Canada and World War I

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Before the First World War, Canada was a member of the British Empire and was obligated to follow the mother country. Even though Canada had no choice whether to go to war, Canadians across the country were eager to fight. As many men volunteered, the situation at home began to change. Some of the changes included industrialization and new status for women. Many positive changes were implemented, but so were negative ones. There was even a time when our democracy and freedom was threatened. The war zone took place across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe. In battle, Canadian soldiers were characterizing themselves, especially in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The battles allowed our nation to grow independent of Britain. During the course of the First World War, the situation at home and overseas continually evolved, which ultimately developed a greater sense of nationalism among Canadians.

There were many important changes within Canada’s borders during the war. A major positive effect was industrialization. Many factories were opened up to produce weapons and munitions for the soldiers in Europe. The appearance of many secondary industries enabled Canada to become a wealthy nation. Since many men volunteered to partake in the “European adventure”, they weren’t able to work in these factories. As a result, women had to take up the roles. This was a positive movement because women joined the workforce and gained financial independence. Women were also affected by a controversial law passed by Robert Borden. The War Times Elections Act gave wives, mothers, and sisters of soldiers the right to vote. After the war, most women over the age of 21 retained suffrage in Federal Elections. Other laws passed by Borden, however, were met with opposition.

The many changes that took place during the War were accompanied by negative ones. One law threatened a very important value of our nation - our freedom. The War Measures Act allowed the National Government to suspend the...
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