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The Morning After. Life after WWI. Learning Goals. Understand the economic struggles that led to a workers revolt in the Winnipeg General Strike (K/U) Understand the agrarian [cultivation of land] discontent of farmers following the war (K/U). Issues at home after WWI.

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The morning after

The Morning After

Life after WWI

Learning goals
Learning Goals

  • Understand the economic struggles that led to a workers revolt in the Winnipeg General Strike (K/U)

  • Understand the agrarian [cultivation of land] discontent of farmers following the war (K/U)

Issues at home after wwi
Issues at home after WWI

  • Inflation during the war years meant decreased real wages

    • Average family’s purchasing power was less

  • Increased unemployment as 500,000 veterans returned from overseas

  • Prosperity eventually returned by the mid-1920s

Winnipeg general strike 1919
Winnipeg General Strike (1919)

  • Winnipeg

    • Largest Western City & Capital of Saskatchewan

The lead up
The Lead Up

  • Soldiers

    • Lack of gov’t aid (pension, medical)

    • Few jobs

    • Resented rich employers (factory owners)

  • Workers

    • Poor pay

    • Poor conditions

  • Influenza (Flu) Epidemic

    • Passed along CPR

    • Hit Winnipeg hard

  • Communist Influences

    • Russian Revolution (1919)

      • “Worker’s Unite!”

      • No private ownership

    • High Russian Population

Workers rights in 1919
Workers’ Rights in 1919

  • No minimum wage

    • British Columbia adopted the Men’s Minimum Wage Act in 1925, making it the first province to legislate a minimum wage for male workers

    • 2012 minimum wage in Ontario is $10.25 and the lowest in Canada is $9.00 in the Yukon

  • Low salaries

  • No benefits

  • No collective bargaining

Rules of the workplace cigar factory
Rules of the Workplace (Cigar Factory)

  • 10 hrs make up a day's work

  • No one is allowed to stop work during working hours

  • All employees to be search before leaving the factory

  • Loud or profane talking strictly prohibited.

  • All employees wasting or dropping tobacco on the floor will be fined for each offence.

  • Hair combing not allowed in the factory

Winnipeg general strike
Winnipeg General Strike

  • Dispute over wages and collective bargaining rights in the building and metal trades

  • 35,000 workers belonging to 50 different unions left their jobs

Citizen committee of 1000
Citizen Committee of 1000

  • Business leaders, politicians,factory owners

    • Create Special Police Force

      • Arrest strike leaders

      • Fire civic workers

      • “Sedition” = threatening the state

        • By the time the strike ended (six days after Bloody Saturday), 7 of the strike’s leaders had been charged with “seditious conspiracy”

Bloody saturday june 21 1919
Bloody Saturday (June 21, 1919)

  • Climax of the strike = clash between committee’s special police (N.W.M.P.) and strikers

    • Deaths of 2 marchers

    • Injury of 34 others

    • Arrest of another 80

Summary of the wgs
Summary of the WGS

  • Winnipeg in a fragile state, unhappy masses

  • Workers strike to protest unrest

  • City grinds to a halt

  • Citizen’s Committee of 1000 opposes

  • Bloody Saturday - violence erupts

  • Workers return back to work

Wgs provocative question
WGS Provocative Question

  • Were the workers justified in their decision to strike?

Agrarian discontent
Agrarian Discontent

  • Farmers were

    • Concerned about rural depopulation

    • Anxious to see fed. gov’t do something about tariffs

    • Angry at fed. gov’t’s refusal to honour its promise to exempt farmers’ songs from conscription

Effects of agrarian discontent
Effects of agrarian discontent

  • Agrarian discontent led to formation of United Farmers of Ontario (UFO) who swept the October 1919 provincial election in Ontario

  • United Farmersparties formed government in Alberta in 1921 and became official opposition in other prairie provinces

  • In next session of federal Parliament, several western members of the union government joined forces with a group of Liberals and created a farmers’ representatives under leadership of Thomas A. Crerar (National Progressive Party)

The morning after

  • Activity

    • If you were a wealthy businessman who wanted to make more profits, write your viewson the Winnipeg General Strike. If you were a worker and were not able to afford basic necessities,write your views on the Winnipeg General Strike.

    • Who would you vote for in the federal election of 1921?