Conflict and Compromise: Post-Confederation Canada

Conflict and Compromise: Post-Confederation Canada

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By Raymond B. Blake, Jeffrey Keshen, Norman J. Knowles, and Barbara J. Messamore
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2017
368 Pages
ISBN 9781442635579
Published May 2017
ISBN 9781442635586
Published May 2017

Driven by its strong narrative, Conflict and Compromise presents Canadian history chronologically, allowing a better understanding of the interrelationships between events. Its main objective is to demonstrate that although Canadian history has been marked by cleavages and conflicts, there has been a continual process of negotiation and a need for compromise which has enabled Canada to develop into arguably one of the most successful and pluralistic countries in the world. The authors have drawn from all genres characterizing the present state of Canadian historiography, including social, military, cultural, political, and economic approaches. In doing so their aim is to challenge readers to engage with debates and interpretations about the past rather than simply to study for an exam.

The second volume begins with the nation-building project that got underway in 1864 and ends in the present. The book is illustrated with over 60 images, maps, and figures, all designed to support its mission to provide intellectual curiosity.

Raymond B. Blake is Professor and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Regina.

Jeffrey A. Keshen is Dean of Arts at Mount Royal University.

Norman J. Knowles is Professor of History at St. Mary's University in Calgary, Alberta.

Barbara J. Messamore is Associate Professor of History at the University of the Fraser Valley.


1. Creating a Nation in an Era of Change and Anxiety: Canada 1864–1873
2. Challenges, Realties, and Promises: The National Dream and Colonization, 1874–1896
3. Development and Dissonance, 1896–1914
4. Nation in Crisis: Responding to War and Upheaval, 1914–1919
5. The Turbulent Twenties
6. Collapse, Retrenchment, and the Promise of Reform, 1929–1939
7. Managing the Nation: The Struggle for Unity, 1939–1945
8. Prosperity, Prejudice, and Paranoia, 1945–1957
9. The Search for Justice and Equality, 1957–1967
10. Confronting Injustices, Searching for Inclusion, 1968–1984
11. Compromise and Negotiation in Crisis, 1984–1993
12. The New Millennium: Searching for National Purpose


Conflict and Compromise is a comprehensive, opinionated, thoughtful, and, ultimately, essential textbook of Canadian history. Its narrative approach is ideal for survey courses, giving students the year-by-year and issue-by-issue historical context with which they can make sense of the nation's past. Always judicious in their assessments, the authors also aren't afraid to take a stand. An ideal introduction to Canada's history.

Christopher Dummit, Trent University

With an engaging style and clear presentation, Conflict and Compromise incorporates the latest research and deftly balances political, social, economic, and cultural histpory in its account of Canada's past. Successes are noted alongside failures, and individual flaws alongside individual aspirations. More than this, it links the past with the present so that students may understand that Canadian history is a dynamic force. Conflict and Compromise justifies the complexity of Canadian history inasmuch as it validates Canada's place in the world.

Stephanie Bangarth, King's University College, Western University