The Declaration of war
• Britain's ultimatum to Germany expired on August 4, 1914
• Canada immediately offered to provide a contingent of 25,000 men ready to leave within two months
• Britain accepted on Aug 7th.
• A conservative nationalist who served as Canada's controversial Militia and Defence Minister
• Hughes demanded that Canadian troops be outfitted with all Canadian gear
o "Ross Rifle" which was heavy and prone to jamming
• He disliked Britain
• He appointed his friends and political allies to important positions
• He appointed a Baptist minister to be in charge of recruiting in a Catholic-dominated Quebec
• French-Canadians were scattered among English language units since commands were to be only spoken in English
• He was ultimately fired in 1916
The War Measures Act (1914)
• This act gave the federal cabinet the right to rule by decree during wartime. It allowed the government to imprison Canadian citizens of German, Ukrainian and Slavic descent
• These internees did:
o Forced labor to develop Banff National Park
o Develop Northern Ontario's logging industry
o Develop steel mills and mines
o Canada kept the internees working two years after the war ended
o Upon arrest, money and property were seized by the government
Early Economic Effects
• Unemployment grew
• The huge trans-Canadian railways could not get loans
• Canada's military budget in 1915 was more than the entire national budget of 1913
• Canada was forced to turn to the US for financial loans
The Imperial Munitions Board
• Took over the responsibility for war manufacturing and rooted out problems. Strikes were broken and censorship was used to jeep the news quiet
The Military Service Act of 1917
• On July 24,1917, conscription became a reality despite PM Borden's promise
• To Quebecois, it appeared to target them since they had volunteered in a much lower number than other provinces
• Henri Bourassa led the opposition to conscription.
o He and other French Canadians felt as though they should stay out of European affairs
The Wartime Elections Act (1917)
• On Sept 20 Parliament passed this
• It disfranchised citizens of enemy-alien birth naturalized after March 31,1902, except when such citizens had a son, grandson, or brother in active duty.
• The Act also granted the right to vote to mother and sisters of serving soldiers, as well as women serving in the armed forces.
• This undoubtedly increased support for Borden's party
New Social Changes
• Business Profits and War Income Taxes were created to "conscript wealth"
• An "anti loafing" law threatened to jail any man not gainfully employed.
What did Canada Gain form WWI?
• Autonomy from Britain
• The right to sign the treaty of Versailles seperatly from Britain
• A seat at the League of Nations
• Economic boom followed by labor unions
• Women gained the right to vote in federal and most provincial elections.