CBU to Offer Online Military History Courses

Cape Breton University’s Department of History and Culture is pleased to offer two new courses this year related to the centennial commemorations of the First World War. The courses will be taught online by Brian Tennyson, a professor emeritus of History at CBU.

“This is a timely set of courses, taught by an expert in the field,” says Andrew Parnaby, Chair, Department of History and Culture. “We are very happy to offer them.”

The first course, The First World War and Western Civilization, will examine the causes of the war, the crisis in 1914 that provoked it, and the course of the war itself. It will also address the war’s impact on civilians at home, the literature generated by the war, both at the time and in subsequent years. It will conclude with an examination of the impact of the war on Western civilization and how it changed the subsequent history of the world.

“The First World War was one of the most significant events in the entire history of Western civilization and indeed the world because of its incalculable impact on virtually all aspects of life, not just in Europe but throughout the world,” says Tennyson. “Essentially, it made the society that we live in and created many of the problems which still confront us such as instability in Eastern Europe and the on-going conflict in the Middle East.”

The second course, War and Society: An Introduction to Canadian Military History, will examine the military aspect of Canadian history from the early conflicts and relationships of Europeans with First Nations through the two world wars and the evolution of Canada’s military role in the world in recent years. It will also address the role of the military in maintaining civil order as in the 1837 uprisings and the 1970 Quebec crisis, and with respect to labour unrest as in the Winnipeg General Strike and in industrial Cape Breton in the 1920s.

“We will better understand contemporary Canada, if we devote some attention not only to the territorial growth of our nation, its constitutional evolution, its political, economic and social history but also the persistent but frequently misunderstood role of the military in our history,” says Tennyson. “People living in this part of the world that we now call Canada have engaged in warfare since the Europeans first arrived in the early 16th century. Indeed, the Aboriginal peoples who were already here had a long history of rivalry and conflict as well. The creation of Canada reflected the outcome of major wars between the British and French, then the British and Americans, in which Canadians participated. The two great wars of the 20th century not only involved Canadians in large numbers, but had a huge impact on the political, economic and cultural development of the country.”

For further information visit cbu.ca/academics/history