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Canadian History 202

Course notes taken in 1999 - transcribed to blog* in 2011.

Canada in 1867

http://bigcitylittlehomestead.blogspot.com *Taken down and turned into this document on January 12, 2014.

Lecturer: Graeme Decarie!

!

Student: Jane Sorensen

Date: Saturday, January 1, 2011 Topic: History 202, Lecture 1: The Industrial Revolution

This lecture was attended on April 24, 1999. It is particularly interesting to me, as a homesteader, as I have been reading about the industrial revolution’s phases. Many naïvely believe that as we pass into “new” eras, we abandon the old. Not so, never so, but governments and businesses often believe we need to throw money at the future edge and make efforts to obsolete the past, except in a curatorial manner of preserving for display and education what can and sometimes, though not necessarily, should be taken out of use. The Industrial Revolution is an ambiguous term. Put in lower case, it refers to a complex process of technological innovation. We refer to machines replacing human skills. We use new sources of energy, shifting form a handicraft economy to manufacturing, so the production is reorganized. The process introduces specialization, including geographical specialization. Put in upper case, the term refers to a period of time: England was the first to experience the Industrial Revolution. Different dates are given by historians. As the process was not abrupt, it could be called “industrialization.” Protoindustrialization is the period determined by a domestic and cottage industry of little workshops. It lasted as long as two centuries in Britain before the Industrial Revolution. In the 17th century (the 1600s), woollen textiles, and the 18th century, cotton textiles (these particularly in Liverpool) created the “putting out” system. It was driven by middlemen and merchant capital. This is found in all European proto-industrial stages. Capital is reinvested in manufacturing in the 18th century. They then produced only for the market. The income is no longer through buying and selling. The industrial revolution process spread to Belgium and France, through central Europe (Austria, Prussia), and in the last half of the 19th century, it went to Russia. By about 1780, all Europe had an equivalent level of development. All had centres of industry with regions of specialization. Flanders, which at that time was in France, was the centre for wool, and Normandy was the centre for cotton. Only after 1800 did a gap in industrialization appear between Britain and Europe, which widened by 1860 and closed by 1900. The Continental system helped Britain look for different markets, which it developed and helped its own advancement. The entrepreneurial spirit was not as developed in continental Europe as in Britain. In France, the domestic cottage system dominated until the last quarter of the 19th century. Agriculture kept hold to the old manner for a long time. In Germany, political unit boundaries slowed development. The Customs Union (Zollverein) finally occurred in 1834, to that entrepreneurial spirit could develop.

The transport system of canals and roads was not as developed in Europe as it was in Britain. The “transportation revolution” did not take off as much in Europe due to political disparity. Lastly, coal for energy was more abundant in Britain than on the continent, where wood was the main source of energy until the mid-1800s. The railway construction era was about to begin. In the second part of the 19th century, the emancipation of the serfs, especially in Russia, made individuals free to live and work where they pleased, rather than be bound to a hold. Alexander II and Nicholas II introduced capital and specialized labour from abroad to help with Russia’s industrialization.
Date: Saturday, January 1, 2011 Topic: Canada in 1867

Class Notes: History 205, History of Canada, Graeme Decarie, Winter 1999 The picture of British North America in 1823, prior to Confederation, is quite interesting. It is here: http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/historical/ preconfederation/britishnorthamerica1823 In 1867, Canada was 4 provinces.

• • • •

Nova Scotia - fish for 1/2 the year, the other half, ship cargo to the Caribbean. Also, coal mines. Spring Hill, NS. New Brunswick: farming and timber, pine shipped to Britain. Quebec and Ontario were much smaller than today [and that's the way they should have stayed]. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were almost the same size as they are today. British Columbia was a separate colony of Britain.

Everything else was property of Britain, administered by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Called Rupert’s Land. Canada was created by the British government via the British North America act (BNA). Canada was still a colony. It could manage its internal affairs. Could not negotiate treaties with other countries, or have ambassadors, or declare war. If Britain went to war, then Canada would be asked, but not obliged to. The British army was here until 1871. Why the provinces united: Economic: The colonies traded with the British empire. Goods from the empire and colonies was duty-free, until 1850 (corn laws). We lost some market share. We had a free-trade agreement with the United States.

US - 1860-65 Civil War:- Manufacturers were putting in place heavy duties to protect their business after the war - Grand Trunk Railroad: Rivière-du-Loup -> Windsor -> south to the US - The 19th century US was as greedy as could be for land What to do? • • • Where was our market going to be? Hudson’s Bay had no army to protect its territory Answer: Buy southern tract of Rupert’s Land from Hudson’s Bay Co. Extend the Railway west. Send people west, and create a market for our Canadian goods. Hudson Bay gets protection from US settlers, and gets booty. NS and NB were important for having a year-round port. Railroad must be built there, too. Grand Trunk, Hudson’s Bay, both owned by influential capitalists so it went through. Building a railway is very risky. No people around. The government needed money, so needed a tax base. The Grand Trunk Railroad was British owned. PEI, Newfoundland, NB, and NS saw the deal and said “forget it,” but NS and NB were forced into the deal.

• • • •

Next topic: Constitution.
Date: Saturday, January 1, 2011 Topic: The story of Confederation - part A

There was no reference to the rights of people in the British North America Act. No “We,” ”the People,” “Society.” The BNA was a business deal. In order to implement it, you need a strong central government. Control over banking was given to Ottawa. The banks decide who will get money and for what purpose. Then, if you want to start a bank: a) you’re Canadian, b) you’re Montreal- or Toronto-connected, and c) the money goes to the Great West cause. The provinces were given control of roads, but nothing really travelled by road. Education - few people went to school past Grade 2. Social Services - they were only in the form of charities. Mineral/Natural resources - water turned a mill.

The first Prime Minister: John A. MacDonald. Conservative. Spokesman for big business in Montreal. The Gazette was the newspaper. The finance minister always came from a big business family. So, too, most politicians. NS: John A fared badly. They protested. NB: Only one district was interested in Confederation: Northumberland, a coal area. Quebec was Conservative - Sir John left the church alone, and let it run education as it was in the provincial jurisdiction. Ontario opposition via the “Grits” or “Reformers,” AKA Liberals, showed some significance. The Grits were worried about the status of Toronto. Ontario was very Protestant. Yet John A was of the Orange Order (a militant Protestant society), and a Temperance society (yet he was an alcoholic). D’Arcy McGee, Irish, a member of St. Patrick’s Temperance Society, was John A’s best drinking buddy. They went on a lark in the US with a dancing bear.

Date: Monday, January 3, 2011 Topic: The story of Confederation - part B

John A had to negotiate a land deal with the Hudson’s Bay Co. He had, therefore, to deal with the US. The US had grievances about us. The US couldn’t fish in our waters, and we had the world’s richest fishery. The Americans insisted anyway and came up from Boston. The US also wanted British compensation for having supported the South. They wondered what the hell did Britain have an interest in Canada for? They wanted Canada! Trained US soldiers formed an Irish secret society called the Fenians. They had kept all their equipment from the war. They wanted to invade Canada, and then trade Canada for Ireland. The Fenians attacked Prescott, ON, Nova Scotia, and Chateauguay, QC, just south of Montreal. The British were eager to settle with the US, and they wanted trade. The conference was held in Washington DC in 1871. It was called the Washington Conference. There were five British delegates and five American delegates at the conference. John A was invited to be a British commissioner at the conference. They were prepared to sacrifice something Canadian, and use John as a “tar baby.” This means tar with the same brush, that is, paint him in British colours when the Canadians became outraged. He sent advanced notice to Britain and the US to [and here I wrote “bitch about,” but I was young and not choosing proper words] protest the Fenian raids. This issue doesn’t even make it onto the agenda. So the Americans wanted to fish in our waters (the old territorial water limit was 3 miles, now, it’s 220), to use the St. Lawrence Seaway for its full length, a few minor border disputes, and Confederate damage (via the Alabama raiding ship) compensation. The Americans got these, which John A signed, although border disputes were left to a committee. Canada got the Porcupine and Stikine rivers (Alaska had been purchased in 1867), and free navigation of Lake Michigan. The professor was not sure Canada lost out in the negotiations. Canada did not pay a cent for its own defence, it was absolutely dependent on Britain. It would have been foolish to take a stand against your customers while being at war. The negotiations resulted in Canada’s existence being recognized by the United States.
Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 Topic: Manitoba and Louis Riel

So, the next big problem was the Great West. There were just two groups of people living there: Natives (Cree and Blackfoot), and Métis (French/Scottish and Native blended families; Scottish fur traders from the Hudson’s Bay Company as until 1817 or so, there was a thriving fur trade between the West and Montreal). They lived along the Red River, partly from farming, and partly by hunting buffalo. During the buffalo hunts, they would head into Sioux territory. The Sioux were the nation that annihilated General Custer’s army. The Métis defeated the Sioux “for the loss of two men killed.” Fort Gary, which is now known as

Winnipeg, was their main town near the Assiniboine. They had no formal title to the land they were living on. In 1869, Surveyors showed up in the Red River area. The Métis organized, stopped the surveyors, and seized Fort Gary. They formed a provisional government. Their intention was to force the Canadian government to negotiate with them. The Métis elected Louis Riel as the leader. He became a pivotal character in Canadian history. Everybody uses him to prove their historical points. Louis Riel was 25 years old and had some education - he had been sent to Montreal for school, which he left in his teens. Louis negotiated the creation of a small province around Fort Gary and the Red River, and called it Manitoba. All the rest of the West was called the North West Territories (and a Nor’Wester was the term for an “arrogant” Canadian there to try to make money when the new settlers came). To have a province would protect the Métis from the onslaught of settlers. The Ontario settlers tried to revolt against the Métis. They were subdued. Thomas Scott tried a second attempt. He was caught - problem! Riel has to show he’s the man in charge, so Scott is put on trial for rebellion, found guilty, and was shot. In the eyes of most Canadians, Louis Riel was a Catholic Savage, and Scott was a member of the Orange Order. Canadians (except for Quebec) are up in arms and want Louis dead. Without any prospects and money, Louis dropped out after his reelection when he found he could not do his job for fear for his life. He left Manitoba for a Métis settlement in the US, to teach. Canada didn’t give any information to the Métis; the transfer of the land was done in 1870. See the map here: http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/ historical/territorialevolution/1870

Date: Monday, January 10, 2011 Topic: BC joins Canada with less ado than an election

We are still in 1870, and Canadian capitalists still wanted to build the Great West railroad (the Grand Trunk was falling short). It was to be private, but the government would have to provide substantial help. No powerful American partners were allowed. If you let the Americans in, they would make Chicago New York the focal corridor to our railroad, and Canada was not interested in that. The financier for the railroad was Sir Hugh Allan, who owned shipping and insurance companies. John A wants BC (British Columbia) to become a province of Canada. A port on

the west coast opens up trade to the Far East, an all-around-the-world trade route. BC was interested - in the 1850s they had had a gold rush, but accommodating the rushers left a tonne of debt behind. George-Etienne Cartier (a big dandy with a mammoth ego, who had five funerals and a monument erected in Montreal) negotiated with BC - a province right away, a railway within 10 years, and huge subsidies to cover their debt. So BC became a province of Canada in 1872. The 1872 election, Canada’s first after Confederation, was a close election for John A. Another John A, this one being John Abbot, was the money man for the Conservatives. A clerk who had been fired stole the voting registers and other information, such as the money spent buying votes. When the Conservatives knew the Liberals were up to something, one of the two John A’s called up a Royal Commission. Lots of intrigue, more to come…

Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 Topic: The Pacific Scandal changes the government

Hugh Allan (the railroad financier) somehow got the Jesuits’ help in getting George Étienne Cartier into election trouble. Georgie boy was the Grand Trunk railroad’s lawyer. Georgie had to support Hughie’s bid for the railway. Hugh, however, was backed by American railway men, so he lost the contract. John A had to resign over the election corruption, which was called The Pacific Scandal. So, the Liberals came in, led by Alexander Mackenzie. This man was unbelievably honest. He belonged to the Free Church of Scotland, where you weren’t allowed to enjoy yourself. The Liberals held power from 1873-1878, and rather little was accomplished although suddenly, in 1873, PEI decided to join Canada to get their potatoes to a bigger market. The world was in a depression, anyway, so there was no money available to get the railway built , although they did manage to build the section on the northern edge of the Great Lakes. The three directions and interests characteristic of the Liberals at that time were 1) Canadian nationalism - they objected to the degree of British control; 2) Reform improvements to make moral policies and have honest governors, and 3) Free trade - which a great many farmers wanted. Back to Louis Riel: in 1873, Ontario still wanted him arrested, and Quebec did not. This put the Liberals on the spot - there were no grounds for power to arrest him. He had been granted amnesty by the British governor, Lord Dufferin - not by Mackenzie - to settle the problem and get it out of the way. But the Liberals kicked up a fuss, and so a British governor never did that without asking for permission again.

Date: Friday, January 14, 2011 Topic: Other activities of the Liberals, 1874-1878

In 1874: If the West was ever going to be settled, there must be law and order [even the TV show Deadwood demonstrates a form of that]. An army would have been best, although the Americans would have protested. So a force, trained as soldiers and police, was set up and sent out there. They were known as the North West Mounted Police. This established the Royal Military College. One of the first effects was that each native group signed a treaty and agreed to settle on reserves. BUT…in 1870, there were millions of buffalo. By 1880, only 20,000 buffalo remained. We had starved them into submission; they had to sign the treaties. This zoöcide - and yes, wantonly killing large numbers of animals is worthy of ‘-cide’ and the moral condemnation this suffix confers - and its quasiintended genocide still echoes down to today. The Liberals, as Reformers, had a problem with the courts system. Appeals could be sent to The British Privy Council, and this continued in one form (or institution) or another until 1949, which is when the Canadian Supreme Court became the highest authority. As a country, the US was the only other country we could negotiate a free trade deal with, and they were not interested in competition. The Liberals introduced the secret ballot for the 1878 election. It was an attempt to prevent corruption. They also introduced a law which is still in effect: The Canada Temperance Act. Any town can ban the sale of liquor within its borders.

Date: Monday, January 17, 2011 Topic: The Liberals and liberalism vs. The Church

The Liberals had alienated Big Business in Montreal, as business wanted tariffs to protect them from competition. They also alienated the Catholic Church, which was huge, and subscribed to ultramontanism: The Church was to be dominant in ALL things, even that priests should not be tried in court. People had to vote the way the priests said to vote. The Bishop of Montreal, Bourget, believed in the supremacy of the Church and he built Mary Queen of the World basilica - which is also a scale model of St. Peter’s in Rome - right in the heart of Protestant Montreal. There is a statue of Bourget on the corner of as shown here - http:// www.imtl.org/montreal/building/Basilique-Marie-Reine-du-monde.php?id=96. He died long before it was completed.

Liberalism historically stood for the rights of the individual, hence the opposition from the Church. But Bourget didn’t limit opposition to politics. There was a men’s club called the Institut Canadien, where the men met for readings and discussions of whatever topic they pleased. Bishop Bourget insisted on obtaining a list of their library so he could approve what they could read. They did not comply, so he excommunicated the members of the club. Guy Bourque, one of the members, died excommunicated. He wanted to be buried in Cimitière Côtedes-Nieges, and it was fought all the way through the courts so he could be. Once he was interred, they poured concrete and scrap iron on the grave, so that he would not be dug up. Bishop Bourget then deconsecrated the ground he was buried in.

Date: Friday, January 21, 2011 Topic: The Election and the return of Riel

In 1878, John A, now sober, was still the leader of the Conservative party. He was still a friend to Catholics and to Big Business. The Conservative policies were: 1) High tariffs to develop Canadian manufacturing. This would anger the farmers, so they didn’t call it a tariff, they gave it a new name: National Policy. In order to set the tariff, he asked manufacturers to set the tariff. If there is full employment, then farmers can get a good price for their goods. 2) Close relations with Britain to promote that railroad! Must attract investment, and only Britain had the capital needed. So, establish a High Commissioner in lieu of an ambassadorship. The Conservatives won the election. So, over in Manitoba, settlers were surging west, and they formed a Settlers’ Union which seemed to be in opposition to Canadian and American Natives. The natives were starved, demoralized, had almost no weaponry, and were on reserves. In 1869 there had been a Métis rebellion that went off in the middle of winter, and it had been impossible to deliver the military. The Church had supported this rebellion, but the one that began in spring of 1885 was not supported. The Church fell away from Riel because he had come to believe, without question, that God had chosen him to lead the West to become a promised land for all peoples an ideal society. He had in mind a faith that was something like Catholicism, but Riel would be the prophet.

Date: Sunday, January 23, 2011 Topic: The North-West Rebellion

By the time of the 1885 spring rebellion, the railway had reached almost all the way to Batoche, Manitoba. Several regiments were swiftly sent from Nova Scotia, the Eastern Townships of Quebec, and Ontario. They were militia, part-time “social” soldiers, and they were sent west on open flat railway cars, in early Prairie spring. Riel had, among his military, a man named Gabriel Dumont – a brilliant soldier. However, he wanted a rebellion without bloodshed. The Canadians were led by a British officer who had initially held the officers back, but then took Baths when the Métis ran out of ammunition. The rebellion was thence suppressed, the Canadian Pacific Railway (Great West) project was saved, and the grateful Canadian government gave the railroad company funds to finish it. The Métis were henceforth swept under the carpet. Louis Riel was found guilty of treason and was hanged. He should not have been – he was neither an inspirational leader nor a villain. The Governor General can only speak with the advice of his government, which was Conservative. Quebec wanted life imprisonment, though they didn’t, early on, support Riel. They just didn’t want hanging because that’s what Ontario wanted, in revenge for Thomas Scott. There were more voters in Ontario than in Quebec. This is the power struggle of Confederation. If Professor Decarie, the lecturer from which these notes were taken, were to trace the rise of separatism, he’d start with Louis Riel. After his hanging, the first nationalist party began in Quebec, led by Honoré Mercier. And to finish this chapter, Gabriel Dumont and other native chiefs, including Sitting Bull, ended up in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 Topic: Then as now, now as then: Federal-provincial power struggle

There has never been anything but friction between the federal and provincial premiers. The Federal government controlled the banks and railways, and the railway was a big draw for foreign investment. Most big business was federally controlled. In 1867, the Maritimes had the world’s fourth-largest merchant marines. They had the wood to build ships, a sandbar to build it on, and the sea-going people to do the shipping. New ships were being built with iron and were powered by steam. These couldn’t be built by Maritimers. They saw their economy go down the tubes, so to speak and they had no money. Nova Scotia voted to consider the idea of separation. The premier at the time: Fielding. The Northwest Territories hated the idea of the railway. They wanted short

railways to connect with the American railway. Every week, one of the newspapers ran a train wreck photo. Canadian law allows a veto of provincial law by the federal government. The last time it was used was the 1930s. It is only used for companies, the professor said. In the 1870’s, the Provincial Conference yielded the Compact Theory of Confederation (which was an absolute crock, John A had all the power anyway), where basically all the provinces (colonies) got together to create a constitution.

Date: Thursday, January 27, 2011 Topic: Liberalism vs Conservatism

The Liberals’ economic policy was free trade to a point of religious fervour. Too many Canadians had come to depend on the high-tariff National Policy. They were not competitive. But Canadian goods from the east were shipped by CPR, and its management and manufacturers voted Conservative. Sir Wilfred Laurier was a LIberal leader - he had tons o’ charisma. He campaigned in 1888 for a policy called “Commercial Union” - AKA free trade. In 1891, it was called “unrestricted reciprocity.” The Conservatives made fun of Laurier and accused him of being disloyal. A political cartoon of the time: John A carried on a Union flag by workers, with the caption: Old man. Old flag. Old policy. But, the Conservatives won the 1891 election. The Liberal party was hugely handicapped in Quebec. So what Wilfred (Laurier, that is) did was squeeze the Old liberals out, and brought in the old members of the Conservative party. It then became a carbon-copy of the Conservative party, and from time to time drifts leftward and back. Our old friend John A died of a stroke. He was then replaced as the head of the Conservative party by the other John A (Abbott). He had poor health, so he left soon. He was followed by Sir John Thompson, a Catholic who then died of a heart attack while visiting the Queen. The Conservatives then lined up Mackenzie Bowell, who had been the Grand Master of the Orange Order. He was stupendously ineffective, so he was kicked out and replaced with Sir Charles Tupper, whose nickname was the Cumberland Ram, for being a total pervert.

Date: Thursday, February 3, 2011 Topic: Sectarian squabbling on schools

The fundamental liberal belief is that you must make your own decisions. No one

can make them for you. It is a Protestant belief was that only you decide whether you’re saved. This was why the Scottish tradition was to educate people, in order to make correct decisions. The fundamental Catholic belief was accept the Church, believe, and obey (ultramontanism). Quebec was, and in some aspects still is, a profoundly conservative or orthodox society - only one opinion is permitted. However, contrary to modern interpretation, conservatism dictates that social programs are a necessity - because we are concerned with the well-being of society, we must be concerned with the well-being of its members. John Donne’s poetry is informed by this ethic: don’t ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. From 1840 - 60, Quebec was the most fervently Catholic place in the world. Even in 1911, three million people supplied the funds to build St. Joseph’s Oratory on the slopes of the West peak of Mount Royal, whose magnificent dome can be seen from most parts of Montreal. The Pope had disbanded the Jesuit order in the late 1700’s. In the interim, land belonging to the Jesuits was sold to the Canadian government. Later, the Pope (not necessarily the same one) reinstated the Jesuit order, but the land was gone, requiring some kind of compensation. This caused an incredible amount of agitation, from a religious cause, and not all Canadians were Catholic. Catholicism used schooling to spread its power. Honoré Mercier, from Quebec’s Parti National, provided the settlement for the Jesuit estates of $400,000, but he also gave $60,000 to the Protestant school board. He was worried that the ultramontanes 1) wanted more money, and 2) objected to the money given to the Protestant school board. Therefore, he asked the Pope to approve the deal, which Canadians considered Papal Aggression - the Pope should not rule on Canadian matters. Thirteen members of the House of Commons ruled against inviting the Pope to “rule.” They were known as the “Noble Thirteen,” or alternatively, the “Devil’s Dozen.”
Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 Topic: The Manitoba Schools Question

The issue of the 1896 election was The Manitoba Schools Question. Manitoba had voted to put an end to religious schools. Catholics were furious, of course, because the secular schools were really Protestant. In the late 1880’s, Dalton McCarthy, Irish Protestant, left the Conservative party to found the Protestant Protective Association. He toured Canada, and went to Manitoba. The Manitoba government bought the idea of secular schools as a good way to win votes and cover up various railway scandals. Catholics took it to court, all the way up to the British Privy Council. They hoped: 1. The federal government would disallow the secular school law. Ottawa didn’t want to touch it. 2. The Court would decide that Manitoba couldn’t do it. 3. That the federal government would pass “remedial legislation” to impose Catholic education on the province - but Ottawa said no. The Court decision was that yes, the Manitoba government had the right to close

Catholic schools. It also said Ottawa has the power to pass remedial legislation. For the 1896 election, the Conservatives (under Charles the Cumberland Ram) pretty much had to come down in favour, even if reluctantly, of remedial legislation. They tried to pin Laurier (Quebecer, Catholic, Liberal) down to a position. Laurier didn’t bluster at all, and he won - by getting the Quebec vote, but he lost the Manitoba vote. The LIberals left the secular schools in place, with permission for religious instruction after hours.

Date: Thursday, February 10, 2011 Topic: Glamourous, romantic Canada

Wilfred Laurier is characterized as being charming, a gifted speaker, lucky, and constantly selling people out. So we’ll call him Willie from now on. At the same time as Willie’s PMship, Canada was just starting its biggest growth period, for the duration of his tenure (1896 - 1911). “The 20th century belongs to Canada” - with predictions that we would be #1! Whatever that means. But it is true that Canada repeatedly topped the UN Human Development index at the end of the century, which measures health, life expectancy, education, and standard of living. South African gold money was invested in Canada. The world industry needed our lumber and minerals. Canadian wheat was becoming a major project. Government labs developed a high quality, short-season wheat. Shipping had a big capacity and cheaper boats. Immigrants came pouring in. In 1910, 25% of all Canadians were immigrants. in 1914, 40% of the soldiers sent to WWI were not born in Canada. The US frontier had filled up. A large proportion of the Prairie population is of American descent. 90% of the gold prospectors in Canada were American. Robert Service, a major Canadian poet, hit the $1,000,000 sales mark. Stephen Leacock wrote a novel showing the confidence of that time: “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.” And then there was something noteworthy about Commander Steele of the North West Mounted Police (but I can’t say what without Googling it). Willie’s work essentially built upon the economic policies of John A.

Date: Sunday, February 13, 2011 Topic: Are you fond of the railway entries?

Well, trainspotters, you’re in for a real treat. The core of Canada’s capital was the St. Lawrence Valley. Nobody built railways like us! Most of our leading capitalists were building railways in other countries. One was started from Key West to go 90 km over the sea to Cuba - this must have been the boat-train concept that still is in use in Europe. All railways in Brazil, such as the Traction - as my notes say - were Canadian-built, as was British Africa (Sir Percy Gerard was that builder or sponsor). [Even today, Bombardier’s rail division gets important contracts, the jewel of which is Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof.] The Canadian Northern Railways company/network was put together by Mackenzie and Mann. The Mann trophy is the most expensive trophy in the world; it is solid gold. It gets awarded to the Canadian Lacross Championship team. So, the provinces would give incentives (“freebies” in my notes) to anyone who would build a railway. Mackenzie and Mann started in the West, a collection of small railways from Manitoba to BC, then extended east to Lake Superior (Lakehead, now known as Thunder Bay, where Lakehead University is). They had to find a way to export grain eastward to Montreal and from there to the world. Remember: the Grand Trunk was in the east; Rivière-du-Loup–Montreal– Windsor–United States. If you connect the two railways, then you will have a transcontinental railway (perhaps two, as there may have been one in the U.S. already, but we don’t care about that here). But Willie did NOT want to connect the two railways - he wanted to build a third! Which meant, I presume, that the Great Lakes steamships would then load in Lakehead/Thunderbay and ship down to Windsor, at the isthmus of Lake Huron and Lake Erie.

Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011 Topic: The National Transcontinental Railway

Building a railway, we know, required giving out tonnes of contracts. And the two things essential to doing anything such as building a railway is 1) unbounded optimism, and 2) political will. The Canadian Northern Railway went from Halifax – Quebec City (Willie’s riding; Montreal didn’t support Liberals) – Laurentians – Northern Ontario (Catholics settle the North!) – across the Prairies (close to the Canadian Pacific line) and out to the west coast. The Grand Trunk got the contract to build Winnipeg to the Pacific, then when it was finished the lease would go to the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. However, the Canadian Northern still had to extend down to the docks in Montreal; it terminated above-ground on Jean-Talon Boulevard one mile east of Decarie Boulevard (now Expressway). They then dug underground, tunnelling

under Mont Royal, and then they built the train station where the Gare Windsor is today. This terminal is in operation today as part of the Agence Metropolitan Transport suburban train network. Since they had bought all the land surrounding the station on Jean-Talon, why not build a north-side suburb to well-off people who can then take the train to work in downtown Montreal? Here, for some reason unknown to us yet, the professor digressed into a pillory on prosperity for the rich. Lord Strathcona paid entirely for a cavalry division for “the war.” The Canadian Government gave out very few bank charters. Business then, as now, works to protect billionaires, capitalists were particularly rapacious, the government was in their hands, and there were no unions. Through the Laurier years, the wages for a 10-hour day was $1 for a man, 50¢ for a woman, and 25¢ for a child.

Date: Monday, February 21, 2011 Topic: Farming in transition

In Toronto, Massey, as in Massey-Ferguson, the largest machinery manufacturer, was protected from competition by tariffs. Canadian ploughs cost $100, and American ploughs cost $80 + $25 tariff. The farmers were unhappy about the tariff, as they must buy at Canadian costs but sell at an international price. There was a tremendous change of pace in farming. At the beginning of Willie’s tenure, work was done by horse and ox. At the end, it was done by steam and gasoline combustion tractors. Apparently, Willie was shocked to find an Angry West. And then there came a world-wide recession in 1912 where the demand for wheat dropped and British investment dried up. The capital expenditure [acquisition of machines] put farmers heavily into debt with the [EVIL!] banks. Many were heavily mortgaged and went bankrupt. The end of the farm meant that boys would end up moving to the cities and work in factories or end up in jail; the girls who couldn’t work in servitude would end up in the sex trade. The depopulation of the countryside began the real rise of political power to the cities. Farm votes have been decreasing in proportion of the population ever since these times. Farmers have gotten, and continue to get, a bad deal, and as their population dwindles and generations distance themselves from a relation to the work and the land, misapprehension does little to abate the issues. [I suspect we are better off with using beasts as labour and living close to natural capital that we own outright or have under trust. Therefore, we are better off living in widely dispersed towns, than in concentrated cities, for the distribution of food and resources.]

Date: Friday, February 25, 2011 Topic: Demographics 1896 - 1911

In 1910, the American government offered Canada a free trade deal, called “reciprocity.” The American farmers were angry and wanted free trade, too. Lower tariffs all around, so they say. It looked for a while like Willie (Wilfred Laurier, recall), the great Free Trader, would actually deliver. When they announced it, it seemed that he and the Liberals had the election all sewn up. But first, we look at shifts in demography in Canada. In 1876, immigrants to the New World mostly went to the USA. In 1896, we had fewer than 400,000 people on the Prairies (from Ontario, the UK, and the US) In 1905, two new provinces were created: Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 1911, immigrants came mostly to Canada, including Americans, and an influx from southern and eastern Europe, especially from Ukraine, something about the czarist draft, few landlords, very rich - these immigrants were used to farm life. We had about 1,500,000 people on the Prairies. From 1910 to 1940, the streets from St. Dominique to De Bullion in Montreal was a brothel district, surrounded by factories with poor, immigrant bachelors as unskilled labour. There was an incredible amount of prostitution. Canada didn’t train people - we imported our educated people. By the end of Willie’s tenure, “No more working class allowed” for immigration to Canada, particularly from Britain, where they were skilled in union organizing. The immigrants were neither English nor French nor Protestant nor Catholic. They were often Orthodox or Jewish. It was the beginning of the large-scale Jewish immigration.The intersection of Ontario and St. Laurent was the old Jewish ghetto/quarter. Canadians were shocked - these people do. everything. differently. And there were two types of reactions: 1) nativism, or 2) racism. A racist view is that people are different for inherited reasons, you can’t change them, especially regarding intelligence or morality. Many people were nativist towards one group, and racist against another. Ideas that Northern Europeans were the highest evolutionary type abounded. Even living in a cold climate was thought of as superior (I hardly fail to disagree!). Cold is invigorating, stimulating…and industrious.

Date: Sunday, February 27, 2011 Topic: Unions and farm movements

Until 1872, there were no legal unions in Canada. Prior to that there were associations, mutual help groups. They didn’t have power to strike or negotiate wages. Typically, they organized according to the job the person did. The Printers’ Union in Toronto went on strike against the newspapers in 1872. John A passed a low that allowed strikes, so it was legal to have a craft union. Then, an American industrial union came up, called the Knights of ––––– 1886: A federation called the Trades and Labour Congress began as an umbrella organization. Quebec was different, of course! The Church was suspicious of anyone organizing themselves. Later, the Church organized Catholic unions. But here’s a reason why unions were necessary: big business _was_ brutal. For example, a 14-year-old lost his arm in a factory accident. The instance his arm came off, his pay was stopped. Government sided with business pretty reliably. They were concerned about the economic ramifications of strikes. The army and militia was used for suppressing strikers: between 1880 and 1920, Canadian troops were called out 120 times to deal with strikes. Farmers had very little in common with the unions, but the Western farmers were more influenceable than the Eastern farmers by the farming movements in the United States. In Quebec, these movements only affected the Eastern Townships. “The Grange” wanted lower tariffs and control of the railway prices. “The Patrons of Industry” - because farmers make everything else function - wanted the same two premises, but also cooperatives (which, at the time, did not extend to the grain elevators. Grain elevator companies were owned by the railways, and you had to store your grain there, or the railway would not transport it.). In 1909, the United Grain Growers Association and the Canadian Council of Agriculture wanted lower tariffs and rates for rail, but the _end_ of the railway grain elevators.

Date: Saturday, March 5, 2011 Topic: Introducing a new character

And so we come to William Lyon Mackenzie King. He was short. He was balding. He was chubby. He used to cry when he sang hymns (well, I do, sometimes, if they’re really good.) He was desperately lonely. He wanted a beautiful, rich, and devoutly religious woman. After his mother died, he talked to the dead on a

regular basis (to be fair, everyone did in those days). Because I’ve already used “Willie” for Laurier, I’ll have to use “Mackie” for Mackenzie King. He believed he was born poor, so he said, but he was not - the exact opposite! The professor said “He was such a hypocrite, he even fooled himself.” His grandfather, William Lyon Mackenzie, was a non-famous rebel leader. So his mother made him “struggle against the establishment and fight for the poor and downtrodden” [and here I interject, as Concordia students matching Mackie’s character description have done ever since!] and also “receive praise and honour” two contradictory goals. Mackie studied unions in his Master’s thesis in sociology - a rare subject in those days: “Industry and Humanity.” Something about the thesis recommended a “company association,” in other words, a tiger with no teeth. Business loved this idea, but that’s not enough to condemn it. And so, Willie saw a use for Mackie, and appointed him to do a report on an industry that showed terrible working conditions. The chosen industry was very small: the companies that made mail bags for letter carriers. Mackie King was given a civil servant job – he ascended from some position in the Ministry of Labour to the Deputy Minister. His main job was to settle strikes. When he settled strikes, it pretty much had the business as the winner. He became the Minister in 1910. The government had to make a show of cracking down on corruption and bad working conditions. Companies were definitely making a “combine” - price fixing. Mackie introduced a typical piece of legislation called the Combines Investigation Act. This made it illegal to fix prices. In order to get an investigation, an employee had to enter a complaint. If there was an investigation and conviction the fine was $50.
Date: Monday, March 7, 2011 Topic: Temperance Societies

By Willie’s (Laurier) time, Canada was run by a small number of big businesses. It was no longer a society of small businesses. Instead, there was enormous poverty. Montreal had the world’s worst infant mortality rate. The change in people’s thinking didn’t come through politics. It came through the Temperance Movement. In the 1820’s, people drank a lot. Not drinking was considered an unhealthy anomaly. Whenever anyone was sick, you gave them alcohol. Liquor was cheap - a bottle we paid $18 for in 1999 dollars cost probably 10¢ back then. Two Presbyterian ministers started a Temperance Society, which also occurred in the US and the UK. In 1840, they became total abstinence societies. In the

1850’s, they wanted a law prohibiting alcohol. But temperance did not start because of religion. Consider this: No pension, no sick pay, small wages for long work hours. When you have to depend on yourself for everything, alcohol is a major obstruction. So, Temperance societies helped people make ends meet and get ahead. Prohibition was proposed because working class folks did not pay any mind to the temperance movement. They were poor, violent, uneducated, disenfranchised. If they didn’t drink, they’d get to work on time, not take unnecessary sick days, save or better spend money not spent on alcohol, and be less prone to violence. This was the first time that social ills were looked at and addressed by Canadian society. The Temperance Society was the first to work on these problems, and some realized that alcohol was not the source of the ills. They were the first group to propose the existence of social programs for social problems. Canadian politicians didn’t start to deal with the idea until the 1940s, 50 years after the idea was first introduced.
Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 Topic: Women!

Women were second class citizens all through the 1800’s. It was OK to beat them, they were to be told what to do at all times, the daily news was none of her business, and there would be no political discussion! Women were active in the prohibition movement, in a subordinate role. This changed in 1871 when a woman named Letitia Youmans arrived on the scene. She was a big, ugly, Ontario school teacher. She didn’t get married until late in life, to a widower farmer with a family of seven. In 1876, she went to a Sunday School convention in New York. She went to a sermon that was given by a preacher woman, who had organized a group called the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. So this inspired Letitia to start up the group in Canada. They petitioned to close the liquor store, and the men refused. But the women of Picton, Ontario, found they could do whatever they they decided to - and then the women of Canada did, too. Why did the men allow the organization to happen and spread? Because prohibition was in the women’s interest, as the care of the family is their jurisdiction, and alcohol impacts the family as much as it impacts the sales at the counter. In 1890, the WCTU was the biggest women’s organization in Canada. They also discovered that men were not all that politically bright. So women began the suffrage project, as they were good, superior to what was expected of them and what was being delivered by politicians, and they figured their involvement would clean up politics.

Date: Friday, March 11, 2011 Topic: Canada's issues with the Boer War

In Laurier’s time, Britain was our only ally in the world. Willie’s policy was to maintain good ties with Britain, but not to take any obligation. In the 1890s, Britain could foresee that a war would happen with Germany. It would be at a disadvantage, as Germany was bigger. Britain needed allies and money to help build up its armed forces. After years of ignoring its empire (?? It was the largest in the world, comprising 20% of either the world’s countries or population), it realized it would need this asset. So it came up with the idea of an Imperial Federation. Under extreme views, it would have one government, one military, [one trade policy?] across all countries. In 1897, Queen Victoria had reigned longer than any monarch in England’s history. It was her Diamond Jubilee - 60 years. (There was also a slight reduction in the tariff of British goods here in Canada.) There was a big, big celebration, and Wilfred Willie was given the centrepiece of honour amongst the prime ministers of the empire states – but he said no, he would not attend. In 1899, there was a war in South Africa with the Transvaal Orange Free State of Dutch farmers, called Boers (hence Boer War). Britain wanted to “pulverize” them (prof’s words, or my youthful ones) to send a message “Fight me, fight my empire.” Canada was somewhat opposed, the pro-side being, of course, the Imperialists. Willie agreed to recruit the troops and send them over. Once they got there, they became British, and Britain pays them. He sent a total of 2000 men. Instead of pleasing people on both sides of the issue, he alienated them. Henri Bourassa broke from the Liberals then, and started up a Canadian Nationalist party - one opposed to imperialism. He also started the newspaper Le Devoir. English Canadians started up the Canadian Club. Imperialists just got mad.
Date: Sunday, March 13, 2011 Topic: Why Canada has a stupid border along the West Coast

In 1903, we had the Alaska pan-handle crisis – nobody was sure exactly where the border with Canada was. Right at the bottom of Alaska, there was a river called the Lynn Canal - the only waterway that went up to the Yukon, where there was

gold (now I’m confused, because during the Washington Conference, when the British negotiated with the US to close off their colonizing aspirations, Canada was granted the full length of the Porcupine and Stickine, two northern rivers that run through Alaska). Teddy Roosevelt was President. He was an aggressive man. He also created the Panama Canal. He was threatening force over the border dispute. Canada was still unable to negotiate on its behalf, only Britain could. The Alaska Boundary Commission was set up with an equal number of Canadian and American judges, and a British High Commission judge (Supreme Court), Lord Alesworth. There is a tie in the decision making, and if you were the British judge breaking the tie, what would you do? Britain didn’t need any enemies, a confrontation with the States was not worth it. It then acted in its own interests, and infuriated Canadians. This became the reason why some Canadians started singing O Canada, rather than God Save the Queen. [I suspect the history books need to be checked on that.]

http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/historical/ territorialevolution/1901 Would it not be better for Canada had we kept the original Districts and convened them to Provinces? I think so.

Date: Sunday, March 20, 2011 Topic: War and election issues

The biggest cost in preparing for war was the battleship - a new type called a Dreadnaught. Intended to be invincible at sea, it was 70,000 tonnes with a heavy belt of armour (12 - 17” thick) on the sides. It carried eight to ten big guns. Shells were 12” in diameter, 4’ long, with a velocity of three thousand feet per second. Britain and Germany got into a race to build these incredibly expensive ships. The Empire was obligated to pay for them. Australia immediately chipped in for the one they needed. As for Canada, if Laurier had dared to chip in, he’d lose the next election. So he…compromised. No money to offer, but he would create a Canadian Navy. It would be of relatively small ships, and in wartime, our navy would come under British command (to which Bourassa replied “Are you crazy?”). Imperialists in Canada called it a “tin pot Navy.” Now to the Election of 1911: Conservatives were led by a Halifax lawyer named Robert Borden. He played both sides beautifully. He was a total imperialist in English Canada, and in Quebec, he used some dirty tricks, such as dress up in a naval uniform, and go door-to-door doing a census of young men. [I don’t quite get it.] The reciprocity that Laurier had dreamt up with the United States was free trade in non-manufactured goods - which wasn’t any good for farmers. Business still considered this first step a threat, though, to their preferential tariffs. Laurier won 70 seats in Quebec, where Bourassa’s Nationalists took 15 seats. The rest of Canada voted Conservative. Borden won the election.
Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011 Topic: Government funding in wartime

Because Britain was spending on the Dreadnoughts, they didn't have any money to invest here in Canada. We had a recession. In 1914, Britain declared war. Givine the mood in Canada at the time, we sent troops. It employed [soaked up] the unemployed right away. People had no idea of the new destructive power of weaponry. Five hundred rounds of ammunition could be shot in one minute by a machine gun. In one day, Britain lost fifteen thousand men. At any given moment, we had sixty thousand on the front line. 95% of the first thirty thousand volunteers were British-born. Ergo, Canadians were really not very enthused about fighting. The longer they’d been in Canada, the less likely they were to join the army.

Throughout the Great War, the standard of living of the average Canadian dropped. The wealthy became much, much wealthier due to war profiteering. Income tax had not yet been introduced - that came in in 1917. The major source of government revenue in 1914 was customs duties, but during a war, imports drop off (transport risk). The government also raised funds by selling bonds, which we traditionally sold to the British. During the War, we turned to New York to sell the bonds. In 1916, the Americans were getting ready for their own war “over there,” so we began to sell the bonds internally, to Canadians, at a high rate of interest. To everyone’s great amazement, the government raised more money than ever before. 80% of all bonds sold were to wealthy individuals and banks. In 1917, income tax was introduced as an “emergency wartime measure.” Interest on the bonds, however, was tax-free. By 1935, income tax was the most important source of government revenue.
Date: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 Topic: A really dirty election.

Wow, hope that isn't prescient, given that we’re going into another election now. Farmers made a profit during the Great War because the armies needed wheat, and the price rose spectacularly. Wheat ships were being sunk by submarines at an alarming rate. The government stepped in and said it would be the only buyer of wheat to prevent skyrocketing prices - but they didn’t do that to uniform, munitions, and other big business operations. [Now, if you’re about to go all lefty like a college student about hitting the farmers, think: who in wartime is going to be the purchaser for munitions and uniforms and those manufactured goods? And the people who labour to make them - what are they going to eat if exporters out-bid them on foodstuffs?] By 1917, the Canadian government was in deep trouble with Canadians. Borden’s Conservatives were going to lose this election year (1916 was the scheduled year, but they had an extension for “patriotism”). Borden proposed a coalition government, which Laurier would have been a fool to accept. A partial coalition was also refused. What the Conservatives could do, though, was load the election. They used conscription as an issue, pitting the French (who were not signing up to fight) against the English (who were greater in number) to try to win. The Wartime Election Act took the vote away from any person born in an enemy country who had become a citizen of Canada after 1902. This devastated the Liberal vote, as Prairie people fit those criteria. It also allowed women whose nextof-kin were in the armed forces (who would likely, therefore, vote in favour of

conscription). The Military Voters Act allowed all soldiers in the Canadian army, regardless of age or nationality, to vote. Most didn’t have a riding, so their votes were assigned by the Chief Returning Officer, who was assigned by the Conservative party, to where Conservative votes were needed. Professor Decarie counted fifty seats across Canada decided in the above manner. The Liberals were devastated by this election. Many abandoned the party henceforth. Eighty-nine Liberals, mostly from Quebec and the Maritimes were brought into the Conservative “Nationalist” government. Not a single Liberal was elected west of the Ottawa River, although the swing ridings still voted in favour of the Liberals. For the conscription election issue, farmers' sons were exempted, but this promise was subsequently rescinded. Of fifteen thousand young men who were conscripted, only two hundred saw combat. Riots occurred everywhere over this issue.
Date: Friday, May 13, 2011 Topic: An unprecedented war

Canadians fed and trained horses for a cavalry charge on the front that would have been useless, and (at least) never occurred. The French army experienced mutiny. The Russian army gave up. Old battle methods no longer worked. General Currie was not a traditional soldier. Baron Byng was traditional, but fought the new war intelligently: 1. With conscientious, meticulous planning 2. Do not throw bodies at the enemy, let the Germans come to you. Use your materiel! 3. The “rolling barrage” artillery assault. General Currie wasn’t very good at the beginning of the war, but he was probably the best General by the end. The war ended as much from exhaustion as from anything else. The German army was in retreat, but still intact. On November 11, at 11 AM, the Canadian army had captured Lons, Belgium, which is precisely where the war had started in 1914. The Peace Treaty between France, Germany, and England was drawn up over six months at Versailles. The British insisted that it would sign the peace treaty for the whole empire. Borden, no longer an Imperialist, wanted to sign for Canada, same for the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand. France never recovered its monetary and human loss from that war [until much later, perhaps]. Its collapse in the second World War is explained in that context.

The war also ended Canadian immigration and investment in the railways. The Canadian Northern went bust; its last achievement went through Mont Royal to downtown Montreal. It became property of the government, and became what is now known as CN. The government paid $11 million for a worthless railway why? Because that’s how much the Canadian Northern owed the Canadian Bank of Commerce. The financing had been arranged by the bank’s president.
Date: Friday, June 10, 2011 Topic: Aftermath of the Great War

“The Canadian nation was forged on the battlefields of Europe.” We came out of the Great War savagely divided. The League of Nations came about at President Wilson’s behest. The idea was the same as the United Nations, but it was less effective. By being asked to belong to it, Canada was recognized as independent. We were also invited to send an ambassador to Washington. It took us 7 years to send one! In 1919, there was a strike in Vancouver that was so contentious (contractors refused to recognizes strikes of unions), the Canadian government considered asking Britain to shell Vancouver. There was a fear of communism as Russia underwent the Communist Revolution in 1917 and there came close to a revolution in France and in Germany - the German Navy mutinied and ran up red flags on their ships. A strike in Winnipeg spread to everyone, including police. It wasn’t a communist strike, but it was general. People were fed up with low wages, high cost of living, etc. The City of Winnipeg hired a special police force to break up a demonstration, and they didn’t. The RCMP came in with baseball bats and revolvers. The crowd broke up, and while breaking into side streets, people were ambushed. This ended the general strike. Prairie farmers were heavily in debt to support heavy demand. They hated the rigged election, the cap on their profits, the reneged conscription promise. When demand dropped, the government threw them back onto the open market. The farmers wrote off the Liberals. The result: a political vacuum. New farmer’s parties filled the void. One such party, the United Farmers of Ontario, won the provincial election. The United Farmers of Alberta did as well. The United Farmers party at the federal level was called the Progressive Party. It was a coalition of labour, farmers, and the clergy. The United Farmers party was critical of big business but not opposed to capitalism; it was pro-farmer and private property. It is a direct ancestor of the Reform party of the 1990s. The Rev. JS Woodsworth, later head of the Progressive party, was interested in the social Gospel. These people were critical of capitalism itself, as it is unChristian to be greedy, competitive, and exploitive. For the later iterations of third parties in Canada - the CCF, Social Credit, Reform, and NDP - their strength is in Ontario or in the West.

Date: Friday, June 17, 2011 Topic: 1921 Election

The Liberals had to rebuild and have a leadership convention in 1919. Laurier was recently deceased. It was a very emotional convention - two years previously, several Liberals had defected from Willie’s camp, and they were never forgiven. They needed to find a way to get back the West, farmers, and working class vote. They had to hold on to the Church AND big business, too. Canada was more than 50% urban. This necessitated some social programs. The Catholic Church was opposed to all social programs as that was their job. Business didn’t want its taxes going to programs, either. [I wonder what Canada would be like if, instead of government social programs and complex corporate laws and subsidies, there was a simpler management of taxes and better labour laws and codes, unions were guilds instead of expansionary bully-boy blocs, and non-partisan non-profit organizations had the intellectual and fiscal integrity to manage social programs in their immediate contexts, instead.] William Lyon Mackenzie (Mackie!) King ran for the Liberal leadership. Business liked him, because he settled strikes. He was also seen as loyal to Laurier. In the1921 election, the leader of the Conservatives was Arthur Meihgan, who had put together the Military Voters Act. He was blunt and honest. Mackie was vague - it helped him win the election, as he held on to the Church! The Liberal party discipline was tight. Progressives were similar to the Liberals, except that they wanted free trade. The vote tally was 117 to the Liberals, 50 to the Conservatives, and 65 to the Progressives (including one or two in New Brunswick). The Progressive’s leader’s name was Cotton.
Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 Topic: 1923 - 1929

During this time, there was a gridlock on all domestic affairs, and there was nothing to do about any issue, so Mackie capitalized on the isolationist mood of the voters, and began to meddle in foreign affairs. He refused to consult at the 1923 Imperial Conference on foreign affairs. He instructed the Ambassador and representative to the League of Nations to never commit to anything. In 1923, for the Halibut Fishery Treaty day, when the US and Canada were to set limits to the number of fish caught on the West Coast, Canada was not allowed to sign, even though we drew up the Treaty. A British guy was present, but a

Canadian signed it anyway. The Americans accepted it. In 1925, Mackie’s Liberals had a minority government. It had the largest party, but the other parties were greater in the number of seats held. Mackie asked Woodsworth for permission to have a majority, and Woodworth agreed on one condition: The Old Age Pension must come in. The Statute of Westminster was when the British Government officially recognized Canada as an independent country - but we still did not control our constitution. We couldn’t agree on the Constitution until Trudeau repatriated it in the 1970’s. By then, the provinces were so powerful that the Constitution is now virtually unchangeable. In 1927, Canada finally assigned an Ambassador to the US. His name was Vincent Massey. Later he became Governor General. This year, the price of wheat dropped to its lowest level since the fifteenth century. A ten-year drought also occurred in the Prairies. The unemployment rate ranged from 25 to 40%. Those with jobs lost their pensions and vacations and did overtime for free. People suffered - starvation, debt, etc. - the Depression for years after it was over.
Date: Sunday, June 26, 2011 Topic: Politics during the Depression

For all his talk about poverty, Mackie didn’t understand a damn thing. The poorest provinces asked for help, and he didn’t give a red cent, since they were Conservative ridings. In the next election, the Conservatives won under a man named RB Bennett. Bennett “blasted” his way into world markets - the idea was a flop. Everyone was raising their tariffs as the Depression coalesced. It was a complete collapse of the capitalist system all around the world. The prof said, You would think that people would rise up agains the system when the system doesn’t serve them, but the opposite happens - people become more reactionary. In Ontario, a Liberal named Mitch Hepburn came in. He looked for simple, obvious problems, which are easy to pick on and solve - not, of course, fluctuating or spiralling markets, but SOLID BRASS COAL SCUTTLES in offices, Lieutenant Governors in MANSIONS, and AMERICAN UNIONS coming in to organize Canadian boys! The Social Credit party rose in the 1930s, founded by a preacher named Bill Eberhart It was formed to attack big business in favour of small business. Interestingly, big business loved the Social Creit party. That’s because it didn’t actually interfere with big business. In 1933 the CCF - or Cooperative Commonwealth Federation - published the Regina Manifesto. It argued that the capitalist system is fundamentally flawed and fundamentally unfair. They were going to introduce controls on it.

There was also a Royal Commission called on the price spread and mass buying big business made its largest profits in the Depression. They cut their costs by driving down wages and squeezing their suppliers, thereby increasing profits and executive compensation.
Date: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 Topic: War measures

At the advent of World War II, Britain asked our help several times from 1939 onward. Britain declared war in 1939. Canada did too, one week later. The Wartime Price Control Board controlled everything, including, unsurprisingly, wages. If there is extra money in circulation, then prices will go up (people will be able to pay more for things in short supply). Everyone, therefore, had an account for a forced savings plan. Taxes help a country pay for a war as they go. Businesses were allowed a fair margin of profit; everything more than that was taxed back. Even though business was heavily taxed, they still made profits, and costs were streamlined - there was no onerous bidding as the production was controlled - though “control” was only OK for the emergency of war. [Quite frankly, this is something like what we should do in sectors and increments in order to tackle the environmental crisis we’re facing.] All bonds for this war were in small denominations, and you could buy them “on time,” so anyone could buy them. Children could also buy war savings stamps for 25¢, and a book of 16 (saved up by the children) would cash in at the end of the war for $5. Now we are beginning to talk about something that would be remembered by my mother. Every person in Canada got a book of food ration stamps, and that was all you could buy. You would be registered with the government, and they would send you the stamps in the mail. Most people ate better through the second World War than they did before. No purchasing was allowed across the border. All of these measures allowed for 1) planned production in the economy, so there would be little waste, and 2) maximizing of resources for the war effort, such as transportation space. And Mackie proved, without wanting to, that a controlled economy could be more efficient than a free-market economy.
Date: Friday, July 1, 2011 Topic: Thinking about the election during the war

Today’s special note: Happy Canada Day!

1943 had the first Gallup poll in Canada’s history. Canadians were asked which party they would vote for. The results were close, but the CCF was in the lead. Mackie realized that Canadians had suffered enormously through the depression; the free market had hurt them, despite what the government and the media said. The war showed how a controlled economy worked, so they were very reluctant to revert to the pre-war economy. Everyone was scared in 1945 that we would fall back into a Depression of some sort. Before the War, Canadians were extraordinarily unhealthy and unhappy. Over half of the war volunteers were turned down for bad health - imagine other groups in society, how poorly they were. The most important thing for Mackie was that, whoever won the war, he and the Liberals stay in power. Therefore, he didn’t want very many Canadians killed in battle, because they could not afford to have conscription (lesson learned). So Mackie offered a social program: the Baby Bonus for families - nothing about business interference. Big business chipped in with a propaganda campaign against the CCF, and the Liberals were reelected. Very slowly the government delivered on one program at a time. The first had been the old age pension. Saskatchewan was the first to introduce medicare Quebec was among the last. Since the late 1970’s, fewer and fewer voters know what it’s like to have no protection. Indeed, we take it for granted and identify with it overmuch.

Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2011 Topic: Our military in WWII

The Canadian military was first only sent to England. The UK then asked us in 1941 for 2000 troops to Hong Kong. They arrived just in time for the Japanese invasion. They fought well. A lot died in concentration camps as POWs. Later on, we were under pressure to get some action! The troops were bored. They were sent for a quick raid on a little town called Dieppe; it was a very poorly planned raid, and over half were lost. Canada developed two more forces almost by accident. Our navy had long been neglected. The Americans offered to take over defence of the East coast, but if we accepted, we’d likely never get it back. So, we developed our Navy to 50 times its original size. The Americans had a Navy 20 times bigger, and the British, seven times bigger. We handled the protection of convoys. On June 6, 1944, Canadians landed in Normandy. Our job was to go with the British army along the coast, to open up the ports to supply the Allied forces

when they invaded France. We had to take out missile launchers. The military began demanding conscription. In 1942, you could be conscripted for service in Canada, but not overseas. Mackie finally introduced it in 1944, after a long cooperation with the Liberal party in Quebec - it was accepted this time. It may be interesting for readers to find out that during WWII, there were many people in France who were themselves amazed to discover that there were Frenchspeaking white people from the opposite side of the Atlantic. Possibly around 40 million were killed in World War II - out of a global population of around 2 billion.
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 Topic: Here ends the course.

In 1942, the Canadian government knew about the death camps. We refused 2000 Jewish children, and we didn’t accept them for years afterward. Why? 1. We had a racist Immigration minister 2. The Catholic Church in Quebec was antagonistic 3. If they came, they had to bring their entire family, and have death records for absent members We also had Japanese-Canadian concentration camps. We seized their property to pay for their internment, and then after the war, forced them to scatter (David Suzuki’s parents experienced this). Some were sent back to Japan, to Hiroshima, where they were then bombed. Some Italians were imprisoned on Île-Ste.-Hélène, just off the island of Montreal. (Then again, Nôtre-Dame-de-la-Défense church in the Little Italy part of Montreal has a mural depicting Mussolini on horseback. Concerns were probably legitimate.) The average education of a Canadian soldier in WWII was Grade 6. The optimism that Canadians had from the first part of the twentieth century the sense that we can make Canada a better place - dissipated in the latter half, perhaps because life got a lot more complicated. The Quiet Revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’s in Quebec was a response to being the last to organize with the necessity of having more educated people in the government and civil service. Formerly, education was only for the educated elite and for leadership in the Church - but people abandoned the Church as the source of education and power - and transferred this expectation to the State. In the years following the war, Canadians tried to establish ourselves as a middle power, not too close to the United States nor to Britain or a lesser power. Now, however, our foreign policies are pretty close to identical with the US. And that is

a whole new course in Canada-US history, which you can read about elsewhere than here.