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WWI: the home front

Course Code
Mc Kim/ Penfold

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WWI: The Home Front – February 3
I. The Government’s War 1914
The War Measures act
The government moved to control unprecedented areas of Canadian life
Regulate economy, and control political expression
Controlled he activities of ‘enemy aliens’: people from countries on the other side
October 1914: government required ‘enemy aliens to register with police, and
make monthly reports to police.
Censored the ‘foreign language press’ – publishing a paper in an enemy language
would have to be approved
Increasingly, the government moves to suppress its treatment of ‘enemy aliens.’
Moved to also regulate economy. By 1916-7 it becomes more intrusive in
economic life. They implement the first income tax. Originally a war measure, it
never went away
Wartime Elections Act
Fuel & Food Controller
Government governed production, and consumption of food and fuel.
Consequences was an increasing cost of living
II. War and Community
War is about community mobilization – moving communities to a specific cause
Churches preaches sermons that regarded the importance of fighting
Schools: built war into curriculum. A Manitoba teacher produced a play that
would allow the students to perform to parents and staff how Canada acted in the
war. In the finale of the war, 9 boys represented the 9 provinces with wooden
Arithmetic War: every problem solved counted for a german soldier captured.
Every 30 prisoners allowed the student to go up in rank. Using war in everyday
math through mass
Red Cross: women involved in organizations to mobilize for the war effort (make
bandages, collect food, etc)
Vacant Lot Garden Clubs: to use vacant lots to produce food so that it could be
eaten in Canada, so that other sources of food could be sent to the war effort
Anti-German League (Toronto 1916)
Berlin/Kitchener & Dusseldorf/Freedom (Alberta): German names to be changed
to more British/general sounding names
**war can recast previous relationships prior they were the best immigrants as
they were northern Europeans who could be easily assimilated.
III. Social Reform (War & Reform)
Had little success before 1914. Governments were hesitant to pass anything
because it was so divisive
Could not pass of federal level, so they tried on the provincial level
Though a mass movement, it is not politically popular (political suicide)
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