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Canada and the Twenties

Social Studies 11. BC Curriculum. For use with Counterpoints text.
by

Tim Falkenberg

on 3 March 2015

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Transcript of Canada and the Twenties

Workers Respond

Workers' demands for higher wages, better working conditions, and the right to join unions, resulted in numerous strikes in Canada.
Canada and the Twenties
OBU - One Big Union
Represented all Canadian workers in one organization.
Goal: to help workers establish more control of industry and government through peaceful means, such as the general strike.
The Jazz Age
Bold New Music
Shocking Fashions
Crazy Fads
An Uneasy Adjustment
After four long years of fighting, Canadian soldiers returned home to find that there were:
no steady pensions for veterans
no special medical services for those wounded in war
few jobs
Veterans had made the sacrifices but others were reaping the rewards.
The Labour Wars - Cape Breton Island
For four years, the union and the steel corporation confronted each other. When the strikes turned violent, the company called in the provincial police and federal troops to break them up.
Communism
A social and economic theory that property and production and distribution of goods and services should be owned by the public, and the labour force organized for the benefit of all.
Winnipeg General Strike
In May 1919, Winnipeg's metal and building workers walked off their jobs.

They demanded:
Higher wages
A shorter working week
The right to
collective bargaining
Negotiation of a contract between unions and management regarding such things as wages and working conditions.
Effects on Winnipeg
Winnipeg was paralyzed
No firefighters, postal workers, telephone or telegraph services.
No newspapers, streetcars, deliveries of bread or milk
Citizens' Committee of One Thousand
Business leaders, politicians, and industrialists saw union leaders as part of a communist conspiracy to overthrow the government.
Bloody Saturday
Protests turned violent when the Mounted Police and special police, armed with clubs and pistols, charged into the crowd.
One striker died, thirty were injured, and scores were arrested.
Achievements of the General Strike

Short Term:
Union movement suffered a setback.
Many striking workers were not rehired.
Distrust and division between workers and business

Long Term:
Workers' grievances were valid.
Gradually, much of what they fought for was achieved.
Some of those involved in the strike took up politics.
New Challenges to Federalism
Regionalism
A concern for the affairs of one's own region over those of one's country
Maritimes
Influence in National politics was declining.
Businesses and banks were moving to Ontario and Quebec.
Oil replacing coal - Maritimes had plenty of coal but no oil.
Maritimes Rights Movement
Movement died away without having accomplished much.
Prairies
and
Ontario
Farmers on the prairies were frustrated with the
National Policy
.
Tariffs or duties were placed on foreign goods imported into Canada
Farmers felt alienated. The policy benefited manufacturers but forced farmers to buy Canadian made machinery.
Tariffs protected Canadian industries by making foreign goods so expensive that Canadians would choose to buy goods produced in Canada.
This was to strengthen the Canadian economy.

BUT...
The National Policy
Farmers formed their own political parties:
United Farmers' Party
Progressive Party
Canadians Choose a New Government
Mackenzie King

Liberal Party
Arthur Meighen
Conservative Party
vs.
The Liberals had won a minority government.
A government in which the ruling party has less than half the seats in the legislature.
The Progressive party was influential in bringing about changes to Canada's social policy such as the Old Age Pension Act. This was an acknowledgement that government had a role to play in providing a network of social services for its citizens.
Canada's Growing Independence
Canada's Changing Economy
The Roaring Twenties
Missing the Roar
The Stock Market Crash
The British government asked Canada for military assistance in order to prevent a Turkish army from attacking Chanak, a British garrison in part of occupied Turkey. Mackenzie King refused, indicating that Canada would no longer support the British in conflicts that had no impact on Canada.
The Chanak Crisis (1922)
Halibut Treaty (1923)
Important as the first treaty signed by Canada, completely independently from Britain. This particular treaty concerns fishing in the North Pacific.
King-Byng Crisis (1926)
Mackenzie King’s minority government was facing a motion of censure introduced by the Conservative opposition. Facing certain defeat, King asked Governor General Byng to dissolve parliament and call an election. Byng refused and decided that Arthur Meighen, the conservative leader, should be given the opportunity to form a government. Meighen’s government was quickly defeated in the House of Commons and Byng finally called an election. King campaigned that it was unconstitutional for a British-appointed Governor General not to take the advice of his Canadian Prime Minister. King won the election and the constitution issue was settled at the Imperial Conference held that same year.
Imperial Conference/Balfour Report (1926)
Held in London. A committee of delegates from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, chaired by Lord Balfour, submitted the Balfour Report that recommended that the British dominions be autonomous. The recommendations of the report resulted in independence for these countries.
Statute of Westminster (1931)
Passed by the British Parliament in 1931, it effectively gave the British dominions, including Canada, control over their own domestic and foreign affairs – in other words, independence. Canadians, however, could not agree on a formula for amending our constitution – the BNA Act. As a result, the Constitution remained a British Act until 1982, when it was patriated, together with an amending formula.
British Commonwealth
An association of nations that were formerly colonies in the British Empire. The British Commonwealth of Nations is now known as the Commonwealth of Nations.
The process by which changes can be legally made to the Canadian Constitution.
Signs of Economic Improvement in the 1920s
Wheat remained an important export.
Growth in exploitation of natural resources and manufacturing.
Demand for Canadian pulp and paper increased.
Mining boomed.
Expansion of forest and mining industries.
The United States Invests in Canada's Economy
Rather than lend money to Canadian businesses the way the British had, most U.S. investors preferred to set up branch plants - businesses owned and operated by companies in the United States, but which operated in Canada.
Primary Industries
Industries dealing with the extraction or collection of raw materials, such as mining or forestry.
Secondary Industries
Industries dealing with manufacturing or construction
.
Bootlegging Across the Border
Plebiscites
A direct vote by electors on an issue of public importance. The outcome of the vote may not be binding on the government.
Prohibition ended in most of Canada by 1921 as it was unpopular with Canadians. It lasted until 1933 in the United States.
Rum-running
Smuggling alcohol into the United States
Urbanization
Portion of Canada's Population living in urban areas by percentage.
The process by which an area changes from rural to urban.
By 1931, city dwellers outnumber the rural
population for the first time.
Agnes McPhail was the only woman
in the House of Commons until 1935.
The principle role of women in the 1920s was as wives and mothers.
Labour-saving devices:
refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, electric iron.
The Persons Case
Emily Murphy's apppointment as a magistrate in Alberta was challenged on the basis that only "persons" could hold office under the BNA Act. Women were not "persons" in the eyes of the law.
Emily Murphy and four other women (The Famous Five!) challenged Prime Minister Mackenzie King to appoint a woman senator and to clarify the definition of "persons."
When the Supreme Court of Canada decided that woman were NOT "persons" under the Constitution, Murphy and her associates appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain who finally declared support for the women.
Role of Women
The Roaring Twenties
Fads from the United States quickly spread to Canada.
Swallowing live goldfish
Six day bicycle races
New dances: the Charleston, the Shimmy, the Turkey Trot
New fashions
Inventions of the 1920s
Other influence from the United States:
Tourists
Fashion: Clothes and hairstyles
Increased Mobility
Wop May
Bush Pilots
Flew geologists and prospectors into remote areas to explore mining opportunities.
Opened up many remote areas
Flew supplies to lumber camps
Delivered medicines
Group of Seven
Canadian painters who interpreted Canada's landscape as they saw it, using broad, bold strokes and brilliant colors, rather than imitating realistic classical styles.
Emily Carr
Improved Communications
Mary Pickford receiving an honorary Oscar.
While economic and social conditions generally improved during the 1920s, many Canadians still battled
discrimination
,
lack of political representation
, and
poverty
.
Aboriginal Nations
The movements and lives of Aboriginal peoples were regulated under the federal
Indian Act
of 1876.
Reserves
The designated areas of land set aside for Aboriginal people.
Assimilation
Adoption, often by a minority group, of the customs and language of another cultural group so that the original culture disappears.
It wasn't until
1960
that Aboriginal people across Canada could vote in federal elections.
Residential schools were a particularly difficult experience for many young Aboriginal students and their families:
Separation from families
Foreign surroundings
Physical and emotional abuse
Many students were unsuccessful in finding work or being accepted into Canada's European-based culture.
Villages were also instructed by the government to replace traditional leaders or family leaders with graduates of residential schools. This practice often divided the community between those who supported traditional leaders and those who sought to replace them.
Potlatch Ceremony
In the early 1920s, the Aboriginal people in British Columbia challenged the federal and provincial governments on three issues:
Cut-Off Lands
Aboriginal
Title
Missionaries and the government saw it as an obstacle to assimilation, and the practice was forbidden in 1884.
Claims by Aboriginal people to lands that their ancestors inhabited.
Lands taken from reserves without consent of the Aboriginal peoples.
African-Canadians: Undisguised Racism
African-Americans who managed to move to Canada found that discrimination against minority groups was blatant.
Nova Scotia Education Act of 1918
Separate schools for "blacks" and "Europeans" until 1954.
Supreme Court of Quebec ruled in 1921 in favour of racially segregated seating in Montreal theatres.
In 1929 a black delegation to a World Baptist Convention in Toronto was denied hotel rooms.
There were also instances of tolerance:
In 1924, Edmonton City Council refused to support an attempt to ban African-Canadians from public parks and swimming pools.
In 1919, the Brotherhood of Railway Workers accepted black porters as members.
Immigrants
Most Canadians were
ethnocentric
and as a result, many newcomers to Canada experienced discrimination.
The belief that one's own culture is superior, and that other cultures should be judged by its values.
Eastern Europeans, particularly the Ukrainians and Poles who settled in the Prairies, were targets of ethnic prejudice.
Many Chinese, Japanese, and East Indian immigrants settled in British Columbia, where they too suffered from discrimination and racism.
Head Tax
The fee that Chinese immigrants were required to pay after the Chinese Immigration Act was passed in 1885 when they entered Canada.
In 1907, an angry group of whites attacked stores and homes owned by Chinese and Japanese immigrants in Vancouver.
Komagata Maru
The war had increased tensions among various groups of Canadians. Immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe were often accused of being socialist revolutionaries, and the government was constantly petitioned to deport them.
Some Canadians didn't want restrictions on immigration for selfish reasons.
Farmers, railway owners, and some other businesses welcomed immigrants because they would work for low wages in jobs that Canadian workers didn't want.
Labour groups supported restrictions because unions saw the willingness of some immigrants to work for long hours as "unfair competition."
The Ku Klux Klan, a secret fraternity founded in the United States, promoted fanatical racial and religious hatred against non-Protestants and non-whites. In the 1920s, the Klan established short-lived local branches.
Inflation: the rise in prices for goods and services that increases the cost of living and triggers demand for higher wages.
The ideas of communist revolutionaries inspired workers in Canada to try to improve working conditions.
When demand for wartime industries declined after the war, the British Empire Steel Corporation tried to save costs by reducing wages. The workers responded by reducing their output and striking.
Socialist: believing in a system in which the government controls the economy so that everyone benefits equally.
Goals of the labour movement in the 1920s: higher pay, better working conditions, eight hour workday.
The Red Scare
: the fear that communism would spread to Canada.
J.S. Woodsworth was a well-known social reformer who was arrested during the strike. He went on to found the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, which later became the New Democratic Party.
tariffs: taxes on imported goods.
By the end of the 1920s, American companies owned the Canadian auto industry, a large proportion of Canada's oil business, nearly half the machinery and chemical industries, and more than half the rubber and electrical companies.
Prohibition: the banning of the sale and consumption of alcohol.
The flapper look: Bobbed hair, hemlines above the knees, and silk stockings.
Arthur Sicard: invented the snowblower in 1925.
Armand Bombardier
Invented the snowmobile in 1922.
Banting and Best
Discovered insulin in 1922.
Edward (Ted) Rogers
Invented first AC radio tube.
A few women became doctors, lawyers, professors, or engineers, but most women who worked in business or industry held jobs as secretaries, telephone operators, or sales clerks.
Federalism: a political system that divides power between federal and provincial legislatures.
Farmers wanted free trade and lower freight rates and storage fees.
Quebec
Rapid growth in many of Quebec's industries. Cheap labour and vast forests resulted in the expansion of the provinces pulp and paper industry. Abundant hydroelectric resources atttracted the aluminum industry. The Aluminum Company of Canada opened several plants.
Western Interests
The products of B.C.'s forests and mines were in demand and communities grew around these resources. After the Panama Canal opened in 1914, Pacific ports began to challenge Eastern Canada's dominance in shipping Western grain.
Reformer
Authority on social and economic issues
Always tried to find the middle path
Brilliant debater
Principles over compromise
Hard liner
They needed the support of the Progressive Party to pass legislation.
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