Logically organizing a topic as diverse and wide-ranging as Canadian history into specific periods is complex and challenging. Canadian history spans hundreds of years, covers numerous events from varying points of views, and contains dimensions of culture, theme, and politics. To grasp the logical and appropriate organization of history into periods, it is helpful to refer to appropriate text sources.
Two Canadian History texts, intended for use by undergraduates, by Bumstead and Silver will be considered. Specifically, the manner in which they organize Canadian history into logical and comprehensive periods will be taken into account. Each text establishes an chorological framework starting with early history and moving towards latter history. Within this framework they create several historical periods defined chronologically. Each period is intended to represent as logically as possible the major cultural inclinations, political and social events, and thematic trends occurring within that period. Bumstead and Silver outline several broad periods including, early history, French and British rule, Upper and Lower Canada, Eastern and Western Canada, confederation, dominion, and the twentieth century. Once these broad historical periods are established both historians then delve into each period with a more specific focus, Silver has a social focus within each period, and Bumstead has a contemporary and revisionist thematic focus.
Defining specific periods which represent the dominant themes and events taking place within the period is a way of organizing the vast entirety of Canadian history into a format that is logical, reasonable, and accessible. This logical organization allows for greater specificity within each period and is a reasonable way to organize Canadian History.
Canadian Historical Periods in the Relative Index
The relative index is alphabetically organized, contains terms used in the schedules and tables, and demonstrates relationships of subjects to disciples (Taylor 419). Canadian historical periods are well represented and easy to locate in the relative index. This topic can be located through use of broad terms like Canada and more specific terms like specific historical periods while searching through the index. Providing both broad and narrow terms in the index, representing the actual terms and headings used in the schedules and tables does two things. It makes this topic easy to access and locate and it creates numerous different points of access into this topic from the relative index. If one is unable to find this topic with a narrow search term, they can move towards a broader term (Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index). In this way, the relative index provides a good level of direction and guidance. The vocabulary is only as current as the date of the last publication. In the case of the twenty second edition of the manual, the vocabulary of history only goes up...