Canadian Identity

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WWI was extremely influential in the process of shaping Canada as a nation. Canadians successfully helped out in a war that established the terrors of modern warfare. Even though approximately 66,000 Canadian soldiers lost their lives during the war, Canada as a nation grew stronger and was on its way to successfully becoming an independent nation. Women in Canada also won the right to vote during the war. They also became nurses and volunteers at the front.

During WWI, being a German and living in Canada was not very pleasant at all. Of Canada’s 7 million people during WWI, 393,000 were of German origin and in 1911, nearly half had roots within the Austro – Hungarian Empire. When the conflict began, this led to a drawn out process of cyclical alienation and a re-integration of Germans into Canadian society. After the war started, Germans became the most reviled immigrant group in Canada. The government tried to contain these immigrants by sending them to internment camps. The unfair internment of many “enemy aliens” or immigrants from adversary countries will be remembered as an embarrassing even that took place in Canadian history. The amount of immigrants today has become a major part of the Canadian identity.

Through taxation, conscription, volunteering, war bonds, munitions work and so much more, the war literally involved everyone on the home front and this changed Canadian society dramatically. There was an overwhelming sense of unity and a monumental goal that the entire country was working forwards; winning the war to end all wars!
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