The Emergence of Modern Canada 1896-1914
Introduction • 1905 Alberta and Saskatchewan join confederation. • This made Canada a country that now stretched from sea to sea. • Even with Canada’s vast territory it feared takeover from the US. • This was both political and economic. • Canada was also struggling with trying to find a greater independence from Britain, and they wanted more control over its own foreign affairs. • Canada was still a part of the British Empire, but this created problems within Canada. • The constant struggle of English and French relations. • Laurier worked towards bringing French and English Canadians together as one in Canada.
Still A British Nation • Even though Canada had its own government during this period in time, it was still considered a British protectorate and part of the British Empire. • Britain still had the responsibility of solving issues that took place between Canada and other countries. • Because of this some Canadians were disappointed from time to time in the way Britain dealt with issues. • Britain did not always have Canada’s best interest in mind when making decisions for them. • Case in point is the ‘Alaskan panhandle’ dispute.
Still A British Nation • Laurier in the political cartoon is seen bowing to Uncle Sam during the Alaska Boundary dispute.
Introduction • Global markets opened up for Canada’s mineral, lumber, wheat, and manufacturing goods. • Immigrants began to flock to Canada from Europe, Britain, US and Asia. • People traveled along the newly constructed railways to settle into their new lives in Canada’s West. • Technology was beginning to boom. • Telephones, wireless radios, cars, planes, and motion pictures.
Introduction • With the population growth come social reforms. • Women and aboriginals began to look for equality and human right. • Labour unions began to pop up on the work site. • Even with the new social reforms, discrimination still did take place. • Immigrants found it hard adjusting to the new society. • Social equality was not fully developed.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier • 7th Prime Minister of Canada • 1896-1911 • French-Canadien • “Golden Age of Laurier”
Laurier is Elected • The 1896 election ended 20 years of conservative power in Canada, but also brought Canada its first French Canadian PM. • This extremely pleased the Quebecers. • They wanted a government that would protect the French language and culture, and Roman Catholic rights. • French-English relations had always been a problem in Canada, but they had reached new levels with the execution of Louis Riel.
Conflict and Compromise • Laurier was interested in promoting national unity, and protect Canadian interest abroad. • He wanted a nation that was united with both French and English speaking citizens. • It was the violation of the Manitoba Act were English only education was developed that helped Laurier win the election in 1896. • Macdonald refused to intervene in the situation, and most French-Canadians turned and voted for Laurier.
Imperialism: A French English Split • French and English relations in Canada have always been difficult and rocky. • Most English were loyal to the mother country in Britain and her Empire, and most French felt as though they had not connection anymore to Britain. • Those loyal to the Empire were called imperialists. • As a result of Canada being a British colony, and then British protectorate, Canada had always relied on Britain for naval and military support. • Britain had the most powerful navy at the turn of the century. • Some were stationed in Halifax and Esquimalt. • Many viewed military affairs as the responsibility of the British imperial government in London.
Imperialism: A French English Split • Most English speaking Canadians were still proud to be British subjects under the crown. • This being the case they were glad to help Britain out when needed. • Boar War. • People shared in the idea of expanding the British empire through imperialist ways. • Most French speaking Canadians did not care for the British Empire. • Many were descendents of New France and the people who settled it 200 years earlier. • They saw themselves as Canadiens, and not British subjects. • The French tended to be nationalists and not loyal to the crown. • They were disappointed in the decision to send troops to the Boar War.
Imperialism: A French English Split • Language rights continued to be an issue in Canada. • The French lost the right to French instruction in Manitoba, and then Alberta and Saskatchewan. • Henri Bourassa stated that maybe Canadiens would be better off without Canada because their rights as a minority were not being protected as promised at confederation.
Imperialism: A French English Split • As the 1900’s approach, things began to change in Canada, and the dependence we once had was shifting to the other side. • Britain was now turning to Canada for support and finance on the military front. • Imperial Issues/Events
The Laurier Boom • During Laurier’s time in office, Canada’s economy began to see great prosperity, and world prices and markets began to expand for Canadian products. • A rise in industrial production created demand for raw materials. • This allowed Canada to increase prices based on the demand creating more profit. • Better shipping technology combined with lower freight rate helped the export of Canadian goods. • New technologies in production allowed for Canada to make the most of its natural resources. • Pulp and paper, and mining of the Shield for rich ore deposits.
The Laurier Boom • The CPR allowed for expansion West, and helped the industrial boom reach BC. • Dramatic growths in lumbering and mining. • Within 10 years the forest industry grew from $2 million to $65 million. • Harvest rights and accessibility led to cutting frenzies. • Rising world prices helped the agricultural industry to thrive on the prairies. • Farmers began to increase production and diversify there crops. • The region was not the “bread basket of the world,” and not the agricultural hinterland of Canada. • New hydro electric potential was beginning to be harnessed for use in the new factories and mines.
The “Last Best West” • The “Last Best West” was the slogan used to attract people to Canada West to settle down as homesteaders and settlers. • More money, more people, and more people, more money, become a common thought amongst the people in charge of settling the West. • With the end of the depression, there was a demand for wheat around the world. • There were no more homestead lands available in the US. • The Canadian West started to look extremely appealing to people wanting to settle.
The “Last Best West” • Nearly all immigration between 1867-1890’s in North America was to the US. • Nobody wanted to come to the barren, unpopulated land of Canada. • Those who did come to Canada usually left for the US because of lack of work, or the harsh climate. • Between 1896-1911, the Canadian government encouraged people to come and settle in the West. • During these years the prairie population increased dramatically, and Clifford Sifton become the new Minister of the Interior in charge of immigration.
The “Last Best West” • Sifton was a westerner, and was dedicated to populating the prairies. • He launched a recruitment program to try and lure people to come and settle in the prairies. • It targeted the European and US people who would make good farmers.
The “Last Best West” • Sifton brought controversy when he encourage immigrants from the grasslands of eastern and central Europe. • They understood dryland farming methods. • Many Canadians were uncomfortable with newcomers who would be bringing a different language and culture into theirs. • Sifton had created an open-door policy, and he defended it. • Sifton stated that “a stalwart peasant in a sheep skin coat, born of the soil, whose forefathers had been farmers for ten generations, … is good quality.”
The “Last Best West” • The settlers who come to the prairies were a much more diverse group as a result of Sifton’s open-door policy. • Ukrainians, Russians, Czechs, Hungarians, Poles, Rumanians, Austrians, etc. • British Settlers still made up 1/3 of all the immigrants. • Many actually failed as farmers because of having no background in it. • Many of the American settlers who come north of the border Assimilated into Canadian culture easily. • They made great farmers, and were quite successful at it.
The “Last Best West” • The average American brought $1000 and farming equipment when coming to Canada. • The average European brought $15. • Most Americans favored Alberta as their place to settle. • Between 1896-1914, 1 million Americans settled in Canada. • At the same time thousands of British Children were being sent to Canada. • Many come from orphanages, or were unwanted children of poor parents. Others were just sent away by the authorities without choice of the parents.
The “Last Best West” • It was believed that the farms would be a good place for the children to eat well, and learn life skills. • Some took the children in and adopted them, but others used it as a cheap source of labour. • They were to be care for and sent to school through the winter, but many did not see the basic necessities of life. • Some were beaten and force to live in barns and stables.
The Push-Pull Factors of Immigration • Between 1891-1921 the population of Canada almost doubled. • Table 7-1 in your text. • 60% of the immigrant who come to Canada settled in the West. • Canadian immigration succeeded because of “push-pull” factors. • 1. A need t leave one’s homeland (push). • 2. The lure of opportunity in another country (pull). • Americans, British, Europeans, and Asians come as a result of the pull factor. • Poor eastern and central Europeans come as a result of the push factor. • The pull factor still did play a part. • Ukrainians come because of repeated crop failure, starvation, and over population.
The Push-Pull Factors of Immigration • Push-pull factor often worked together, and not always independent of each other. • i.e. Doukhobors, a group of Russians who come to escape military service because it was against their religion, and they were in search of free land. • 1899, 7000 had settled in Saskatchewan.
Adjusting to Life on the Prairies • Once arriving on the prairies, homesteaders had to prepare for their new lives. • First was raising $500 to buy a plough, a wagon, horses, and a milk cow. • Many worked in the lumber industry, railway, mining camps, or other peoples farms to raise the money they needed to start. • Many lived in primitive conditions on their new homesteads. • Comfort was not a concern. • Mud covered sod houses was the norm. • Known as “soddie”. • Made from thatched roofs, open windows covered with sacks, sod like bricks, and a wood frame. • Usually they were infested with flies and fleas, and smelt during the hot prairies summers with leaks during the rainy season.
Adjusting to Life on the Prairies • Adjusting was tough. • Winters were cold, and the diet of the homesteaders was very monotonous. • Natural disasters like hail, drought , and grasshopper infestation made things difficult. • Most immigrants to the prairies succeeded despite the conditions. • After a few years the soddies would be replaced with a more substantial home, and with more settlers come better roads and infrastructure to get to the towns and markets.
Newcomers in the Cities • Between 1898-1914, the population of the prairies increased by approx. 1.5 million. • The increase effected the entire country. • 1/3 of all the immigrants that landed in Canada during this time frame chose the cities as their place to settle. • The developments in industry encouraged rural Canadians to move to the cites to live a more urban lifestyle. • Montreal and Toronto doubled in size. • 1914, the urban population was almost 50% of the total population. • Only four cities in Canada had populations that exceeded 100,000 • Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.
Newcomers in the Cities • Many immigrants coming to the cities could speak little English. • Many were pushed into unsafe, low-paying factory jobs. • A lot of the immigrants lived in ghettos. • Lots lived in crowded two room buildings with little heat, fresh air, or water. • Disease was common because of the poor living conditions.
Newcomers in the Cities • Most people found work as unskilled labourers. • Pay was $10-$15 a week, working 10-12 hour days, and six days a week. • The working conditions were usually poor. • Job security did not exist. • Most incomes were spent on housing and food. • People did not have a lot of extra money to spend • Lots of families had children that worked to help out, which in turn resulted in no education for them and neglect from the parents because of the long working hours.
Newcomers in the Cities • At this time the government did not feel responsible for the poor, or any type of social welfare programs. • The poor relied on each other, and charitable organizations for help.
Railways To Everywhere • The economy in Canada was booming during the Laurier period, and with the boom come the construction of two new transcontinental railways through the West. • The Canadian Northern Railway, and the Grand Trunk Railway. • Both come as farmers become fed up with the CPR and the high prices they were charging for shipping. • They also come at a time were most of the land around the CPR had been taken, and people were having to move farther away. • The Canadian Northern Railway and Grand Trunk both sought federal and provincial aid to built the rail lines. • Railway development.
Railways To Everywhere • The Canadian Northern Railway extended its prairie line eastward to Quebec, and west on a northern route to the pacific. • 1901, BC invited owners William Mackenzie, and Donald Mann to extend their lines through the Yellowhead Pass, and down the Thompson River to Kamloops, and through to Vancouver. • Mackenzie and Mann eventually built a financial business empire that included the railways, mining, lumber, and shipping. • The Grand Trunk expanded much the same with government encouragement, but this time it come from Laurier who agreed to built a section eastward for areas not serviced by the CPR or Canadian Northern. • The Grand Trunk followed the same western route as the Canadian Northern through the Yellowhead Pass, but it continued across Northern BC to Prince Rupert.
Railways To Everywhere • With the outbreak of WWI, all of the new railways that were not a part of the CPR were consolidated as one. • This was done to avoid the financial hardships because they were becoming unprofitable with less immigration and British capital. • The single railway become know as the Canadian National Railways, which was to be owned by the people.
The Rise of Unions • Canada was prosperous, but the prosperity of the time was something that was not shared around equally. • A few major corporate giants controlled a majority of the industry and finance of the country. • i.e. Imperial Oil, Massey-Harris, and Dunsmuir Coal. • Few people in the population were able to see any of the money in these companies, and their wealth sharply contrasted that of the poor working class people.
The Rise of Unions • Many flaunted their wealth and built huge mansions and homes for themselves. • i.e. Dunsmuir Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria. • The gap between the poor working class and the wealth grew bigger, and workers began to look for their share in the wealth they generated for the owners of the businesses.