HISB41H3 Lecture Notes - John Sparrow David Thompson, Headache, Timothy Eaton

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10 Feb 2011
Lecture 2
1:56 PM
The Laurier Boom 1896-1911
The theme of last week - late 19th cent - great unease - uncertainty - as to whether it could
survive - that defined that period - economic depression - people were struggling
But the laurier boom - are remembered much more fondly - positive economic times
National policy - finally started to work - growth in economy - industry and western settlement
More than 1 million people immigrated to western canada during 1896-1911 - half of country was
opened up
No issues that seriously divided the people
These were peaceful prosperous optimistic times
Laurier said - at turn of century - the 19th century may have belonged to US but the 20th century
will belong to Canada
By 1950 - 60 million - estimate - that optimism associated with Laurier
He personified all the good things that Canada can become - called the first Canadian
His picture
Laurier embodied both founding cultures - was french - but respected british institutions
He personified good times - when queen ruled the throne - sun never set on the British empire
Stats - 1861 4.3 million population
1911 7.2 million
British 2.6 milion 61% 4 million 56%
French 1.3 million 30% 2.1 million 29%
Other Euro from .4 million to 1.1 million
Ukrainian - from 0 to 75,000 - mostly on praries
Aboriginals declined from 108,000 to 105,000
Negro 21,000 to 17,000
Africans told - it is too cold here
Asiatic - chinese - blocked by govt measures - jumped over hurdles anyways
Japanese, sikhs
4000 in 1881 to 43,000 in 1991 - govt did not feel very good about it
Ethnic composition slowly changing - but if you come to canada - remake yourself as English
Canadians - those who were different - were not really welcome - far away from multiculturalism
1881 - 75% rural to 54% in 1911
Regional distribution:
Ontario 44% to 35%
Quebec 33 to 38
Maritimes 20 to 13
Western 4 to 24
Annual immigration 47k to 331 - mostly from outside - these figures never matched again
Sir Wilfred Laurier 1841-1919
Lawyer and journalist
Federal mp 1874-1919
Liberal leader 1887-1919
PM 1896-1911
The first canadian
Special personality
French canadian - 9th generation - could trace lineage back
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He was lawyer and journalist
1866 - wrote confederation would be tomb of French race
That is how he got established
1874-1919 federal MP 43 yrs - still unmatched today
1887-1919 till death - leader of libs
1896-1911 - 16 yrs - longest record
Called first canadian - embodied both cultures
His greatest political skill - great orator - in both languages
Flawless french and english
His parents had high hopes for him - sent to live with scottish family - spoke with scottish accent -
made english audience more friendly to him
Macdonald was the kind of guy who was not above fights in house of commons - throwing up
drunk - he was not dignified character
He had very easy going self depracating kind of charm
Laurier was more aristocratic - people didn’t relate to his as easily - but they admired him -
manners, cordiallity, he was handsome man, ladies loved him
Picture of him wearing his hat during tour of western Canada
Nobody called him Wilf
Winning Liberal formula
French English cooperation
Economic growth
Provincial rights - laurier greenway compromise 1897
Loyalty to britain
Pic - laurier on campaign trail
He fostered positive french english relations
Occupied with national unity - he personified it
He dealt with sig issues as PM - always retained good relations
Fortunate - period of economic growth
He didn’t understand economics very well - speech on economic policy - afterwards his advisor -
said give me the speech and he threw it in the river
He knew about race religion and national unity - cant give him credit for economic growth
But that helped - times were good
Macdonald era - tory times are hard times
Laurier - greater extent than macdonald - respected provincial rights - didn’t interfere - macdonald
did, treated provinces like naughty children
Laurier did not do that - allowed them to be sovereign
Even though it meant it could not project itself firmly
1897 - sunny ways policies - french schools in Manitoba - after 1896 he had to do that - met with
premier of Manitoba
Compromise - allowed for religious instruction for 30 mins a day in protestant school system
Catholic teachers if numbers warranted it - 40 students or more in urban area - 25 in rural area -
or if enough numbers of students spoke french then instruction in french
That is not the same as equal funded bilingual schools
End of bilingualism on the praries - followed by other provinces
Laurier said this was the best he could do
Laurier he acquiesced
He didn’t do enough for the catholic schools - as conservatives would have done under Tupper
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Loyalty to Britain - always praised the empire - sometimes over the top - more british than the
britisih - to overcome the mistrust against him
Papers filled with doubt than canadians would vote for french PM - 1890s
He pleaded with the party to replace him - thought he was a handicap to the party
Proven wrong - he became iconic figure
Dramatic moment - it was only then that french canadians took their place in confederation -
laurier was like our first black President - many people thought it would never happen
The least noble thing - he dished out patronage - gave friends political jobs - lucrative govt
contracts - same as macdonald - scratch back politics
He is remembered as angelic figure - his scandals often forgotten - corruption - old ways of doing
He would be surprised of how fondly he is remembered - his image has not been tarnished
Interesting detail - rumoured extramarital affair with law partner's wife - Emily laverne?
Not entirely upright in morality - but we don’t know for sure
Economic boom 1896-1911
Left national policy as it was - high tariffs - no free trade
One adjustment - reduced tariffs against Britain - lower rate
That did well with Canadians - brit good were popular - seemed patriotic - imperial preference
Contributed to positive economic times - not major
Western expansion - in population and numbers of farmers
Clifford sifton - picture - poster for the west - free land - appealing to european peasant farmers
Sifton said - of the people he wanted to attract - peasant with long lineage of farming with big
family - but he didn’t care about the nationality
Biritish people came from the cities - they didn’t know how to farm - eastern Europeans did know
how to farm
Galician settlement - Manitoba - picture
Industrial growth as well - resources were booming - fishing, logging, pulp and paper
Railway growth
By end of laurier era - 55k km of railway tracks - highest per capita in the world
Two continental lines - in addition to CPR - country only needed one - this would become a
headache eventually
Amalgamated into CN
Industrial growth - mostly in montreal and ontario
80% industry was in ontario
West - land of farmers
Farming important in ontario - but more industrial and wage work
Montreal and toronto doubles - to 500k per
Industrialization in Canada
Rural depopulation - was an effect - urbanization - montreal smallpox epidemic 1885
More people moving into cities
Urbanization consequences in late 19th century - in 20th century - more sanitary and regulation -
but in 1880s - montreal - bump into pigs and cows wondering in streets
Pigs good - they feed themselves
People lived close conjuction to animals
No system of sewers
When animals died - people just left them
That was a major health issue
Epidemics were a serious problem
1885 smallpox epidemic in montreal - approx 4000 people died -all french canadians
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