Canada Prepares for WWI
“In Canada, the summer of 1914 was like every other summer” (Swettenham, 2). Although great in size, Canada’s population had always been small compared to that of other countries, and was still only a growing nation. Canada was small and far away from any real threat of war, therefore how could they have thought to prepare themselves for a war the size of the Great War? It is shown through how Canada was a slowly developing country during the time of the war, how the Canadian economy was affected under the weight of the war, and the fact that Canadians did not have the proper equipment for a modern war, that it is proven Canada was not prepared for the First World War. Before the war had begun, Canada’s main focus was not on becoming stronger by building the military, but on developing the country in other ways such as promoting immigration. Almost all of Canadian soldiers were volunteers, which illustrates how Canada did not have a real army before the war began. Canada had a regular army of just over 3000 people out of over 600 000 Canadians that served in the war (Swettenham, 1). Canada’s small military power is also demonstrated when compared to other countries. By 1914, Britain had a regular army of almost 245,000 troops (“British...” par. 2); France had an army of 777,000 regular troops in 1914 (“French...” par. 1); Russia, the largest of them all, had 1,400,000 soldiers when they entered the war (“Glossary...” par. 1). Taking a look at these numbers shows just how small Canada’s army of 3000 was. The most significant country to compare to Canada was Germany, as the North German Confederation and the Canadian confederation were both created n 1867 (Swettenham, 1). Compared with Canada’s regular army of just over 3000 soldiers, Germany had a huge 856 000 soldiers only in their regular army (Swettenham, VIII). Germany was much more devoted to building a large army that challenged Britain’s great army, while Canada was not committed to...
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