History (HIST) 426

Contemporary Canada: Canada After 1945 (Revision 2)

HIST 426 course cover

Permanently closed, effective March 11, 2019

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: Permission of the professor. HIST 225 is recommended. Students without a strong background in Canadian history but who have an interest in this course are urged to register in HIST 326 rather than HIST 426. HIST 426 is a more advanced version of HIST 326. Contact the course professor if you are in doubt.

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

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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HIST 426 is not available for challenge.

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HIST 426 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 426, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a minimum grade of 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:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 30%
Assignment 2 30%
Final Exam 40%
Total 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 who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

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.

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.

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Updated April 03 2019 by SAS