Wilfred Laurier, Prime Minister (1896-1911)
•Canada dominated by Victorian Ideals
-Children seen, but not heard
-Young couples could not meed without escort
-Gentlemen & Ladies wore hats
-Ladies entertained at home, always observing best etiquitte -Playing cards and whiskey seen as immoral
•New technology altered life for many
-Automobile-rich man’s toy
-Bicycle- New styles; cheaper than a horse
-Mechanized farms: combines, threshers
-”Magic Lantern” shows projected images (like slides)
-”Open door policy” encouraged people to settle in west
-European nations targeted
-Many races turned away; Canada not yet multicultural
-Push factors: high taxes, ethnic minorities (Ukrainians, Poles) suffered, America was full -Pull factors: Free land, democratic/religious freedoms, new railways provided access •Canada’s challenges for the future
-Imperialism? Should Canada continue to be an important part of Britain’s empire? -Nationalism? Should Canada aspire to develop independently of the empire? -Continentialism? Should Canada form close relations with America? Perhaps be annexed by them, forming 1 big nation?
Foreign Policy Issues
The Boer War (1899)
•The British were at war with Dutch settlers in South Africa over colonies. Joseph Chamberlain, Britain’s minister of colonies, told Laurier to send troops to help. •English-Canadian Imperialists: Felt that it was their duty to help Great Britain in the war. Argued that war would be beneficial to economy, and help Canada get on good terms with Britain, who would help them in the Alaska Boundary Dispute. •French-Canadian Nationalists: Did not wish to support the British war. Did not agree with Chamberlain’s goal of conquering South Africa. Felt Canada should not get involved in matters that did not concern them. •Laurier attempted to compromise and sent “unofficial help”- 1000 volunteers & equipment •Imperialists not happy, felt that Laurier didn’t do enough. Nationalists thought he shouldn’t have done anything.
The Alaska Boundary Dispute (1903)
•Skagway= Town, crucial for gold-mining industry
•US thought Skagway should belong to them, and the boundary should be further inland •Canadians claimed boundary was close to coast; Skagway was theirs •Held a tribunal with 3 American Judges, 2 Canadian, and 1 British. Brought boundary a bit closer to coast, but Skagway remained under US control. Canadians felt that British sold them out (England needed American help in Naval issue) and this even strained Canadian-British relations.
The Naval Issue (1909-10)
•British were concerned about growing German Navy
•Imperialists supported sending money to Britain to contribute to their navy •Nationalists did not want to support British navy (similar reasons to Boer war) •Laurier passed the Naval Service Bill: Builds a navy for Canada that could be sent to help Britain in times of need. Never built; instead Canada got 2 old ships from British Navy, nicknamed “Tin Pot Navy.”
•Reciprocity: free trade (without tariffs on imported goods), with the US •Western Farmers & Eastern Fishermen supported free trade because natural resources would be easier to sell in the US •Manufacturers in ON and QC opposed reciprocity; feared competition from US over goods •Laurier supported reciprocity, and as a result the Liberals lost the 1911 election over this issue.
WWI: The Four MAIN Causes
1. Militarism: Belief in a strong military to sort out disputes and maintain national strength. •Germany: Building a navy and army
•England: Largest navy so far (superpower)
•France, Austria-Hungary, and Russia also
2. Alliances: Alliances increase the likelyhood of a “World War” •Triple Alliance: Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary
•Triple Entente: Russia, France, and England