History Research Paper on Canadian History

Published: 2021-07-05
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Wesleyan University
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Research paper
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Canadian history 1914 to 1929

Canada had for many years been part of the British Empire. Canada became under British rule in 1763 courtesy of the Treaty of Paris which Ceded Canada (which was part of New France) to the British Empire. With time, other colonies that were part of British North America were added to Canada. Canadas relationship with Britain started to deteriorate in 1914 courtesy of Alaskan Boundary Dispute where Canada accused Britain of being selfish and betraying Canadian interests. There was the creation of the Department of Foreign Affairs following the Alaskan Boundary Dispute with an intention of being in charge of its foreign policy. World War 1 is the bloodiest conflict that Canada has ever experienced (Ferguson 35). Canada entry in the First World War took place when on August 22, 1914, it joined British troops in their battle at Ypres, Belgium. Canada had on August 5, 1914, committed 25,000 of its troops to support Britain in the war. Canada was automatically drawn in World War 1 because Canadas foreign affairs policy was controlled in London. Given that Canada was part of the British Empire it had no option but to take part in the war. During the First World War, Canada lost about 60,000 of its troops in the war. Canadas romantic notions about war were erased courtesy of their heavy loss in World War 1. The loss in World War 1 instilled fear in Canadas foreign military involvement in subsequent years. The war had a negative impact on Canadas economy. There was increased unemployment in Canada after World War 1. By 1915, Canadas military spending was almost equal to its entire government expenditure during 1913. For the first time in 1915, Canada borrowed money from its citizens to cushion itself from a bad economic situation. The borrowing from its citizens was not enough, and Canada had to borrow more money from the United States in a bid to salvage its economic situation. By 1917, the heavy borrowing by the Canadian government had contributed to runaway inflation. The inflation that was experienced in 1917 was one of the highest levels of inflation ever to have been experienced by Canadians. World War 1 ended on November 11, 1918. One memorable thing about 1918 is that on May 24, 1918, Canadian women gained the right to vote. At first, the war united Canada, but after witnessing immense loss associated with the war, Canadians developed a negative attitude about military conflict that still lasts to the present day (Wittke 57).

On March 4 and 5, 1919, there were riots in Canadas military complex, in Kimmel Park, in North Wales. The riots are also known as the Kimmel Park mutiny. Delays in repatriation among Canadian troops who had taken part in World War 1 contributed to the Kimmel Park mutiny. Winnipeg General Strike, the most influential strike in Canadian history took place on May 1, 1919. The strike became a reference for Canadas future labor reforms. The strike had been instigated by massive unemployment, high inflation rates, meager wages and poor working conditions. Residential schools in Canada started being constructed on Jan 21, 1920. Residential schools started to be constructed because Canada believed that it had a responsibility of caring and educating Canadas aboriginal people. As a result, First Nation, Metis, and Inuit children were taken from their communities and forced to attend residential schools. Cape Breton strike of 1923 is one of the most memorable strikes in Canadas mining industry. The Great Depression, a period of one of the worst economic turmoil in the history of developed countries courtesy commenced in October 1929 after the crush of the stock market (Francis et al., 113).

Canadas history from 1930-1945

Canada continued to grapple with tough economic conditions between 1930 and 1939 courtesy of the Great Depression. Canada took part in World War II which took place between 1939 and 1945. On September 10, 1939, Canada started to take part in World War II. In two months time, Canadian troops had arrived in the United Kingdom with an intention of supplementing British forces. Canadas major role in World War II was to defend the British Isles. However, a small force of Canadian forces did travel to Hong Kong and fought with the British against the Japanese invasion. Canadians played an important role in the battle of Normandy that took place in 1944. During World War II, Canadian military made contributions on land, sea, and air. About 12, 500 Canadian soldiers died when making contributions on land. About 2,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives while making contributions on the sea. About 17,000 members of the Royal Canadian air force died while making contributions in the air (Kerr et al. 77).

The first woman to serve as a Canadian senator was appointed on February 5, 1930. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba gained control of their natural resources in 1930. Canadas radio broadcasting commission came into existence in May 1932. Canadas central bank was created in July 1934 courtesy of legislation. In June 1941, the government allowed women to enlist in the army (Kerr et al. 132).

Canadas history from 1945-1969

After World War II, (between 1945 and 1947), immigration controls in Canada remained very tight. However, a pressure was mounted on Canada to develop an immigration policy that was more open. The international community was of the opinion that an open immigration policy by Canada would ensure that individuals who had been displaced by the war in Europe would find refuge in a country like Canada. There was a dire need for a humanitarian response after World War II, and Canada was viewed as one of the countries that would play a major contribution in addressing the problem (Owram 35).

On May 1946, Canadians order in council made developed a policy that allowed Canadian citizens to sponsor their brothers, sisters, orphaned nieces and orphaned nephews. The government of Canada directed its officials to accept identity documents and documents used in travel instead of passports for individuals who had been displaced by the war. On July 1946, about 3,000 Polish veterans were admitted and accepted into Canada. One condition for admission of Polish veterans is that they had to work for one year on farms after their arrival in Canada. There was the adoption of the Canadian Citizenship Act in 1946. Adoption of the Act meant creating a separate type of Canadian citizenship that was distinct from the British. As a matter of fact, Canada was the first Commonwealth country to come up with such a Citizenship Act (Owram 67).

In 1949, Newfoundland did join Canada as a Canadian province. Newfoundland probably joined Canada because it had been hit hard by the Great Depression of the 1930s. Newfoundland gave up its independence in return for economic guarantees. A referendum was held in Newfoundland on June 3, 1948, with an intention of deciding the fate of Newfoundland on whether it would be part of a confederation, on whether it would accept self-government or on whether it would accept commission rule. There was a tie in the first voting exercise with those in support of a confederation and those in support of self-government tying. In a run-off referendum, those in support of a confederation emerged victorious. The addition of Newfoundland to Canada now meant that Canada covered more territory than the entire of Europe. As a result, Canadas founders dream of a nation that straddles from sea to sea came to fruition. On November 1946, Canadas Prime Minister announced emergency measures with the aim of resettling European refugees who had been displaced by war. Selection of refugees was guided by economic factors, political bias, and ethnic prejudice. On January 1947, Italians were no longer considered by the Canadian government as enemy aliens, a move that led to a heightened Italian immigration to Canada. The displaced person movement commenced its operations in April 1947 and came to an end in 1952. Canadas immigration policy was outlined on May 1, 1947 by Prime Minister Mackenzie King. The policy revealed that Canada had an intention of foster growth of its population by ensuring that immigration is encouraged. Legal residents were allowed to sponsor their fiance(s), spouses or unmarried children courtesy of an issue made by the Canadian order in council on May 1, 1947. There was the repealing of the Chinese Immigration Act in May 1947. There was the formation of the department of citizenship and immigration in 1950. Canada adopted the Geneva Convention relating to the status of refugees in 1951. The Bill of Rights was introduced in Canada in 1960. Canada celebrated its 100th birthday in 1967. On June 1969, Canada did accede to the 1951 Convention that related to the status of refugees as well as the 1967 protocol (Owram 89).

Canadas history from 1970-1989

The October crisis commenced on October 5, 1970, and was instigated by a British diplomat known as James Cross. Prime Minister Trudeau responded by invoking the War Measures Act that allowed civil liberties to be temporarily suspended by the Canadian government. Canadian governments policy of multiculturalism was introduced in 1971. The right for a person to apply for an immigration status while in Canada was revoked in November 1972. On July 1978, the Inuit people were paid $45 million to surrender their aboriginal rights. Quebecers voted against sovereignty association in a referendum in May 1980. Canadas constitution came into effect in 1982. The loonie was introduced on June 30, 1987. Canada-U.S free trade agreement was signed into place on January 2, 1988, by Canadas Prime Minister and Ronald Reagan of the United States (Riendeau 121).

Canadas history from 1990- Present

In January 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico came into effect. In 1995, Quebecs referendum that aimed to address the issue of sovereignty was defeated. Changes were made to the Canadian Human Rights Act on May 1996 that ensured prohibition of discrimination against gays. On May 31, 1997, the Confederation Bridge was opened that linked the mainland to Prince Edward Island. A treaty was signed on August 4, 1988, that gave Nisgas First Nation people an ownership of 2,000 square kilometers of land in northern part of British Columbia. There was the creation of the New Arctic territory of Nunavut in 1999. Clarity bill was introduced in 2000 with an intention of outlining Quebecs terms of separation. On January 12, 2000, Beverly McLachlin became Supreme Court of Canadas first female Chief Justice. Canada did sign the Kyoto accord in 2000, showing its commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions. In 2003, Canada refused to join the United States in its war on terror. Same-sex marriage became legal in Canada in 2005. In 2010, Canada did set a record for being the country with the highest number of gold medals at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. On March 12, 2014, Canada finally opted out of its military involvement in Afghanistan as part of a NATO contingent (Riendeau 154).

Works Cited

Ferguson, Will. Canadian History for Dummies. , 2011. Print.

Francis, R D, Richard Jones, and Donald B. Smith. Journeys: A History of Canada. Toronto: Nelson Education, 2009. Print.

Kerr, D G. G, and R I. K. Davidson. An Illustrated History of Canada. Don Mills, Ont.: T. Nelson & Sons (Canada, 1976. Print.

Owram, Doug. Canadian History: a Reader's Guide: Volume 2: Confederation to the Present. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. Print.

Riendeau, Roger. A Brief History of Canada. New York: Facts on File, 2008. Print.

Wittke, Carl F. A History of Canada. New York: F.S. Crofts, 1942. Print.



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