  • What were some of the main goals of the women’s movement in this period? Whose perspectives did these goals reflect?

  • What impact did the Civil Rights movement in the United States have on African-Canadians?

  • What were some of the issues around which Aboriginal people organized during this period?



  1. Identify key developments related to Canada’s participation in the international community during this period with a particular focus on the context of the Cold War and assess their significance.

Possible Talking Points:http://img.src.ca/2013/09/05/635x357/130905_hy8w5_rci-gouzenko_sn635.jpg

  • Membership in the United Nations.

  • The North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).

  • NATO.

  • The Gouzenko Affair.

  • The Korean War.

  • The Suez Crisis.

  • The Arms Race and the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty.

  • Peacekeeping.

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • How significant was the Cold War in influencing Canada’s participation in the international community during this period?

Identity, Citizenship and Heritage

  1. Identify how specific individuals, groups, organizations and symbols contributed to Canadian society and politics during this period (1945-82) and to the development of identity, citizenship, and heritage in Canada.

Possible Talking Points:



  • Doris Anderson

  • Kenojuak Ashevak

  • Rosemary Brown

  • Frank Arthur Calder

  • Leonard Cohen

  • Tommy Douglas

  • Terry Fox

  • Chief Dan George

  • Daniel G. Hill

  • Rene Levesque

  • Norval Morrisseau

  • Madeleine Parent

  • Lester B. Pearson

  • Maurice Richard

  • Buffy Sainte-Marie

  • David Suzuki

  • Pierre Trudeau

  • Jean Vanier

  • Gilles Vigneault

  • Convening of the Massey Commission

  • Demolition of Africville

  • 1972 Summit Series

  • The Canadian Flag



  • The Ontario Flaghttp://www.urbanbookcircle.com/uploads/1/2/2/1/12216310/8409601_orig.jpg

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • What was the significance of Expo ’67 for Canadian heritage and identity?

  • In what ways did Viola Desmond contribute to the development of Canadian citizenship?

  • Why has Paul Henderson’s goal during the 1972 Hockey Summit Series become an enduring symbol for Canadians?

  • Why do you think that certain people or events from this period have become national symbols?



  1. Identify some significant developments/issues that affected First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people in Canada during this period (1945-82) and explain the impact of these developments/issues on identity, citizenship and heritage in Canada.

Possible Talking Points:



  • Continuing existence of Residential Schools.

  • Enfranchisement in 1960.

  • Aboriginal title and land claims.

  • The White Paper and the Red Paper

  • The founding of the Assembly of First Nations

  • The Calder Case

  • The James Bay Project.

  • Efforts to secure equality for First Nations Women.




Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • When did Status Indians in Canada gain the right to vote? What was the significance of this development for First Nations people? For citizenship in Canada?

  • What impact did First Nations and Inuit art from this period have on Aboriginal and Canadian heritage and identity?

  • What impact did the recognition of Metis in the 1982 Constitution have on Metis and Canadian heritage and identity?



  1. Identify key developments in immigration and immigration policy in Canada during this period (1945-1982) and assess their significance for Canadian heritage and identity.

Possible Talking Points:



  • The Points System

  • Origins of immigrants and refugees

  • Development of Canada as a multicultural society.

  • Cultural festivals.




Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

  • What impact did the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 have on immigrants to Canada?

  • What changes in policy were reflected in the Immigration Act of 1978? What impact did they have on Canadian heritage?

CANADA: 1982 to the Present

Social, Economic and Political Context

  1. Identify the main causes of a key political development/government policy in Canada since 1982 and asses its impact on different groups in Canada.

Possible Talking Points:

  • Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

  • NAFTA

  • New political parties (i.e. Reform Party, Green Party)

  • Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax

  • Aboriginal Rights in section 25 of the Constitution Act.

  • Fishing Moratoria.

  • The Montreal Protocol.

  • The Kyoto Accord.

  • The Civil Marriage Act

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

    • How has the moratorium on cod fishing affected the lives of people in Atlantic Canada?

    • How has the Marshall decision affected how Canadians view Aboriginal rights?


Communities, Conflict and Cooperation

  1. Identify some significant issues/developments that have affected the relationship between Quebec and the Federal Government since 1982 and explain some changes that have resulted from them.http://sen.parl.gc.ca/sjoyal/images/other/pins/button1.gif

Possible Talking Points:

  • Meech Lake Accord

  • Charlottetown Accord

  • Creation of the Bloc Quebecois

  • 1995 Referendum

  • The Clarity Act

  • The Calgary Declaration

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

    • What was the purpose of the Charlottetown Accord? How did its defeat change the relationship between Quebec and Ottawa?



  1. Identify some significant issues/developments that have affected relations between governments and First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples in Canada since 1982 and explain some changes that have resulted from them.

Possible Talking Points:

  • Meech Lake Accord

  • Disputes over land (i.e. Oka, Ipperwash, Caledonia)

  • The Nisga’a final Agreement (1998)

  • Ottawa’s apology for the Residential School System

  • The creation of Nunavut

  • The New Credit Settlement

  • The Idle No More Movement

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

    • What progress has been made with respect to Aboriginal land claims since 1982?

Identity, Citizenship and Heritage

  1. Identify how specific individuals, groups, organizations and symbols contributed to Canadian society and politics since 1982 and to the development of identity, citizenship, and heritage in Canada.

Possible Talking Points:



  • Lincoln Alexander

  • Louise Arbour

  • Shawn Atleo

  • Maude Barlow

  • Lucien Bouchard

  • June Callwood

  • Jean Chretien

  • Matthew Coon Come

  • Romeo Dallaire

  • Phil Fontaine

  • Stephen Harper

  • Michaelle Jean

  • Craig Keilburger

  • Brian Mulroney

  • Jeanne Sauve

  • Jean Vanier

  • The Assembly of the First Nations

  • The Reform Party

  • The Romanow Commission




Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

    • What criteria would you use to assess the contribution of Stephen Lewis to Canadian society and politics and to Canadian identity?
      dallaire



  1. Identify the significance of responses by Canada and Canadians to some key international events/developments since 1982.

Possible Talking Points:

  • The Gulf War

  • Events in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda

  • The War on Terror and the mission in Afghanistan.

  • Famine in Ethiopia.

  • The AIDS crisis.

  • The Refugee crisis in Darfur.

  • Natural disasters such as Indian Ocean Tsunami or the Earthquake in Haiti.

  • Climate Change

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

    • What was Canada’s involvement in Rwanda during the time of the genocide?

    • What effect did this involvement have in Rwanda, Canada and internationally?



  1. Identify some ways in which Canada and Canadians have, since 1982, acknowledged the consequences of and/or commemorated past events, with a focus on human tragedies and human rights violations that occurred in Canada or elsewhere in the world and explain the significance of these commemorations for identity and heritage in Canada.

Possible Talking Points:japanese-internment-camp-1

  • Apologies for the Chinese Head Tax

  • The internment of Japanese-Canadians.

  • Residential Schools.

  • Memorial days such as Remembrance Day.

  • Persons Day.

  • Government recognition of the Holocaust and Holodomor and of genocide in Armenia, Rwanda, Srebrenica

  • Plans to build a Human Rights museum or a memorial to Africville.

  • Black History or Aboriginal History Month

Sample Guiding Questions to help with your research for your essay:

    • When you review various types of commemorations, what criteria do you think have determined whether an event is commemorated by Canadians?

    • What do these criteria tell you about Canadian identity/heritage?


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