TREATMENT OF RACIALIZED CITIZENS AND IMMIGRANTS, THE AUSTERITY AND PROSPERITY OF THE ECONOMY, WAR AND PEACE: DEFINING THEMES OF CANADA Elena ToepellHistory: CHC2D3-01 January 18, 2018 In this essay three key themes that define Canada will be discussed. The themes chosen that define Canada represent how the country has handled certain situations and grown/learn from the mistakes made. the themes that define Canada are Treatment of Racialized Citizens and Immigrants, The Austerity and Prosperity of the Economy and War and Peace. The main factors that lead to a multicultural and civil Canada are how it handled residential schools, discrimination during the war, and different immigration acts. They lost the right to vote and were forced to live on reserves where their lives were monitored by white government officials. In 1920, residential schools started up by the Government. Indigenous children between ages 7-15 were forced to go to these schools. Many of them had to travel great distances and were forced away from their families. Duncan Campbell Scott, a politician who oversaw the Indian Act said, “I want to get rid of the Indian problem. I do not think, as a matter of fact, that the country ought to continuously protect a class of people who are able to stand alone… Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian department.” This statement expresses the government’s disliking of the aboriginals. At the residential schools students weren’t allowed to speak their first languages or wear traditional clothing, and the schools were in partnership with churches so the Christian religion was forced upon the students while the aboriginal cultural religion of spirituality was condemned. Students were required to do housework or manual work to pay institution operating costs. For the students, the schools were hell and, some came home with memories and scars of physical/sexual abuse and trauma from being seperated from family members for so long. By 1930, 80 residential schools were set up and around 150,000 aboriginals had attended or still were attending the schools. In 1920, the option to be enfranchised was taken away and no matter what you were enfranchised (made a Canadian citizen and Indian status taken away). These terrible acts came to a close when the last federally run school closed in 1996 but, this left a scar in Canada’s history.World War I was a defining event for Canada because discrimination against aboriginals, black Canadians and, women was really emphasized during this time. 25% of soldiers were British born and allowed to fight. Aboriginals weren’t allowed to sign up and also weren’t encouraged to sign up. When aboriginals were allowed to enlist, it was only because more casualties were happening and people weren’t volunteering anymore. Since the government allowed Indigenous people to enlist it had to relinquish aboriginal rights and statuses. Some aboriginals signed up out of loyalty but others signed just to escape the reserves. When black Canadians tried to enlist they were also turned away by white officers running the recruiting stations. As the war progressed, in 1916 black Canadians were finally allowed to enlist. They weren’t allowed to join as soldiers so they were recruited for non-combat, segregated construction work such as digging trenches, loading ammunition, cutting down trees and laying railway tracks. Asians who volunteered and any Canadians with German heritage or background of countries Britain was at war with were turned away. Women were also not allowed to enlist because they were thought to be too weak and emotional. They were not allowed to enlist as soldiers, pilots or sailors but, over 3,000 signed up to be nurses. Women helped hurt and dying soldiers close to the front lines and, served in hospitals in Britain and France. Being near the front lines many nurses died or were injured due to fires in the tents and, from contracting diseases. Later in the war, 1,000 women served in the airforce as pilots and volunteered to drive ambulances or to do other jobs with the Red Cross. Because of the role these people played during the war their rights and freedoms started changing for the better and it started improving the Canadian economyThe treatment of immigrants was the key factor to why Canada is multicultural today. In 1885 the government put a head tax on Chinese people trying to enter Canada. By 1903 the entry was around $500. Once in Canada, Chinese and even Japanese weren’t allowed to vote. Then in 1908 immigrants had to have had a continuous voyage overseas to be allowed into Canada and, in 1923 a law was passed that male workers (Chinese) couldn’t bring people overseas. Fathers and husbands were separated from their families, wives and children. Mothers, wives, family and, even some children were left in poverty and struggled to provide for themselves. Between 1923-1947 fewer than 50 Chinese immigrants were allowed in. During these years the accident of the Komagata Maru happened. The boat spent 2 months in the harbour with things being thrown at its passengers to leave. On July 23rd it was escorted out of the harbour. When it returned it was met by British officials and most passengers were sent to jail but some were killed. Another incident happened with the S.S.St. Louis during 1939. This ship was filled with Jewish people and was rejected by America before it came to Canada. When we rejected the ship and sent it back to Germany all passengers were shipped to concentration camps which led to all of them dying. In 1947 the Citizenship act was passed. This law defined how to become a full status Canadian. It also neutralized/ended other immigrations acts, (chinese head tax, continuous voyage, etc). In 1988 the multiculturalism act was passed. This was an act to protect culture and heritage and to reduce discrimination. It also made multiculturalism embraced in Canada and welcomed all cultures and people. A second defining theme of Canada is the austerity and prosperity of the economy. The uncoordinated evolution of Canada’s economy during the 1920s, made the masse devastation of the Great Depression, which lead to the thriving economy coming out of WWII. During the recovery, the demand for goods and people’s needs increased. Manufactures making consumer goods overproduced which lead to people buying more than they needed. Mass produced goods such as cars, radios and, telephones started being produced and bought at a quicker rate. This new modern way of life was said to help people forget the war and welcome a new society. The price to buy goods started dropping so more people could buy things and not worry about not having enough for actual needs. The ownership for vehicles in 1918 was around 300,000 but when car and truck prices dropped, by 1929 ownership was 1.9 million in Canada. This encouraged governments to build roads, bridges, power systems, electrical power. The development of larger hydro power allowed power to be distributed everywhere. The Canadian forestry and mining industry grew as the demand for raw materials and pulp and paper increased. With the demand of raw materials the value of wheat went up 250% which lead Canada to be a major wheat exporter. Canada stopped trading with Britain and focused more on America. America was allowed to set up branch plants in Canada which lead to more jobs for Canadians. Since there were more job opportunities, more people were moving from rural areas to the city/urbanized areas. People also moved to cities because they could now afford to spend more money. Magazines and ads were selling things that targeted stay at home mothers and wives to encourage them to spend money. Because of this striving economy buying on credit was introduced. This allowed people to borrow money but could also put them into debt if they weren’t careful. Due to the overproducing of goods, it was easy to buy non essential things on credit. This is what helped start The Great Depression.1 The Great Depression lasted for ten years and was one of the worst eras in Canada. When the Stock Market crashed in New York (Black Tuesday), Canada was immediately affected since the U.S was Canada’s number one trading partner at the time. Manufactures made too many consumer goods which lead to people spending more money and buying on credit way more than needed. Now companies were starting to shut down because they had made too many goods and no one could afford to buy them. Since companies were closing many people lost their jobs and couldn’t pay back the debt they owed for buying on credit. The need for wheat dropped to almost nothing and, drought, dust storms and, bad soil took away farms and put more people at risk. Prime Minister Bennett promised to fix unemployment and take Canada out of this depression. He was in power for five years which was said to be the worst five. Bennett didn’t believe in welfare and wouldn’t give money to those in need, the municipal government tried to reason with the provincial government but it didn’t work. People were desperate for jobs and started doing manual labour which paid little and lead to them living in the cold. The works demanded better conditions and decided to jump onto freight trains to Ottawa to discuss with the government (Trek to Ottawa). On Dominion Day, also known as the Regina Riot, Bennett tried to stop the Trek and sent the RCMP to arrest the trek leaders. During this riot civilians, people and, officers fought and were injured and the trek to Ottawa stopped.In 1935 Bennett was finally kicked out of the government. While Bennett was in power manufactures tried saving Canada by raising tariffs but, other countries did the same and Canada was unable to sell wheat, lumber and, fish. Canada (and other countries) were brought out of the depression because of WWII.2 The economy after WWII started improving rapidly due to the success during the war. During the war ammunition factories opened and offered jobs to everyone. The country also needed people to enlist to fight in the war, this included women and first nations people. Coming out of the war, companies only produced what was needed and auto companies went back to making cars and trucks. Some companies got government support to restart. The government ensured that veterans were getting jobs, the help they needed and, had an easier time fitting back into society. Canada’s government took on a decade-long building spree of hospitals, schools, roads, libraries and, other major projects on a national scale. In 1950 the Trans-Canada-Highway started being built at $1 billion dollars and continued to be built long after. Oil, gas, minerals, lumber, wheat, fish and, manufactured products started being demanded at a very high rate. Grain, pulp & paper, zinc, gold and lead all were at a high demand too. These industries left a lot of jobs open and allowed people to work and start their lives. In 1951 women made up 23% of the workplaces and, the workplace conditions started improving. Pension rules were changed to allow all seniors get $40 per month and don’t need to “qualify” or pass a means test. To stop strikes from breaking out Unions were allowed to form and negotiate however were unable to strike while agreements were being made. Canada started breaking down its discrimination laws since most people after seeing the horror of the Holocaust wanted to fight for people’s rights and equalities. Seeing the discrimination within the U.S made Canada more aware which is what drove the change of laws.3 War and peace can define Canada because of the role it played in Canada’s increasing independence during World War I, World War II, and the peacekeeping efforts during the forties, fifties and sixties. When World War I started, Canada joined the war alongside Britain and The Triple Entente. More than half of the Canadian soldiers were of British heritage and 25% were born in Britain. In 1917 The Battle of Vimy Ridge of was lead by a Canadian commander and was successfully executed. The French and British had attempted to take hold of Vimy Ridge but had failed and were forced to seek help from Canada. Vimy Ridge had a height advantage and was one of the bloodiest battles during WWI. After capturing Vimy Ridge the Canadian Corps was known as the finest fighting formation on the Western Front. When The Hundred Days started it was lead by the Canadian Corps. When the hundred days were over (August 8-November 11), Canada had advanced over 130 kilometers and captured 32,000 prisoners. During the war the government enabled the War Measures Act. This act labeled over 8,000 citizens “enemy aliens.” Enemy aliens were sent to internment camps, could not publish or read anything in any language other than French or English and couldn’t leave country without permission. 8,500 people were placed in internment camps, and forced to build roads and railways. Some German Canadians were fired from their jobs. After WWI ended Canada saw its mistakes when enforcing the War Measures Act and learned from those mistakes when WWII started. Canada’s troops were very successful during WWI and because of this Canada was closer to becoming independent. At the Paris Peace Conference Robert Borden said Canada had the right to have its own seat because of its wartime performance.The Treaty of Versailles was a major consequence that lead to WWII. Since German received many punishments and suffered from the Great Depression, it was no surprise that it welcomed nationalism and fascism. There was warning German might attack Poland so the French and British governments said if Hitler attacked they would protect Poland. On Sept. 3 1939 French and Britain declared war on Germany. Canada had the right to make its own decision to join the war or not so on Sept. 10, Canada declared war on Germany. Even though countries had declared war no one was ready for a war. In Dec. 1939 troops from Canada arrived in Britain but from Sept. 1939-May 1940 a “phony war” took place where allies did little fighting because they weren’t ready. Hitler started bombing cities not just warzones after a German bomber accidentally bombed London and the RAF bombed Berlin as revenge. All industries were changed to make ammunition or help the war in any way. Women were allowed to work and enlist in war as well as Chinese Canadians. Black Canadians and Aboriginals were allowed to enlist but only when Canada was desperate for soldiers. A mission Canadian troops went on was helping drive German forces out of the Netherlands. On April 22 a truce was negotiated to provide disaster relief to the Netherlands. Canadians got to witness the Holocaust and made an agreement to never do something so inhuman again. Allowing people to see the Holocaust made people believe more in equality and how important it is.After WWII there were many efforts to keep peace throughout the world during the 50’s and 60’s. Between 1947 to 1953 Canada let 186,000 European refugees into the country and about 8,000/65,000 of the refugees were Jews. Canadians became more aware of discrimination within their own society and the importance of protecting human rights. The voice of women started being heard more and some laws were getting changed to allow women more equal rights. During the Iraq and Vietnam war many young Americans fled to Canada to avoid conscription and they were welcomed. The presence of so many young Americans fleeing the war reinforced anti-war feelings. Protests were televised which encouraged more young people to have their voice heard. Women started demanding that they could work and be equal to men and in 1961 the government made it legal for birth control to be sold. The Ontario Human Rights Code in 1962 protects Ontarians from discrimination and following the code in 1966 the death penalty was outlawed. Lester B. Pearson created the UNEF as a solution to the Suez Crisis that was happening. This idea worked and in return Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize and later became Prime Minister. The international peacekeeping force UNEF was to help the post war situation and to stop future wars as peacefully as it could. From the above it is clear that War and Peace, Austerity and Prosperity of the Economy and, Treatment of Racialized Citizens and Immigrants have made the biggest impact on Canadian citizens and Canada. Bibliography: Colyer, Jill, Graham Draper, Margaret Hoogeveen, and Jack Cecillon. Creating Canada a history: 1914 to the present. Brantford, Ontario: W. Ross MacDonald School Resource Services Library, 2016.