History (HIST) 326

Contemporary Canada: Canada After 1945 (Revision 2)

HIST 326 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: HIST 225 is recommended.

Precluded Course: HIST 426 (HIST 326 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for HIST 426).

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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HIST 326 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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HIST 326 focuses on social change and social conflict since 1945. Beginning with a study of the Cold War in the immediate aftermath of World War II, it demonstrates both official and popular efforts to create a conservative society in which dissent was suppressed, class, sexual, and racial hierarchies were maintained, and the United States was the arbiter of political, economic, and cultural correctness. It then examines the social pressures that challenged such an agenda in the decades following the war. Included in the study of social conflicts are the emergence of the women's movement, movements of Native peoples and visible-minority groups, as well as the Quebec independence movement and movements of regional resistance to the perceived federal agenda. Particular emphasis is placed on the social experiences of the generations born after the war, the “baby boomers,” followed by the “Generation Xers.” Also included is a study of the emergence first of the Keynesian welfare state and later the neo-conservative challenge to its expansion and indeed to its existence.


  • Unit 1: The Cold War
  • Unit 2: Nation of Immigrants
  • Unit 3: Social History of the Post-War Period
  • Unit 4: The Changing Status of Women
  • Unit 5: Nationalism and Regionalism


To receive credit for HIST 326, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a mark of at least 50 percent on the final examination, and obtain a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3 Final Exam Total
20% 20% 20% 40% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

All assignments are essays of about 2000 words each. The essays are based on course readings as well as supplementary readings, for which suggestions will be made.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Finkel, Alvin. 2012. Our Lives: Canada after 1945, 2nd edition. Toronto: James Lorimer.

Amy, Knight. How the Cold War Began: The Gouzenko Affair and the Hunt for Soviet Spies.

Other Materials

The course materials include a book of readings. All other materials will be available to students online.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HIST 326 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, March 12, 2009.

View previous syllabus

Updated May 17 2016 by SAS