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HIST 2600 (61)
Lecture

mar 3 2014.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 2600
Professor
Rebecca Beausaert
Semester
Winter

Description
1. postwar adjustment, anxiety and unrest a. 20s were a time of economic recession, and readjusting to life after the first world war b. Canadian economy is in tough times immediately after the war, because the british economy is in shambles and we rely on the british economy c. Munitions factories have stopped producing and there is a worldwide economic depression between 1920-23 d. We don’t recover til 24-5 e. Economically the maritimes suffered from end of war to early 20s because maritimes rely on resource sectors (timber, etc) which aren’t doing well i. Between 1917-1921, production declines by 40% ii. Maritimes never really experience a rebound like the rest of the country iii. Maritimes nationalism and a rights movement emerges which dies out at the end of the decade because of failure f. Quebec is reeling from the first world war, Quebecers never wanted war i. Turn inward and see a resurgence of French Canadian nationalism ii. L’action francaise; baby of lionel groulx, used to talk to Quebecers and to discuss how he feels that Catholicism and French Canadian culture are at risk g. Unrest in the labour force, returning soldiers have to try and get back into the workforce, veterans are facing the economic recession, high inflation, influenza h. 1919 was the year of the red scare; bulshovic revolution taking place in Russia 2. Winnipeg general strike of 1919 a. Big deal because of fears and paranoia b. Not that much different compared to other strikes in Canadian history c. Conditions and issues that prompted the strike are the same ones from before; wanted right to organize and labour unions, better wages and working conditions d. Surrounded by so much more tension e. Officially begins on may 15, 1919 at 11 am; 25 to 30,000 workers in the city walked off the job in multiple industries f. Political leaders are quick to act; changes are made to immigration act giving political officials more power to deport immigrants to lose the momentum of the strike and redefining the crime of sedition; how much Canadian citizens can influence people to rebel against Canadian authority g. Winnipeg was known as the gateway to the west; immigrants are passing through Winnipeg to go elsewhere in the prairies but a lot stay in Winnipeg h. Winnipeg was ethnically diverse, had a large working class population i. Most of the strike leaders were people of british background j. Issues had been brewing for a while; union leaders thought that the government was on the side of the employer and not the worker k. Winnipeg becomes a hotbed of militant unionism l. Workers wanted the right to collective bargaining, a living wage, and 8 hour workday m. Cripples the city; cuts off essential services like police and fire services, water and power supply, transportation, mail service n. Canadians across the country are wondering what is going on, civil leaders scramble to end it because they are getting bad press o. Important people in Winnipeg form a citizens committee, composed of 1000 of winnipegs wealthiest leaders and elite who campaign against the striking workers, discrediting them and their mission, comparing them to the bulshovics p. As word of the general strike spreads across the country, sympathy strikes happen (like in Edmonton) q. Prime minster, Robert borden intervenes and several federal cabinet ministers are sent to Winnipeg, and the federal government backs the employers, ordering people back to work (federal employees, 10 of the more important strike leaders are arrested) r. Doesn’t work, strike csttinues s. On Saturday june 21 (bloody Saturday); thousands of strikers and their sympathizers protest the arrest of the strike leaders in downtown Winnipeg, things get out of hand and the mounties are called in on horseback to send the crowds home t. Two strikers are killed, and 30 are injured, reports of strikers being beaten by baseball bats by a special police force that was created u. Army is called in, and patrols the streets of Winnipeg with machine guns mounted on their cars v. 5 days after bloody Saturday, strike leaders fearing that more violence will occur and call an end to the strike w. in the end it brings little peace to labour unrest, and legacy is mixed—the way the strike was handled demoralizes the workers x. a lot of the workers had no jobs to go back to y. those that were able to go back to their jobs, conditions were the exact same, striking achieved nothing 3. Technological change and consumeri
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