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11 The Extraordinary Post.docx

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Richard White

11 The Extraordinary Post-war Years Reconstruction  Returning Canada from the war to peace. This word is a good one because it resulted on a lot of conscious action from the government. First they wanted to bring back all the personnel’s overseas. There were thousands that needed to get back, but it took almost a year. o The government provided benefits to all the people, even women in the military. Women did not get the same benefits, but they did get benefits o It was well known that demobilization was a disaster. There were many unhappy people because people who were not injured did not receive any compensation  Post traumatic syndrome was popular within the troops, but it was not clear and caused a lot of social distress o The Canadian government knew this and thought of retrying it. They compensated the troops, and created a department of veterans affairs  Veterans’ charter o Gave cash benefits based on the number of years you have served. They received a significant amount of cash to help them start their lives again. o They gave health insurance as well o They had benefits for loans if they wanted to start a business o Gave free university tuition for the number of years you have served  This was a huge social benefit  University was only for the educated elite. When people who reached 17, education seemed to be the end o The world was on the verge of really improving  Thousands of people would receive university degrees  They would never have gone if it was not for the veteran’s benefits  It had a large social impact to provide free university tuition o The men found this to be a generous benefit, and was very appreciative to what the professor taught them  It did change university, and took a big step to become a mass institution to the decades that followed  The government withdrew from managing everything. It sold off all its crown industries o The government had accounted for 40% of national economy in 1944, but in 1946 it had declined to 16%. o The government stayed in the business of providing housing and was not backward  It created mortgages in housing (CMAC), it was a large federal institution o They also decided to stay in grain marketing which they were in during the war  All the commodities were controlled o There are people who believed that this was a mistake  But it came out of the war time experience, was still sort of living in the legacy of the second world war  Kept its hands in taxation o The provinces of Canada was able to tax in before WWII o After the war, the government wanted to take all the tax and distribute them to the provinces o Federal government was the only taxing authority in Canada  Ottawa takes all the tax and distributes it  It gave Ottawa the power to redistribute money (equalization plans)  Ottawa decides that the better provinces will get less money, while the worse provinces would receive more money o Natural resource revenues do not go to Ottawa, they are provincial. However, these natural resources are not counted into the taxing formula  The formula changes, and is a point of controversy o Tax has a huge impact on the poorer provinces. People in Alberta and Saskatchewan were a part of this, while Quebec tuition fees are lower than other provinces  After a year or two of this reconstruction, we begin to look at the larger period – post war period in the 1940s o The first important change was the international circumstances o Soviet Bloc and the Democracies of Western Europe  This whole new arrangement was a tense situation for many years  There was a war that would soon breakout in the communist east and west  The war seemed so possible that it was seen as a ‘cold war’  This predominated during the 1950s and 1960s.  It was a geopolitical division through central and eastern Europe o Canada was in the Cold war just by being the western Alliance  Canadians did not oppose this because they believed that the communists wanted to take over the world  Communists annexed all the areas in the eastern Europe  There was a fear that communist would be a threat in the whole world’s order o North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Economic Growth  There was a steady growth from the late 40’s to the early 70’s. It began with a successful transition from war to post war o There was a major recession in WWI, and a severe inflation o However, this did not happen. There was no post war recession o This was because the government managed it fairly carefully, and deregulated things gradually o There were also a lot of domestic demand because people had money saved and thought that the world would improve  The government facilitated the change of manufacturing goods from weapons to washing machines for example  There were electronic factories which made radars back to electronics o Products were available and consumer were able to purchase them  There were also international demand from Europe for Canadian produce because they were not doing so well o There was also an enthusiasm for domesticity. People did not need televisions, but advertising was very sophisticated o There was demand being created, and people just wanted to have a nice home because throughout the entire depression and war, people always lived in fear o From 1945 – 1973, there were only one year where the economy did not grow (1954)  These were annual growth rates of 6 or 7 percent  This influences a lot of things people did and thought  Resource Boom o Iron mine was never a major mineral that was mined in Canada. However, in the late 1940 (1949), a new project was opened up in Quebec called the Iron Ore Company which opened up a huge mine  It brought the ore down to the St. Lawrence river and carried in land to Chicago and Indiana  They built port, railway, mine, etc. o Alberta Oil & Gas (1947)  Encountered a huge high pressure oil in Leduc o Aluminum in Prince Rupert  They built hydro facility as a source of power for the aluminum factory  St. Lawrence Sea Way (1951) – the idea of the sea way was to make a channel through the entire St. Lawrence river from Quebec to Thunder Bay. This meant much larger logs that had ever been built were able to pass o The locks was able to sail up, and was done jointly by the two countries o They had to flood farm land, it also generated electricity o Was a great public undertaking o One of the reasons why they built it was so the St. Lawrence can go to Chicago o There is a clear connection between America and public infrastructure in Canada  Manufacturing did not decline, and also boomed o Virtually all of Etobiko was built for manufacturing Population Growth  Baby boom o In the last lecture, during the interwar years there was a decline in birth rate. However, in 1946, the overall downward trend changed o This demographic phenomenon was known as the baby boom. It is usually defined as a variation from the downward trend o The birth rate of 3.5 or 4 children went against the trend and therefore stood out o It created a large cohort of babies born in those years  As they age and went through their lives, they were a large cohort  It was the largest age cohort proceeding in the Canadian society o It was a notable demographic, and what makes it more interesting is that as these children grew, they lived in a world of affluence  They saw doubling in the standard of living and nothing bad happened  There was construction of elementary, high school, and university as these babies grew  So much was done to help these cohort proceed in the age of time o Furthermore, they had many job opportunities because the job was expanding. White collar jobs were also expanding  At age 23, they had serious high well-paid jobs. They produced CBC programs rather than only posting things on websites  What you had was a generation of young people who had an easy life  This is what defines the baby boom generation more culturally o They had a life of entitlement  Child raising was much more liberal. The idea that they should be forgiving to the children and accommodate them. Parents chose houses on the basis of how they were able to walk to school  Parents are living their whole life based on what the children wants. It was a child central life  Immigration o After the war, the economy once again began booming. There was a great demand for labor and a great supply of people who wanted to emigrate from Europe  Millions of people were displaced from their towns and houses  Many of them went to America/Canada to start new o 70-100 thousand a year, and later it jumped up to 200,000 a year  This has not been seen since the first world war o It was still primaril
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