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HIS261H5 (26)

10 In and Out of War.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Richard White

10 In and Out of War Responses to Depression (Summarized)  The federal government did not do that much in response to the depression. This stands to us now as we look on this. It didn‟t do nothing since the Prime Minister offer some money to the provinces for public works projects (employment projects) o For example, radio towers, etc.  After a year or two, employment rate did not go down and therefore they abandoned the projects  Single men who did not have dependence went to „relief camps‟ in the north. They were pseudo military camps where you had to work such as chopping down trees to clear road for high way o It was generous for the tens of thousands of workers, but the morality was very bad. Doing marginally useless physical work produced bad morale. o At least they did support people slightly and gave them money but it did not last  The provinces took action, but they all did different things. The major provinces did something but they did not have much money from the federal taxes  There were efforts, but it did not amount to much  The government did not do more because 1) they did not want to go in debt; 2) the constitution of Canada specifies that social/education services were the domain of the province o 1) This is an invention of the 1940s. In the early 1930s, this was far from a normal thing. The Canadian government was not prepared to borrow money from private sources to the citizens. They create debt to the banks and the money lender would profit from this o 2) In 1935 did a floury of activity that promoted social programs that the federal government was trying to do. What happened was that it was ruled unconstitutional and therefore was thrown out.  The Mackenzie government called the royal commissions. What would the government do?  In the end, the welfare state was created in latter years in post war. It was post war period, but not the time of the depression o Depression did confirm that there was a need for social welfare o It also showed that local solutions to the problem were ill advised. Most social welfare were municipal  If there is going to be a welfare state, it should not be local but national o Depression also demonstrated that people were not responsible for their unemployment  The government is trying to tighten up on this – sometimes people rely on unemployment pay instead of actually finding work  It was so evident that people start to realize that unemployment is a social problem rather than a personal problem and therefore benefits should be distributed wisely Interwar Years – Other Themes  There are a number of themes that go right through the 1920s and 1930s…  Demography o 1920s are a seen as a watershed. The urbanization of Canada cities has been growing faster than the countryside. That relative change in the 1920s shifted. o As 1920s pass, there is no real difference for rural places. However, the big change after the war was a change in census for urban areas. People have started to live longer (from 42 in 1920 to 64 in 1946)  People are not living longer and older, but the main reason is because of the decline in mortality. Infant mortality (mothers used to die faster)  Because of public health and new medical science such as nutrition and physical process of delivering babies. o When infant mortality goes down (when a baby is born, more likely to survive). This means, a mother is able to have more children  As the birth rate went down, the size of families go down. This is a little counter intuitive at first, but there is actually less motivation for a mother to have a child because of the reassurance that the kid would survive o Since the 1920s, there is a continuation of birthrate going down  This is referred to as the „demographic transition‟  It is a complex phenomenon  In a small family, you don't have people overlooking others, you don‟t experience death as often  Once you move death from people‟s experience, they have a very different mindset. It is a deep cultural change  Relation between parent and children change as well o Parents start to become friends with their children. This is not traditional when you have a large family  There is family culture, notion of childhood, etc. that flow from demographic transition  Women o Women can vote in the 20‟s, and can even run for office (provincial and federal) o The small families would decrease time of child bearing  You begin to have time before and after children  This is a cultural implication of birth rate  This opened the possibility of greater education, and work outside homes o Despite these changes, many of the traditional conventions remained  In politics, we do not know how many women voted  Very few women ran for office even though they could  Agnes was elected in 1921 (farmers political party)  She wrote her own experiences. Every step of the way she was a girl in the boys‟ road. It was a constant struggle (change without change) o In the workforce, the percentage of women was 18-21%. What this reflects is middle class women entering the workforce. Lower income women had always worked  Before WWI, secretary used to be men. After the 20‟s secretary became women. Telephone operators were also a women‟s job  Once again, restrictions were severe, and the work was equal value less  There was no attempt to justify that men were better. It was solely because they were women o They were the secondary support. The woman‟s income was seen as secondary income, and therefore were seen as secondary workers  The other convention was that if you got married, you were expected to resign your job. There is no law that requires this, but it was assumed  Technology o There are a remarkable number of technological changes that were adopted in the interwar years. It was because of the rise of income and consumerism  The birth of moderate advertising o One of these machines was the automobile o Electricity was used for residential purposes  There were all sorts of inventions in the manufacturing world  I.e. lights, washing machine, motors, heat, stove, refrigerator, radio (CRBC  CBC)  Started in the 1920s, and expanded in the 1930s o Another technology was aviation  Trans Canada Airlines was expensive, but set a foundation for WWII  Modern life is awakened in this interwar years o Automobile manufacturing declined drastically in 1933, but what didn‟t decline was automobile in use  Empire to Commonwealth o The development of Canada and the outside world became a more independent country o The British North America act did not create an independent country. There is no „Canadian citiz
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