To mark the centennial of the first achievements of women’s suffrage in Canada, Historica Canada has created this Education Guide.
It asks students to examine issues of identity, equity, activism and justice in historical and contemporary contexts.
This Guide does not focus on the suffrage movement’s links to ideologies such as socialism, imperialism, racism and classism, though teachers may want to address these intersections. In particular, many suffragists did not (initially, at least) embrace a political democracy explicitly inclusive of Indigenous peoples, workers, and racialized minorities. The reputation of some activists also suffers from their later support for eugenics, although this was not an issue at the time. The Guide invites teachers and students to consider suffragists, their campaigns and their opponents as expressions of a diverse range of perspectives on human potential in the 19th and 20th centuries. Women’s suffrage constituted the single greatest expansion in the Canadian electorate and thus in the potential of democracy itself. This is not a side note to our nation’s history. It is central to Canada’s evolution.
Supporting documents for this Learning Tool
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