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76 Canadian History Essay Topics [2020 Ideas & Examples]

What do you recall when asked about Canadian history? About controversial events or memorable individuals? Or maybe cross-cultural influences? As Canada has it all. By recognizing the complexity of its past, you can understand the current situation. Through Canada’s history, you can see its national identity and the richness of culture.

The history of the US and Europe can overshadow the Canadian one. But to answer an essay question, you may need to study it as a separate nation. For this, find an idea to write about.

When choosing history topics for essays, try to select a multidimensional element of history. To find a good one for a school or college essay, we combined this list of topics.

Let’s get started!

🍁 Good Canadian History Essay Topics

If you are trying to find a good Canadian history essay topic, then you are in the right place. Here you’ll see ideas according to age and school grade. It should help you to navigate and get inspired for the essay writing.

It doesn’t matter if you are a first-grade student or an undergraduate student. This list will be useful for everyone. You don’t have to stick to your age group; it’s only our recommendation. The offered topics vary from sports, food, culture, economy.

😛 Canadian History Essay Topics for Kids

  1. Where does the word “Canada” come from?
  2. Indigenous people in Canada. The three categories of indigenous people in Canada are Inuit, Metis, and First Nations. In this essay, children can talk about each group’s cultural identity and their homeland. How do these groups differ from one another?
The focus of a history essay should be on one historical aspect.
  1. The voyageurs and Canadian indigenous people
  2. Under the French Rule. This topic is quite broad. You can focus on the ways French shaped Canadian culture. Or talk about food, language, and any other aspect they find interesting. There is a lot to discuss!
  3. Canada’s role in the First World War. This 20th century Canada history essay topic teach several valuable historical lessons. First, kids can enlarge their understanding of the First War War. Why did Canada have to enter the conflict? What role did the Canadian army play in this conflict?
  4. Canada in the Second World War and how did the war affect the country.
  5. The Canadian Constitution
  6. History of hockey in Canada. Hockey is regarded as the national game in Canada. It plays a massive role in the way people perceive Canada in the international arena. Discuss the significance of the game. Mention where it originated and who brought it to Canada.
  7. The life of Samuel de Champlain
  8. Maple Syrup as the Symbol of Canadian Culture. Maple syrup is one of Canada’s proudest products. It has a long history of production and distribution. How had Native Canadians been making this delicious sugary treat in the past? How did Europeans evolve their methods?
  9. History of Canadian Eastern Bunny
  10. The Acadian Culture. The Acadians are the Native Canadian people of the region. They are the descendants of French colonizers who settled in a beautiful area of Acadia. They speak a very distinct version of French called Acadian French. School students and kids can explore their food, their culture, literature, and music of the Acadians.
  11. Holidays of the First Natives
  12. The Causes of Canadian Confederation

🏫 Canadian History Essay Topics: High School

  1. The Aboriginals and Europeans
  2. First World War and the role of Canada. This is an interesting Canadian history essay topic for a high school student. Especially if you are looking to write about a significant world event from a non-European perspective.In this work, you can address several issues: Canadian sovereignty, colonial influence, and relationships within the country. Plus, examine in which ways this war changed the country.
  3. Women’s rights during the First World War. Canadian women play a massive role in the country. Though it wasn’t always this way. Before the First World War, Canadian women had a small role in political and social affairs. It all changed during the war. Women had to take more responsibility, supporting social life and war efforts. It allowed them to be heard. Discuss the positive effects the First World War had on the emancipation of women in Canada.
The wars has affected Canadian women.
Source: Thecanadianencyclopedia.ca
  1. World War I and its influence on Canada
  2. The political climate in the 1920s
  3. An Anti-Liquor Legislation in Canada
  4. The Great Depression’s influence on the Canadian identity. Students usually study this period of Canadian history in the 10th Grade. Elaborate on how the Great Depression affected the political and economic situation.
  5. Second World War and Canada before, during, and after the war
  6. Trudeau’s Era and how his policies changed the country
  7. The Settlers influence on the Canadian economy
  8. History: Native Canadians and Indian Act Essay
  9. The impact of the Great Depression on Canada. Explore one of the most significant events in Canadian history. Elaborate why Canada got so severely affected by the crisis, especially in the prairie areas. In the end, describe the process of recovery. What steps did the government have to take to help people and the economy to get back on track?
  10. The history of Canada through immigration. Canada is one of the few countries in the world that is very generous towards immigrants. Why do Canadians have this “open arms attitude”? What influenced the immigration policies?

🎓 Canadian History Essay Topics: University

  1. No American Slavery and Canada
  2. Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada
  3. Bilingualism and Bilingual Identity in Canada
  4. The Perception of WWI as an “English War”. It is not a secret that the vast majority of Canadians viewed WWI as an “English War.” At that time, the nation’s ties to Great Britain were solid. After Great Britain declared the war, Canada entered it automatically. In this essay, you can talk about common sentiment.
  5. Canada’s International Relationships during the two World Wars
  6. Social Conflicts in Canada at the beginning of the 20th Century
  7. The 20th Century Immigration Waves. Canada is the country built by immigrants. This essay is a great way to explore Canada’s immigrant success. See what policies have been implemented in the 20th century to promote immigration.
  8. The role of women’s labor in British Columbia
  9. Wall Street Market Crash in 1929 and how it changed Canada
  10. Colonization and Aboriginal People’s Loss of Connection to the Land. Talk about “the colonial wound” that the aboriginal people experienced. They lost the connection to the land, to the language, to the core of their identity. Explore the fur trade, the treaties, the residential schools, the Indian act. Think about how it could have affected the people.
A good topic for a high school or college essay, or as a term paper.
  1. Economic Boost in Canada after WWII. Like many countries in the world, Canada experienced an economic boost after the war. Mention the transformation that the country experienced in the industrial sector.
  2. Social and Economic Change in Canada after WWII.
  3. The relationships between English and French Canadians. Anglophone and Francophone relationships in Canada were not always smooth. There was tension back in the 20th century, which led to the separation between the two groups. Comment on the principal reasons for the tension. How does bilingualism fit into modern Canada?
  4. Mi’kmaq in Culture and in Religion
  5. Canadian Multiculturalism on Race and Ethnicity
  6. Feminism in Canada
  7. The Correlation between Art History and the history of Canada.This essay gives a unique opportunity to look at the history of Canada through art history. Art is a subjective way to process reality, but at the same time, it’s one of the purest forms of history. It focuses on people and their emotions rather than dates and places. A good topic for anyone who likes art and history!
  8. Overlooked Persons: Women, Workers, & “Others” in 19th Century “Ontario.”

🎖️ Canadian Military History Essay Topics

Canadian military history is rich. It starts with the Indigenous Welfare, continues with the French and Iroquois Wars. Then, there are British and French Conflicts, French and Indian Wars. In modern history, the Canadian Army participated in both World Wars. Besides, it took part in the Korean War, in the Gulf War, in the Afghan War, the Cold War, and many others.

Canadian links to Great Britain and the US are very strong. That’s why it usually supports large multinational coalitions. It does not declare wars, but still, you can see the Canadian army forces present.

Nevertheless, Canada tries to remain committed to peacekeeping efforts. It participated in every UN peacekeeping effort from its inception until 1988.

This list focuses on the interesting Canadian military history essay topics.

  1. Canadian army in Vietnam. Officially, the Canadian Army did not declare the war against Vietnam. However, recent papers revealed that in 1971 Canada was actively supporting the US army. Additionally, 30.000 Canadians volunteered to serve in the American Army during the war. It could be a debatable essay with a lot of historical evidence.
  2. What role did Canada play during the Cold War? Canada was a founding member of NATO. It played a significant role during the Cold War. Even though it was an American ally, it had a different foreign policy. School students can try to elaborate on the relationships between Canada and the Soviet Union. Comment on post-war paranoia, as well as anti-Communist propaganda. Talk about hockey and the famous Canada versus Soviet Union series.
  3. Canada’s Involvement in WWII: the causes and effects
More than 45,000 Canadians gave their lives during WWII and another 55,000 were wounded.
Source: Veterans.gc.ca
  1. The Canadian Army in the two World Wars
  2. Aboriginals in the Canadian Army. This research paper can focus on the role the aboriginals played and are playing in the Canadian Army. Nowadays, more than 1000 Native Canadians serve in the Army. They represent more than 55 languages and almost 650 different tribes. Examine the role of the indigenous troops in the World Wars.
  3. A history of women in the Canadian Army
  4. The Canadian military history since 2000
  5. The Military Involvement of Canada in the Korean War
  6. The Canadian Army in Afghanistan. Critically examine Canadian Involvement in the conflict in Afghanistan. What was the World’s response? What was the Canadian contribution to the campaign against terrorism? Include some numbers and figures into the essay to make it factual.
  7. Is Canada a peacekeeping country? Canada tries to play a significant role in peacekeeping efforts, taking part in many related missions in the past years. You can analyze the deployments and missions. What solutions did the Canadian Army promote? Is it possible to keep neutrality in the conflicts?
  8. Canadian military funding
  9. Patriotism and Nationalism in Canada
  10. How the First World War Changed Canada
  11. The Beaver Wars. Several questions can be asked: why was beaver fur so critical in the Beaver Wars? What caused the Beaver Wars? What was the outcome of these conflicts?
  12. Canada and the American Revolution
  13. Invasion of Quebec
  14. Canada and the Soviet Union. If you decide to write an essay about Canada-Soviet Union relations, you will not regret it. The relationships did not start until 1941, but it evolved significantly during the 20th century. Talk about Pierre Trudeau’s role in changing them for the best and think why he wanted to lessen the ties with the US. What about cultural relations between these two nations? What about hockey?

🎨 Canadian Art History Essay Topics

Canadian Art becomes increasingly popular around the world. Nevertheless, Canada is a young nation, and the creation of Canadian Art is in process. There is still a long and fascinating journey ahead.

Canadian visual art tradition started at the beginning of the 19th. The most celebrated artists were immigrants. For instance, an Irish artist Paul Kane or a Dutch painter Cornelius Krieghoff.

Only at the beginning of the 20th century, Canadian art became genuinely Canadian. Let’s see the most peculiar Canadian Art History essay topics:

  1. The alternative realism of Kent Monkman
  2. First Nations Imagery in Emily Carr’s works. Emily Carr was one of the most influential artists in Canada. The Indigenous people inspired her, and her art reflects it. Learn about the artist, understand the work, and what she was trying to say with her art.
  3. Love and Loss in Maria Chapdelaine
  4. The Great War in the works of J.E.H. Macdonald
  5. Women and Girls in Annie Pootoogook’s paintings
  6. Indigenous Art in Canada. Aboriginal people in Canada have developed a very distinct artistic tradition. See what techniques, colors, shapes, and themes were standard in indigenous art. Use Robert Davidson, Bill Reid, Jerry Whitehead, as an excellent example of indigenous artists.
  7. The story of the Group of Seven. This essay topic is one of the most important for Canadian Art. It is with this group of artists, a distinctly Canadian art started to develop. Students should write about the group’s proposition and the movement it started. Elaborate why for this group nature was so important, why did they paint landscapes?
The Group of Seven is a collective of artists.
Source: Hyperallergic.com
  1. Abstract Art in Canada
  2. How the totem pole became the symbol of Canadian Art?
  3. The Barbizon School artists in Canada. The Barbizon School of Art had a very significant influence on the Canadian Artists. You can comment on the school in general. Explain why this theme was so important for Canadian artists. Find several artists that appeal to you and analyze their work.
  4. Nationalism and the Group of Seven
  5. Contemporary Canadian Art. Aboriginal Art heavily influenced Canadian art. This connection becomes even more apparent in modern art. Examine contemporary landscape artists, contemporary urban landscape works. Explore photography and video as well.
  6. Women and the Artistic Field in Canada
  7. The Indian Group of Seven. This topic is for everyone who loves art for the artistic value of it. That is exactly what this group is promoting. They believe that there should be a shift made from the “aboriginal” to the “artistic” value of their art. However, it is not their only proposition. Talk about the social and cultural aspects of their manifesto.

✒️ How to Write an Essay on Canadian History

A history essay is one of the things every student has to learn how to write. Throughout your studying, you will most probably have to write hundreds of history essays.

Knowing the past is essential, but being able to connect the past with the present is paramount. Without these connections, history remains in the books; it does not become alive.

This mini-guide can help you to write a solid essay on Canadian history.

1) Define your topic

Even though you have the list of ideas available, it can be challenging. To narrow down your topic, ask questions. Here is the best way to do that:

  • Identify what interests you
  • Review what you have already written
  • Find a topic you understand well

For instance, you can talk about “Immigrants in Canada,” or you can narrow down the topic to “Immigrant workers in Canada 1830-1840.”

2) Determine your thesis statement

To define your thesis statement, you will need to turn your topic into a question.

For example:

Your essay topic is “Immigrant workers in Canada 1830-1840”. Your preliminary thesis can be “British pauper children filled an important labor shortage on Canadian farms between 1830 and 1940.”

You can later refine it even further to make it sound more like:

“Canada’s practice of importing young child laborers was the controversial result of Britain’s attempts to deal with the poor and to fill Canada’s labor needs. Changing public perceptions of childhood led to the demise of child labor importation.”

The main goal is to keep the thesis simple enough but also to make it worth exploring and writing about. A good thesis is specific, explanatory, and argumentative.

A strong thesis statement justifies discussion in an academic paper.
Source: Wts.indiana.edu

3) Research

It does not matter how well you know the topic or how simple you think it is. There is one step you can never skip—your research. It is the best point of departure, and it will help you see what others wrote about it.

The bibliography is the foundation of your essay. You won’t be able to build a strong argument without a strong foundation. For this purpose, find trustworthy primary and secondary sources.

To find materials use:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Online library and databases (JSTOR, Google Books, Google Scholar)
  • Books
  • Shelf search

4) Take Notes

This step is not obligatory, but it can help you save a lot of time. Write down an essential piece of data from your sources. Note where the information comes from and why you need it later.

5) Create an outline

Consider taking this step even before you start writing. Why? It helps you to see your essay (and your arguments) even before you wrote it. It also prevents you from losing sight of your evidence. You can use other essays as your essay template.

Five steps for creating an essay outline.

6) Write, Revisit, Edit

While writing, keep your thesis in mind and try not to deviate. As you continue writing and reflecting, you will have more questions. So, don’t forget to adjust your thesis if it changes.

Revising and editing the essay are the last steps. Editing consists of looking for errors in grammar, syntax, word usage, spelling, and punctuation.

Thank you for reading, and good luck with the essay! Share the article with those who may find it useful and leave a comment below.

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"76 Canadian History Essay Topics [2020 Ideas & Examples]." IvyPanda, 16 Oct. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/topic/canadian-history-essay-topics/.

1. IvyPanda. "76 Canadian History Essay Topics [2020 Ideas & Examples]." October 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/canadian-history-essay-topics/.


IvyPanda. "76 Canadian History Essay Topics [2020 Ideas & Examples]." October 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/canadian-history-essay-topics/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "76 Canadian History Essay Topics [2020 Ideas & Examples]." October 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/canadian-history-essay-topics/.


IvyPanda. (2021) '76 Canadian History Essay Topics [2020 Ideas & Examples]'. 16 October.

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