Event—Adult Education

Confirming Our Continent: Canada, Mexico, and the United States, 1857-67

1857- 1867 was a defining decade in North America. From Mexico’s War of Reform and the French intervention, through the American Civil War, to the creation of the Dominion of Canada, the future of our continent was determined through distinct but related events in these three countries.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (by February 10): $200
Regular Price (after February 10): $220

*Please note that the dates have been changed from what was published in the paper brochure.*

Register Here

Seminar Description

This program comes as we mark the 150th anniversary of four crucial events from 1867:

  • The victory of Benito Juarez over Emperor Maximilian, confirming Mexico as a constitutional republic;
  • The creation of the Dominion of Canada as a continental confederation;
  • Ratification of the 14th amendment in key states, redefining citizenship in the U.S.; and
  • The acquisition of Alaska from Russia.

Participants will discuss how three unions with distinct nationalities emerged from a period of crisis. Six sessions.

Joseph Harrington holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Connecticut and has led numerous Newberry seminars.

Materials List


  • A booklet of primary source readings will be provided by the instructor by PDF before the first session and in printed form at the first session.


  • Note: The instructor recommends these titles for the strength of their content and relevancy to the class but they are not required.
  • Maximilian & Juarez, by Jasper Ridley. Phoenix, 2001. 978-1842121504 (This title is out of print but can be found used.)
  • Dixie & The Dominion, by Adam Mayers. Dundurn, 2003. ISBN 978-1550024685

Additional optional reading:

  • Blue and Gray Diplomacy, by Howard Jones. University of North Carolina Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-8078-3349-0
  • 1867: How Fathers Made a Deal, by Christopher Moore. McClelland & Stewart, 1998. ISBN: 978-0771060960

First Readings:

  • None

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.