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The Roaring Twenties. Armistice Day 1918: Crowds in London's Tralfalgar Square celebrating the end of the first world war. When the 1920s arrived, there was excitement in the air! Why? Things seemed to be changing very rapidly for the better: WWI was over and Canada was victorious!
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Armistice Day 1918: Crowds in London's Tralfalgar Square celebrating the end of the first world war
When the 1920s arrived, there was excitement in the air! • Why? • Things seemed to be changing very rapidly for the better: • WWI was over and Canada was victorious! • People were trying to find things that would help them forget the horrors of war.
How do you forget about the past? • If you change the world, it will not remind you of the past. • Canadians started listening to new music (jazz). • They started wearing shocking new clothes! • New inventions were completely changing life at home (electricity, washing machines, dishwashers, cars, movies, telephones…).
Although many people were enjoying these new luxuries, for many others this new wealth was only an illusion: • When soldiers came back in 1919, they found: • No special medical services for the wounded. • Very few jobs • No pensions for veterans • Lower wages • Higher prices • The factory owners who had stayed home were richer than ever! • The soldiers who had risked their lives had gained nothing!
Result: Confrontations between workers and employers became inevitable. • What did the workers do? • They began to form unions. • This resulted in strikes across Canada. • Many times, the strikes became violent! • In March of 1919, workers from western Canada formed the One Big Union (OBU).
What was the purpose of the OBU? • To represent all Canadian workers. • Their main weapon was the general strike. • How did the government respond? • They were afraid that the OBU would give workers too much power. • Some feared it would lead to a communist revolution. • Result: The OBU was quickly broken up by the government and declared illegal.