Presentation on theme: "Aftermath in Canada WWI. The Power of 8 Million Approximately 620,000 Canadians served; 425,000 overseas. 60,000 + were killed; 172,000 wounded. Canada."— Presentation transcript:
Aftermath in Canada WWI
The Power of 8 Million Approximately 620,000 Canadians served; 425,000 overseas. 60,000 + were killed; 172,000 wounded. Canada was still a British colony in 1914, but battlefield successes stimulated a desire among Canadians for greater national autonomy and international recognition. In 1919, Canada signed the Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended the war, and joined the newly-created League of Nations as a member state in its own right. Canada had come of age.
War and Society Profound changes in the economy and in society. Canada's armed forces needed to be equipped on an unprecedented scale Canada became a major supplier to Britain through the Imperial Munitions Board. Demand for Canadian agricultural production resulted in stability and incentive for the continued support of the agricultural sector and Northwest settlement, further securing the lands from American expansion and a united nation. The enhanced economic role of women led increasingly to demands for voting rights as a means to political power.
Home Front Legacy of Propaganda The demonization of the enemy through propaganda led to discrimination against the many newcomers from central Europe and the descendants of earlier immigrants.
Repatriation Military repatriation, or bringing the Canadian military home from Europe, was the largest movement of people in Canadian history up to that time. 267,813 soldiers and approx. 54,000 dependents Arrangements were made for 50,000 Canadian departures /month, Transport vessels available were far from adequate and created a minor scandal; demand for better ships resulted in delays and cancellations Bad winter weather and a rash of strikes by dock workers, police officers, and railway employees in Great Britain worsened the mood of waiting troops. The railroads could initially promise only 25,000 spaces / month. Saint John and Halifax (still recovering from the Halifax Explosion) were the only large, ice-free Canadian ports.
Who Goes Home? "first over, first back“: troops who had been in Europe the longest went home first Corps commander, Sir Arthur Currie, fought for Canadians to return as units. He argued: it would be more efficient and would better maintain discipline in the transition period. It also helped ensure that units disembarking in Canada would be properly welcomed by their communities, something that might not be possible if soldiers returned singly or in small groups under the government's proposed system. Boredom, lack of information, rumours, and growing frustration with the shortage of shipping contributed to confusion and anger among soldiers left behind , there were 13 incidents of unrest at demobilization camps. Kinmel Park on 4-5 March 1919, left five soldiers dead and another 23 wounded. There were arrests and convictions, but the unrest convinced British authorities to fast-track the Canadians' return. By late summer, almost all Canadian forces in England had sailed home.
Benefits for Those who Served The war created hundreds of thousands of veterans and resulted in a vast expansion of public and private support for soldiers and their families. After the war, the Canadian government initiated and administered: oa large medical system olong-term care facilities osoldier insurance oa land settlement program oand many other benefits and types of aid. oemployment preferences for returning troops oled most nations in programs for disabled training ohad the world's most generous pension rates. oIn 1920, veterans' pensions would consume more than 20 per cent of federal revenues
The Results Canada emerged from the First World War a proud, victorious nation with newfound standing in the world. It also emerged grieving and divided, forever changed by the war's unprecedented exertions and horrific costs. Few had expected the long struggle or heavy death toll.
The Contradictions A war fought supposedly for liberal freedoms against Prussian militarism had exposed uneasy contradictions at home: ocompulsory military service obroken promises to farmers and organized labour ohigh inflation odeep social and linguistic divisions othe suspension of civil liberties. oSome women had received the right to vote, but other Canadians - recent immigrants associated with enemy countries - had seen this right rescinded.
Politics & the Financial Burden War bonds were purchased voluntarily and at unprecedented levels to support the war effort overseas. $2 billion was owed mostly to other Canadians. PM Borden's efforts to win the 1917 election succeeded in the short term, but fractured the country along regional, cultural, linguistic, and class lines. English and French relations were never lower, and accusations of French traitors and English militarists were not soon forgotten. Wilfred Laurier's stand against conscription lost him the election and divided his party, but helped ensure the Liberals' national credibility, with a firm basis in French Canada, for decades to come….Discuss Labour, newly empowered by its important role in supporting the war effort, pushed for more rights, first through negotiations, and then through strikes. Farmers were angered over agricultural policies and Ottawa's broken promise on conscription. In the post-war period, both groups would form powerful new political and regional parties.
Chapter 16: The Development of Political Parties 1. What factor contributed to setting the stage for a series of political reform movements in the 1920’s? 2. What was the platform of the Progressive Party in the 1920’s? Explain why this was important. 3. How did William Lyon Mackenzie King gain the support of the Progressives in ? Why was it important? 4. Even though the Progressive Party folded in 1935, what were their two major Accomplishments? 5. What two political parties emerged in N.S. in 1920? What was the main grievance of these two parties with traditional party politics? 6. In what ways was it evident that the federal government was paying little attention to the Maritimes in the 1920’s? 7. What was the Duncan Report? Why was it Drafted? By Who? 8. Why did many new political parties emerge during the 1930’s?
DISCUSS If Canada was bound in national pride over their victories and international recognitions in military strength, why would the citizens of Canada be so divided politically?
The British Empire Evolves The war accelerated the transformation of the British Empire into the British Commonwealth and demonstrated Great Britain's military and economic reliance on the self-governing dominions. Most Commonwealth heads of government recognized this, and saw clearly in their wartime contributions the route to greater independence. PM Borden demanded that Great Britain recognize Canada's wartime sacrifices with greater post-war autonomy. Canada signed independently the Treaty of Versailles (1919) that formally ended the war, and assumed a cautious, non-committal role in the newly established League of Nations. London's wartime agreement to re-evaluate the constitutional arrangements between Great Britain and its dominions would not come to fruition until 1931.
Overview Despite the social and political challenges of the post-war, most Canadians also emerged from the struggle believing they had done important and difficult things together. Their primary fighting force at the front, the Canadian Corps, had achieved a first-class reputation as one of the most effective formations on the Western Front. Their generals and politicians had played an obvious role in victory, and the country itself enjoyed an international standing that few observers in 1914 could have predicted.
Spanish Flu (Influenza Epidemic) Soldiers returning home brought with them the flu virus. Tendency to kill the young and hearty. 50,000 Canadians were died. Some entire villages were wiped out by the disease, and Labrador and Québec were particularly hard hit. Some areas unsuccessfully tried quarantine. All medical facilities and personnel were soon overtaxed and volunteers organized infirmaries in schools and hotels. Almost everyone who went outdoors wore a face mask. It was called the Spanish flu because it was first officially noticed in Spain in May It went on to kill an estimated eight million people there.
Societal Impact of the Flu The epidemic brought not only death but social and economic disruption as well. Children were left parentless and many families found themselves without the chief wage earner. Armies on both sides of the war were temporarily debilitated. Businesses lost profits because of lack of demand for their products or because they were unable - as a result of a reduced work force - to meet the demand. Municipal governments, in an attempt to halt the spread of the disease, closed all except necessary services, and provinces enacted laws regarding quarantine and enforced the wearing of masks in public. Although the Canadian population unhappily accepted these restrictions, it defied the federal government's request that World War I-victory celebrations be postponed until December 1. The Spanish influenza strain, although decreasingly virulent, remained active in Canada until the mid-1920s. The establishment of the federal Department of Health in 1919 was a direct result of the epidemic.
Military Spending Post War The belief that this was the ‘war to end all wars’ combined with budgetary restraints, led Canada to reduce its military forces to fewer than 5000 full-time military personnel. The Royal Canadian Navy consisted of only two ocean-going ships. The Royal Canadian Air Force performed mainly civilian duties (mapping and forestry protection)
An Independent Country Emerges Canada avoided overseas military commitments, either to Britain or the League of Nations, the predecessor of today’s United Nations. 1931, Britain passed the Statute of Westminster, giving Canada the legal status of an independent country. Still, Canada remained a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations and British foreign policy continued to influence Ottawa. By the mid-1930s, the government began slowly to modernize and re-equip the armed forces. The defence of Canada’s seacoasts was its top priority, but the government allowed that Canadian forces might be available to assist Britain in the event of a major war.