This activity leads students to interpret the birth of Canadian federation, particularly through the concepts of industrialization and the “National Policy.” It also encourages them to reflect on economic changes and political power in today’s world.

The activity takes advantage of the resources grouped under the theme The National Policy and Uncle Sam’s Chagrin, namely:  a movie clip an introductory text on the theme  five cartoons, dating from the 1870s, with accompanying documentation

It may be carried out after completing the suggested activities under the themes Once a Politician, Always a Butt: Introduction to Editorial Cartooning and The birth and torment of Miss Canada and Johnny Canuck, or the beginnings of the federation.

Teachers may prepare materials for their students on the basis of the following instructions.

Duration : Three or four periods of 75 minutes.


I. CONTEXT: MONTREAL’S INDUSTRIALIZATION

Encourage students to reflect on Montreal Read More

This activity leads students to interpret the birth of Canadian federation, particularly through the concepts of industrialization and the “National Policy.” It also encourages them to reflect on economic changes and political power in today’s world.

The activity takes advantage of the resources grouped under the theme The National Policy and Uncle Sam’s Chagrin, namely:

  •  a movie clip
  • an introductory text on the theme
  •  five cartoons, dating from the 1870s, with accompanying documentation

It may be carried out after completing the suggested activities under the themes Once a Politician, Always a Butt: Introduction to Editorial Cartooning and The birth and torment of Miss Canada and Johnny Canuck, or the beginnings of the federation.

Teachers may prepare materials for their students on the basis of the following instructions.

Duration : Three or four periods of 75 minutes.


I. CONTEXT: MONTREAL’S INDUSTRIALIZATION

Encourage students to reflect on Montreal’s place in modern-day Quebec.

  • Why do so many people live in the Greater Montreal region?
  • What draws people to this city?

Students should address the question of employment and job opportunities.

To help students understand how Montreal evolved during the second half of the 19th century and how industrialization impacted on its growth, present the video clip “Montreal 1850-1896: The Industrial City1 from the McCord Museum Web site. At the same time, present the following listening intentions:

  1. How can Montreal’s growth since the 1850s be explained? (principally the expansion of the manufacturing industry)
  2. What did Montreal factories produce? (shoes, clothing and other consumer goods, but also tools, locomotives and various durable goods

Continue by asking students to identify various characteristics of the concept of industrialization. More specifically, have them create a list of its features by visiting the McCord Museum Web site to view the following three illustrations and read the accompanying documentation.

Ask students to share their ideas in order to create a conceptual map (semantic network) or draw up the most comprehensive list possible of the characteristics of industrialization (factories, workers, division of labour, resources, production methods, capital, transportation, social classes, etc.).

II. HYPOTHESES ON INDUSTRIALIZATION AND THE NATIONAL POLICY

To begin this stage of the activity, ask students to describe how an economic crisis might manifest itself today.

Next, explain to them that Montreal’s economy was rocked by a major crisis around 1870. Then, taking into account Montreal’s emerging industrialization of 1850 to 1870, ask them to explain how this crisis could have manifested itself.

Next, ask students to reflect on the steps that the newly-created Canadian federation might have taken to contain the raging economic crisis of the 1870s.

  • Remember, the Canadian federation included seven provinces during this period: Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia joined at the beginning; Manitoba joined in 1870; British Columbia joined in 1871; and Prince Edward Island joined in 1873.

Students’ production outcomes:

  • Formulate written hypotheses (possible answers) on what the young Canadian federation could have done to stimulate industrial activity while its economy was in the grip of a major crisis (during the 1870s).

Present the video clip “The National Policy and Uncle Sam’s Chagrin” and identify the following listening intentions:

  1. What were the three major steps that Prime Minister John A. Macdonald planned to adopt to revive the Canadian economy? (support the establishment of Canadian industries, help create a national market by linking Canada from sea to sea, and start exploiting the immense western territories)
  2. What did the government do to encourage the population to buy Canadian? In 1879 the tariffs on American products were raised, making them more expensive than their Canadian counterparts.)
  3. What was used to open up and settle the West? (the railway)

Refer back to the students’ hypotheses to see if they are supported by information gathered from the video clip. If necessary, have the students reread the introductory text on the theme The National Policy and Uncle Sam’s Chagrin.

Next, have the students do a comparison exercise (in the form of a chart) on economic policies, noting the distinctions between protectionist and free trade policies. Provide the appropriate definitions:

  • Protectionism: “The theory, practice, or system of fostering or developing domestic industries by protecting them from foreign competition through duties or quotas imposed on importations.” 6
  • Free trade: “International buying and selling of goods, without limits on the amount of goods that one country can sell to another, and without special taxes on the goods bought from a foreign country.” 7

To examine some of the components of the National Policy, ask students to view the five cartoons and read the related documentation presented under the theme The National Policy and Uncle Sam’s Chagrin.

During a class discussion, summarize with the students the characteristics of the National Policy: is it a protectionist or free trade policy?


III. INTERPRET A CARTOON DEPICTING THE NATIONAL POLICY

Students’ production outcomes:

  • Using the chart below, students interpret the following cartoon depicting the National Policy. Why do they think Uncle Sam is in a bad mood and what appears to be the cartoonist’s message?: M993X.5.818 Accross the line. 8
  • For additional information, refer to the “New Canadian Reality” text, available in the EduWeb section of the McCord Museum Web site.9

Note: the following chart is also used as part of the Initiation to Interpreting Editorial Cartoons activity, under the theme Once a Politician, Always a Butt: Introduction to Editorial Cartooning.


Note the data for the cartoon:

  • Cartoon title:
  • Author:
  • Media-newspaper (if known):
  • Date of first publication and page # (if known):
  •  Accession number (identifying number in the McCord Museum collection):

Describe the cartoon:

The “WHAT” or the SHAPE-FUNCTION key:

  • What words are used in the cartoon?
  • Find definitions for any unusual words or expressions
  • If there is a dialogue, what does each cartoon say?
  • What is happening?

Document the cartoon:

The “WHO” or the PEOPLE key:

  • Who is depicted in the cartoon? What do we know about these people?
  • What are the characters’ physical gestures and facial expressions?
  • Are characters stereotyped?
  • Are these characters symbolic?

The “WHERE” or the PLACE key

  • In what situation are the characters placed?
  • Is the illustrator using analogy?
  • Are visual elements, signs or symbols being used?

The “WHEN” or the TIME key

  • What historical event or fact does the cartoon depict?
  • Are these people or these issues still important today?

Interpret the cartoon:

The “WHY” or the MEANING key

  • In a few words, what message is this cartoon trying to send?
  • Can the point of view or values (political, religious, regional, ethnic, economic, etc.) of the cartoonist be identified?
  • What does the cartoon teach us about the historical context of the period?

 

IV. ECONOMIC CHANGE AND POLITICAL POWERS IN TODAY’S WORLD

Ask students to reflect on the role of government in shaping economic policies in a period of globalization. Have them discuss the topic together, then form an opinion and draw a cartoon to illustrate their point of view.

Start by displaying the following contemporary cartoon, available on the McCord Museum Web site:

Begin a class discussion on protectionism and free trade by providing the following information on contemporary economics:

  • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), adopted in 1994 by the United States, Mexico and Canada, led to the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers on goods and services traded between these countries. It helped to strengthen the presence of American firms or their subsidiaries in the two countries. 11
  • In the manufacturing sector, “some 100,000 jobs disappeared in less than four years. [...] After the textile, garment and furniture industries, sectors such as transportation equipment, aeronautics, plastics, printing and pharmaceuticals began facing the threat of Chinese competition.[...] In 30 years, the share of manufacturing sector jobs in the local economy has dropped from 23 to 16 percent.” [translation]12  China is becoming “the world’s factory.” [translation]13
  • Some businesses have relocated, meaning they have shifted a certain number of tasks abroad.” [translation] . “Unlike the U.S. government, the Canadian government has not established targeted programs designed to help workers who have lost their jobs as a result of relocations linked to the rise of international trade.” [translation]14

Next, ask students to answer the following question:

  • Should the federal and provincial governments intervene to protect the manufacturing sector? Why?15

Another possibility is to ask them to create a cartoon expressing their opinion on economic globalization (for example, a student might draw a Canadian flag bearing the words “Made in China”).

1. www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/en/keys/webtours , choose “Alphabetical Order”, then “Montreal 1850-1896: The Industrial City."

2. www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/M930.50.5.142  

3. www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/M930.50.8.79  

4. www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/M979.87.5024

5.  www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/M979.87.5000

6. Dictionary.com. “Protectionism”, [On line]. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Protectionism  (Page consulted May, 24 2007)

7. Cambridge Dictionaries Online. “Free trade”, [On line]. http://dictionary.cambridge.org  (Page consulted May, 24 2007)

8. www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/M993X.5.818

9.  www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/eduweb/texts/summary/1867-1896

10. www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/collection/artifacts/M997.53.102

11. Jasmin, Éric and Sylvain Zini. « Fiche sur les accords régionaux. L’accord de libre-échange nord-américain, 1990-2006 ». Website of the Observatoire des Amériques, octobre 2006, p.49 [On line] http://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/ieim/IMG/pdf/ALENA_vfinale-13oct06.pdf  (Page consulted May, 24 2007)

12. Théroux, Pierre. Journal LesAffaires. « Une épée de Damoclès sur le secteur manufacturier ». Article publié le 1 février 2007 [On line]
http://www.lesaffaires.com/article/0/economie/2007-02-01/250532/une-epee-de-damocles-sur-le-secteur-manufacturier.fr.html  (Page consulted May, 24 2007)

13.Gouvernement du Canada, Service d’information et de recherche parlementaire. « Le Canada et la délocalisation des entreprises ». March 21, 2005. [On line] http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/prb0459-f.htm#ALesavantages  (Page consulted May, 24 2007)

14. Centre de recherches sur les politiques et le développement social de l’Université de Montréal (CPDS). Website of PolitiquesSociales.Net. « Notes synthèse, Le Canada, Licenciements, Délocalisations, Zones franches ». Document [On line] http://www.politiquessociales.net/Licenciements-delocalisations,65  (Page created March, 7 2007, and consulted May, 24 2007)

15. See the press release of the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ). « Plus de 33 000 pertes d’emplois dans le secteur manufacturier au Québec entre janvier et février 2007 » [On line] http://www.ftq.qc.ca/modules/communiques/communique.php?id=859&langue=fr&menu=2&sousmenu=34  (Page created March, 9 2007)


© 2006, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The activity on the learning object The National Policy and Uncle Sam’s Chagrin ties into the Québec Education Program History and Citizenship Education in Secondary 3 (1st year of the 2nd cycle secondary). It is designed to lead students in interpreting the birth of Canadian federation, particularly through concepts of industrialization and the “National Policy.” It also encourages them to reflect on economic changes and political power in today’s world. This activity specifically draws upon vintage cartoons of the 1870s.

The educational aim is “to enable students to exercise critical, ethical and aesthetic judgment with respect to the media,” and in particular to enhance their “awareness of the place and influence of the different media in his/her daily life and in society,” as well as their “understanding of media representations of reality.”

The targeted educational outcomes are:

  • Competency 1: Examines social phenomena from a historical perspective.
  • Competency 2: Interprets social phenomena using the historical method.
  • Competency 3: Constructs his/her consciousness of citizenship through the study of history.
  • Methodology: Interpretation of an iconographic document.
  • Social phenomena: Formation of Canadian federation.
  • Concepts: Industrialization, free trade, National Policy.
  •  Historical knowledge: Economic conditions.
  • Cross-curricula competency 1: Uses information.
  • Cross-curricula competency 4: Uses creativity.
  • Cross-curricula competency 6: Uses information and communication technologies.

From:
Québec, ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport [MÉLS]. History and Citizenship Education, Quebec Education Program, Secondary Cycle Two, Validation Document, 2005.


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