HIST 203 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Laurier Liberals, Protestantism, Dominion Textile

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A Nation Transformed:
Canada 1896 1914
Feb. 9th, 2017
National Policy Continued:
If there was growth & change it did not necessarily have to do with the liberal
party itself
There was an impact that came from their impact and their approach (a little bit)
from the end of 1896 …
Canada was not the only country experiencing immigration there was a lot
around the world to Argentina, other countries, etc.
The West of Canada was largely settled by the end of WWI
There was an issue however with an over supply of over railed land (too many
There was growth in population, economy, transportation infrastructure etc.
In this class we are going to study how the mentality changed with the people
when this growth changed when the middle class grew & they started to have a
stronger voice in politics
^ They had a stronger voice after WWI than they had in any other previous
One word that typified the era: optimism strong growth in everything,
population, immigration, industrialism
It was thought that the country was progressing linear progression “onwards
& upwards”
In many ways, it is clear that the Laurier liberals had a large narrative of
agrarian west by enhancing agricultural settlement
W.S. Fielding (see quote on slide)
“The best.. East”
o Endorsement of McDonald’s original policy?
o There is not much change
o Saying that they need people in the West who will be consumers for the
o One of the three prongs of McDonald national policy
immigration/settlement it was so difficult to get settlers on the west
Canada still connects economic growth with immigration and they did back
then, similar to what was happening at the turn of the 20th century
1885 300,000 settlers in the West
o Drain of the population to the south (the United States)
o The net growth was (-) negative
Clifford Stifton: Minister of the Interior (1896-1905)
o Strongly promoted immigration
o He was a booster of the West
o Very prominent family
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o When he entered cabinet he made immigration a top priotity
o “populating the west”
See on PowerPoint
All promoting Canada
Sifton continued:
He did not get all of these immigrants to Canada
He DIRECTED them to the West and in the direction of Canada in general
Immigration was a world wide phenomenon
^ from Europe and Asia
how can you deflect them from the American west to the Canadian west
His plan:
There was much patronism so he tried to centralize the bureaucracy. And
wanted to make it much more efficient and wanted a rational system
o Received 25,000,000 dollars from the government
o Got to keep fertile land
o ^ when more and more immigrants settled they land value increased
o He pressured them to sell the lands
By-passed the High Commissioner’s Office in London and set up Canada’s own
immigration office in London for prospective British settler
o Like an ambassador but different name because they were part of the
o The route for colonial issues went to them
o One issue that crossed through = getting British immigrants to Canada
o Sifton (brash man) by passed and set up Canada’s own immigration
office and Canada therefore was much more aggressive
o He used the media published pamphlets sent out to agents
o Sent immigration officers into the US
After Canadian homesteaders
Used a bonus system applied to shipping companies (he did
some dirty work) 1896 1905 he would give them behind the
scenes (cartel) and they would be paid a bonus Austro-Hungarian
= had a whole debate with the parliament
Sifton’s Ideal Immigrant:
He went beyond traditional British source of immigrants to Canada
“steady honest, sober, and willing to work whether he be rich/poor, Galician,
Austrian, Swede, Belgian, or French”
We try to get British if not, get the second best
Germans came in large number
White protestant population that would settle the west and give a cultural
imprint to the West
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