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Positive and Negative Effects of WW1 on Canada
Transcript of Positive and Negative Effects of WW1 on Canada
By: Mathew Smith
Canada Becomes it's Own Nation
The Statute of Westminster was passed by the British government in 1931. After Canada's contributions to WW1, "Canada was seen as a separate nation from Britain"(pg.83 in CP). Canada became its own country that was equal in status with Britain and could make its own laws The only restrictions to Canada's autonomy was Canada's constitution remained in Britain and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was located in Britain until 1949.
Women Won the Right to Vote
Women gained the right to vote due to their contributions to the war effort. In 1917, the Military Voters Act let women directly involved in the war to vote. Later, mothers, sisters, daughter, wives and widows of war veterans were granted the right to vote. In 1918 the Federal Women's Franchise Act aloud all women to vote. Manitoba was the first province to grant women's right to vote in 1917; Quebec being the last in 1940.
War Measures Act
Minister Borden introduced the War Measures
Act in 1914. This gave the government undemocratic powers to deal with war and power to limit the freedom of Canadians. The act suspended habeas corpus. Anyone that was thought to be an "enemy alien"(pg.34 in CP) could be imprisoned or deported. Recent immigrants from Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire had to carry ID cards and more than 8500 were held in isolation in internment camps.
Vimy Ridge was a key advantage point that gave a clear view of the surrounding countryside, supply routes, and enemy positions. For two years, British and French forces failed to secure the ridge. Late in 1916, Canadian troops were chosen to lead a new assault on the ridge. Canadian troops started their assault on April 9, 1917 and by April 12,1917, Canadian troops had taken over Vimy Ridge. Vimy Ridge was the first time Canadian divisions attacked together. The success gave Canada a reputation of being an "elite fighting force" (pg.38 in CP) as well as giving Canda a sense of national pride.
In 1917, Borden introduced the Military Service Act, which made enlistment mandatory. Conscription was a very "controversial and emotional issue that divided English and French Canadians lasting in scars"(pg.49 in CP). French Canadians felt no patriotic connection to Britain or France. French Canadians saw the Military Service Act as a way of "forcing them to fight in a distant war that had no connection to them"(pg.49 in CP). French language had been lots in many schools outside of Quebec. Little officers spoke french which did little to encourage French Canadians to sign up for the war. Many French Canadians felt like a "second class citizen"(pg.49 in CP) of the home front. There were violent clashes in Quebec between people protesting conscription and people who supported the war.
Canada's Seat at Peace Conference
The Peace Conference marked a start in Canada's autonomy from Britain. Prime Minister Border demanded Canada have its own seat the peace conference seeing that Canada had contributed so much in the war. Canada won a seat because "Canada had fought longer and supplied more troops than other countries" (pg.53 in CP). For the first time, Canada was recognized as an independent nation.
Many soldier carried the deadly influenza home with them. Young people were very susceptible to the virus, which caused 21 million deaths world wide. The Flu killed "more people than the war itself"(pg.57 in CP) and in two years, approximately 50 000 Canadians died. Many schools and public places were closed for months to try and stop the spread of the virus.In some areas, people were required to war breathing masks.
Halifax Harbour Explosion
During the war, Halifax was a good place to refuel and repair allied warships.The harbor was extremely busy and there was little traffic control so collisions were frequent. On December 6,1917, the SS Mont Blanc, a french vessel carrying more than 2500 tonnes of explosives, was accidentally hit by another ship. The collision caused an explosion so massive that it "devastated Halifax's harbour and levelled most of the city"(pg.47 in CP). Many people were left homeless, more than 2000 people were killed and 9000 were injured by the explosion.
Canada's debt in 1914 was 544, 000, 000 dollars and rose to almost 2, 500, 000, 000 dollars in 1919. Most of this debt came from war loans used to finance Canada's war effort. Huge exports of wheat, timber, and military supplies helped push some of the debts weight off Canada's back, however it didn't make it go away. To pay off the debt, Canada had to pay 164 million dollars per year. The debt that Canada collected during the war is the cause of today's income tax.
Canada started building ships, airplanes and shells. Resources such as lumber, nickel, copper, and lead were in high demand as well as military gear, ammo, guns and food. Over 66 million shells were produced in Canadian factories. The demand for Canada's goods created lots of job opportunities. This was especially good for women who were unemployed because they were able to take over men's jobs when they were away working in the trenches. The demand for war supplies helped boom Canada's economy during the war.
61 000 Canadians died during World War 1 and another 172 000 were injured. Many families were left without loved ones after the war. Many men died in WW1, which was "the war to end all wars", however it did not achieve that. Not only were lives taken during the war, lives were also lost after the war due to the spanish influenza.
Improved War Technology
The way the war was fought was changes as nations developed new war technologies. The machine gun kept enemy soldiers from crossing no mans land was was capable of firing 400-500 round per minute. Dirigibles were inflatable airships that were used for scouting and bombing missions. More powerful and accurate artillery was developed. Airplanes were used for the first time in WW1. they were used first used for scouting and then later used for bombing. Machine guns were eventually added to them. The United States and Britain developed submarines, however the germans used them the most. Germans used their U-boats to sink large ships and merchant ships. Britain also developed tanks that were used to cross no mans land and shelter men from gunfire.