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History (HIST) 455

Canada and the Bomb: Canada and the World in the Cold War (Revision 3)

HIST 455 course cover

Revision 3 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version.

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None. HIST 225 is strongly recommended.

Faculty: FHSS - Centre for Humanities

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HIST 455 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course examines Canada's response to the unleashing of the atom's destructive power and the intense divisions between the two superpowers with the greatest control over that power. Among issues discussed are the range of official and private citizen attitudes to nuclear and conventional warfare, the Canadian armaments industry, Canada's role in the Vietnam war, and Canadian participation in NATO and NORAD.

Throughout the course, a key concern is the relationship of Canadian attitudes to nuclear and foreign-policy issues on the one hand, and Canadian views of the values informing our own society, on the other.


Unit 1: From War to Cold War, 1945-57

Unit 2: To the Brink and Back Again, 1957-68

Unit 3: The Era of Detente, 1968-79

Unit 4: The “Second” Cold War and the Thawing Out, 1979-91


To receive credit for HIST 455, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a minimum grade of 50 per cent on the final examination, and obtain a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 per cent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

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

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

Course Materials


Bothwell, Robert. 1998. The Big Chill: Canada and the Cold War. Toronto: Irwin.

Donaghy, Greg, ed. 1998. Canada and the Early Cold War, 1943-1957. Ottawa: Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Munton, Don, and John Kirton, eds. 1992. Canadian Foreign Policy: Selected Cases. Scarborough, ON: Prentice-Hall, 1992.

Other materials

The course materials include a study guide, a student manual and a book of readings.

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 455 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 3, March 18, 2008.

View previous syllabus


Last updated by SAS  09/10/2013 11:52:40