Research Questions 21/12/18

Canada Divided

Find primary evidence: How did Canadians feel about conscription? Who supported it and who didn’t?

French-Canadians, farmers, unionized workers, non-British immigrants, and other Canadians, opposed conscription. English-speaking Canadians, Prime Minister Robert Borden and members of his Cabinet, British immigrants, the families of soldiers, and older Canadians, generally supported conscription.

Mrs.Parsons from the Methodist church doesn’t want her sons to die in the war so she didn’t like the idea of conscription. Also non-British immigrants didn’t like conscription because they don’t like the idea of Canada fighting for for Britain and farmers don’t like conscription because there will be no one left to run their farms if their workers get conscripted. On the other hand British people, the prime minister and older people support conscription because they feel that everyone that is able must fight for Britain and anyone that doesn’t is a slacker like in the poster below.


What are the messages in the political cartoons?

Link to the political cartoons:

The following political cartoons are to put it short, saying that all the war is bringing is death. The one with a map of Europe as a skull is saying that Europe will all be dead after the war, the disposing of the dogs of war one is saying we are basically just sending our troops out to die and the king vulture one is saying that we have lost so many lives that the vulture, a corpse scavenging bird, has been crowned the king (because of all of the death).

Was the Khaki Election rigged or just better democracy?

I feel the Khaki Election was rigged because Prime Minister Robert Borden basically only allowed the group of people that would vote for him, vote. He did this by letting women that were relatives of soldiers and soldiers vote and excluding immigrants and people that were exempted from conscription to vote. The results for this were extremely in favour of conscription (except for Quebec) and some turnouts were even 100% conscription aligned seats.

Was the government acting in the interests of the public when enacting conscription?

I do not think the government was acting in the interests of the public when enacting conscription. I believe this because the soldiers that were being conscripted were fighting Britain’s war and not Canada’s. Canada was just dragged along because Britain still had control of Canada. Although I have this view I do believe conscription should be used in some cases. One of these cases would be if the conscription was for national defense. This makes it so we actually need the citizens to be conscripted. In WW1 Canada as a country didn’t need to fight the war, we were forced to. Wherein the case of national defence conscription is basically teaching every abled bodied person how to defend their country. Since Canada’s national security wasn’t threatened in WW1 I don’t think Prime Minister Robert Borden should have used conscription.

Setting Into Peace

How would you describe the first few years after WWI in Canada? Who was happy, who wasn’t, and why? Evidence?

The workers weren’t happy because of their low wages and the absence of collective bargaining. Evidence of this is the Winnipeg general strike and many other strikes across Canada at the time.
Before these strikes employers were happy because they had lots of control over their workers and could pay them little pay.
The Veterans weren’t happy because they wanted support with housing, a bonus and better penchants. They also weren’t happy that war profiteers made millions while they were gone and that the cost of living was rising.
The Maritimes weren’t happy because they felt they had little influence in Canada because they couldn’t protect important interests in transportation, tariffs, port development and federal subsidies.

Was there any point to the Winnipeg General Strike?

I believe there was no point to the Winnipeg general strike because the whole point of it was to get more rights for workers when it only did the exact opposite. It took away workers rights because the government was worried the workers would have a violent communist uprising so they decided to dismiss all workers if they did not go back to work. After this strike workers had less rights and the and the government had to step in with wage negotiations. And workers only got their union recognition and collective bargaining three decades later.

Why did the Liberals win the election of 1921?

The liberals won because they didn’t have a strong stance on the tariff and instead they tried to be the middle ground between two sides. This made it so they didn’t favour any particular province so more people would vote for them. They also weren’t only focused on one issue like the progressives so it was appealing to more people.

One thought on “Research Questions 21/12/18

  1. I should have been more specific with the cartoon question, but I was hoping you would find some cartoons about conscription to find out what the opinion was about that.

    Excellent point that Canada was at no real risk of being attacked and sending more soldiers would only be in the interest of Britain, not Canada. But Canadians did vote for conscription/Borden/Union Government. But since Borden created the Military Voters Act and the Wartime Elections Act, it is questionable whether or not the election really represented Canadians as some didn’t get to vote.

    The Strike did result in the government forming a commission over it which eventually led to more workers’ rights. It might have been worth it as a starting point of a longer process of change.

    Yes, the Liberals won by taking the middle road which usually appeals to more people anyway. Also, they had Quebec’s support because oft he conscription issue being associated with the Conservatives.

    Well done.

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