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Origins: Canadian History to Confederation, 8th Edition

By Robert Wardhaugh, Alan MacEachern, R. Douglas Francis, Richard Jones, Donald B. Smith
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Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 0176593098
ISBN-13: 9780176593094
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 8th

Origins and its post-Confederation partner Destinies continue their unrivalled ability to tell the story of the history of Canada by balancing different types of history while maintaining a coherent narrative that does not drown the reader in detail. In their new editions, these books have made even greater investment in student engagement, from beautiful production values to a careful integration of social history, with relevant examples that show readers history in the novels and films around them.


  • *NEW* The authors have expanded coverage of environmental history, recognizing how issues such as oil sands extraction and climate change have grown in prominence.
  • *NEW* Expanded coverage of Canada's position in the Atlantic world—tied as it has historically been to Western Europe and the United States—moves readers beyond the nation state toward a more thorough consideration of history in transnational and international terms.
  • *NEW* In keeping with a greater awareness of the nation's settler colonial past, the authors have incorporated more history of the First Nations and of Canada's treatment of them.
  • Origins continues its successful tradition of taking a narrative approach to history, telling the story of Canada from the last Ice Age to Confederation in 1867, while also recognizing changes in Canadian historical scholarship.
  • Structured chronologically to help students understand how events developed over time, Origins is divided into large thematic sections, each introduced by a brief overview of topics highlighted in the section's chapters.
  • Each chapter treats a period (or region or theme) and begins with a "Time Line" listing the key events discussed (exceptions occur when the colonies were developing independently, in which case their histories are presented regionally).
  • "Where Historians Disagree" boxes provide a historiographical perspective by highlighting some of the most contentious debates in history, along with highlighting some of the innovative work being done by Canadian historians.
  • Historical Portraits feature both well-known and not-so-well-known people whose lives and experiences reflect important issues and trends.
  • Community Portraits highlight the contributions of selected communities.

Table of Contents

  • List of Maps
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: The First Peoples
  • Part One: Early European Settlement to 1760
  • Chapter 2: The Arrival of the Europeans
  • Chapter 3: The Beginnings of New France
  • Chapter 4: The Iroquois, the Wendat (Huron), and the French
  • Chapter 5: Province de France, 1663?1760
  • Chapter 6: The Acadians
  • Chapter 7: The Struggle for a Continent
  • Part Two: Colonial Societies in British North America, 1760 to 1815
  • Chapter 8: The Conquest of Quebec, 1760?1774
  • Chapter 9: Quebec Society in the Late Eighteenth Century
  • Chapter 10: Maritime Society, 1760?1815
  • Chapter 11: Upper Canada, 1791?1815
  • Chapter 12: The Fur Trade and the Northwest, 1700?1821
  • Part Three: The Canadas, 1815 to the 1860s
  • Chapter 13: Rebellion and Change on the St. Lawrence
  • Chapter 14: Growth and Rebellion in Upper Canada
  • Chapter 15: The Union of the Canadas: Economic and Social Developments, 1840?1864
  • Chapter 16: The Union of the Canadas: Political Developments, 1840?1864
  • Part Four: Colonies and Hinterlands, 1815 to 1867
  • Chapter 17: The Maritime Colonies, 1815?1864
  • Chapter 18: Newfoundland: The Land Apart
  • Chapter 19: The Northwest
  • Chapter 20: The Pacific Coast
  • Part Five: Toward Confederation
  • Chapter 21: The Road to Confederation
  • Index

Author Information

Robert Wardhaugh

Dr. Wardhaugh is a political and regional historian of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Canada whose research interests include federalism, the Prairie West, rural/small town, and the Métis. Dr. Wardhaugh teaches courses on all aspects of Canadian history. He was nominated for the Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2004 and 2005, and won the award in 2008.

Alan MacEachern

Alan MacEachern teaches and researches Canadian history, with an emphasis on environmental history. Professor MacEachern is director of NiCHE: Network in Canadian History & Environment and editor of the Canadian History and Environment series at the University of Calgary Press.

R. Douglas Francis

Douglas Francis teaches Canadian history at the University of Calgary. He has published Frank H. Underhill: Intellectual Provocateur (University of Toronto Press, 1986), which won the J.W. Dafoe Book Prize (1986) for the best book published on a subject of national and international importance, and Images of the West: Changing Perceptions of the Prairies, 1690-1960 (Western Producer Prairie Books, 1989), which was awarded a Regional Award of Merit from the Association for Canadian Studies. Mr. Francis co-authored a two-volume history of Canada: Origins: Canadian History to 1867 and Destinies: Canadian History since 1867, 6th ed (Nelson, 2008), and a one-volume history, Journeys: A History of Canada (Nelson Thomson Learning, 2005). In addition to writing, he has edited a number of books (with Donald B. Smith) including Readings in Canadian History: Pre-Confederation and Readings in Canadian History: Post-Confederation, 7th editions (Nelson Thomson Learning, 2006) He has published numerous articles in Canadian intellectual and Western Canadian history. He was Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies in Japan from 1991 to 1993, and in Dresden, Germany in 2005.

Richard Jones

Richard Jones was Professor of Canadian History at Université Laval from 1970 to 2000. He is particularly interested in French-English relations, issues relating to language and immigration.

Donald B. Smith

Donald Smith was born in Toronto in l946, and raised in Oakville, Ontario. He prepared both his B.A. and his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, and his M.A. at the Universite Laval in Quebec City. In l974 he began teaching Canadian history at the University of Calgary. Professor Smith's main research field is Native History, an area in which he has published three biographies: Long Land. The True Story of an Impostor (l982): Sacred Feathers. The Reverend Peter Jones (Kahkewaquonaby) and the Mississauga Indians (1987), and From the Land of Shadows. The Making of Grey Oel (l990). Currently he is writing a history of twentieth century Calgary.