Analysing Cause and Effect
History provides opportunities for students to complete and
analyse data, in print and non-print form, in order to make sense
out of the human story. Historians may adapt several avenues for
interpreting the human story and lending significance to it:
- Historians may examine how change marches on at a fairly
steady pace (i.e., continuity) along a chronological
sequence. Nonetheless, this chain of events results in
differences between actions, events, or eras (i.e., change).
- Historians may explore the notion that an event rarely
results from a single cause but from a complex array of
events (i.e., multiple causation).
- Historians may explore how disagreements and differences
of opinions (i.e., conflict) among individuals, groups, or
nations may lead to change.
Historians who look back at the Confederation era attempt to
arrive at an understanding of the inevitability of Newfoundland's
and Labrador's entry into Confederation. More
specifically, the question is raised, "How can the success of
the Confederate forces be explained?" To answer this question
students will realize that the event was multi-causational and
By examining this question, students will achieve the following
Canadian History 1201
- Examine the part played by key groups
- Know reasons used by Confederates.
- Know reason used by anti-Confederates.
- Know options other than Confederation or Responsible
- Examine methods used by Confederate and anti-Confederate groups
- Analyse cause and effect relationships.
- Develop extrapolations based on an analysis of past and
- Appreciate the contribution of history as a basis for
understanding current issues and anticipating future
- Appreciate history as a product of the interplay among
aspirations, personalities, ideals and cultures.
- Use a range of strategies to develop effective writing and
other ways of representing and to enhance their clarity,
precision, and effectiveness.
Social Studies Skills
This lesson also promotes the following social studies skills:
- Select main ideas and supporting details.
- Arrange information in a sequence.
- Analyse and summarize information.
- Develop effective content by establishing a purpose, and
selecting and integrating ideas and details;
- Achieve effective organization by creating an opening;
maintaining a focus; ordering events, ideas, and details;
establishing relationships among events, ideas, and details;
and providing closure;
- Use fluent sentences through control of syntax and
sentence variety and length;
- Establish a voice by speaking to the reader
individualistically, expressively, and engagingly;
- Use word choice for appropriateness, precision, and
- Achieve effective conventions through use of punctuation,
To assist students in the completion of this task, you may wish to
use the following procedures:
- Describe some of the major historical concepts such as
continuity, change, cause-and-effect, and multiple
- Explain that the confederation process is an excellent
example of multiple causation; more specifically,
confederation with Canada resulted from a complex set of
situations and events.
- Assign the focus question, "How can the success of
Confederate forces be explained?"
- Assign the writing task as outlined in steps 1-4 in the
- After students have completed rough draft, ask them each
to select a partner to review the report. Criteria to help
students in this task are provided in the student material.