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15 Feb 2011
Lecture 6 1/27/11 The 1911 Election
Railway Journey
oSummer of 1910, Wilfred Laurier traveled west on a train tour of the prairies
Whistle Stop Tour
oIron civilizer brings progress everywhere
oNow growing across west, linking together communities
oRegion had been transformed by economic change
oTimber from BC, wheat from Winnipeg
oAlso, social, cultural, and environmental change
oEvery whistle stop hed give a speech and listen to the townspeoples grievances
(especially about tariffs)
oA moral economy argument fairness tariffs were unfair trying to build a
good economy and society
oTariff protects few rich manufacturers at the expense of the many ordinary
special interests policy
oMoral compass argument
oGod made the country, man made the town all good countries are built off
Reciprocity, 1911
oProblems of reciprocity: Reciprocal lowering of tariffs free trade but
politically unsuccessful in late 19th century the liberals were critical of it
o1896 liberals reverse position and accepts a high tariff
o1910 farmers are more numerous and organized compared to 1896: rise of
train traffic and immigration to the west led to more farmers
oUp to the 1900s, national policy appealed to businessmen, the most influential
group in Canada, but farmers become more and more influential
oOrganized constituency against tariffs
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