Essays /

Canada Birth Of A Nation Essay

Essay preview

Canada, The Birth of a Nation after World War 1

If there was a defining moment that made Canada into an independent country, it was the First World War that would lay the foundations for Canadian independence. World War 1 touched the lives of all Canadians and anyone who studies Canadian history cannot ignore the effects of the Great War. The war involved European countries but Canada being a dominion of the British Empire was called upon by England and had no choice but to participate. The war had both positive and negative effects on Canada and while many would rely on the negative aspects of the war, one must not forget what it did for Canada as a country. Canada’s involvement in the war would start a path to being an independent country, and after World War 1, Canada earned the respect from other nations especially after the heroic events at Passchendaele and Vimy Ridge. Canada was no longer to be looked at as a ‘self-governing colony’ but a nation that would have a say in international affairs. After the war, Canada earned a seat in the League of Nations and was now beginning to prosper and look like a truly independent country. After the formation of the League of Nations, Canada continued to demonstrate their will to make their decisions free from Britain’s approval and to influence decisions when it came to international affairs. For Canada to finally earn the respect from Britain and the other nations, they would have to participate in a war that would cost thousands of Canadians lives. Before the war Canada was considered a self-governing colony, but after the war was over, Canada cemented its position as a serious nation that would be more involved in international affairs then they ever did before.

World War 1 was the first major war that would be fought by large, centrally organized states since the birth of the Industrial Revolution. Nations like Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Britain and the United States had all encountered industrialization that would allow for new weapons and a new strategic way of fighting on the battlefield.[1] These new mechanized weapons such as the machine gun would take the lives of approximately 12 million casualties and for Canada alone, the total military deaths includes 53,000 killed or missing in action and in 2009-2010, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Annual Report gave a total of 64,976 military dead.[2] Taking a look at this number, how can anyone think that there was any positive factors coming out of this war? Canadian historians have found that there were positive affects that came out of this tragic war. Before the war, Canada’s experiences with transferring the command and control of military forces to another nation essentially originated with the Boer War that occurred in 1899-1902. During this time, the Canadian army was assigned to, and integrated with British forces. This was a huge situation for Canada because it was the first occasion that Canada sent troops in large numbers for a conflict that was happening overseas. The Boer War saw the British and its dominion forces against the Afrikaner Republics of South Africa and the Orange Free State. By the time the war ended, more than 7300 soldiers and 16 nurses had sailed from Canada to South Africa, and approximately 270 were killed there.[3] The Boer War was not a Canadian war, it was a British war and Canada’s involvement was only because they were a dominion of the British Empire and had no say in the strategies and direction of this war. One must remember that during this war, Canada was still a self-governing colony and had no control over its foreign policy. Canada’s military contribution to this war was very important but it was still Britain who had control over Canada’s military. Britain had the power to issue any order to a Canadian commander no matter what their rank was and they could discipline soldiers and assign any mission for a Canadian regiment that they seemed was necessary.[4] Strictly speaking, Canada was still under major influence from Britain and didn’t have much of a say when concerning foreign issues, especially when dealing with a war. This all changed after World War 1.

When comparing Canadian foreign policies of the Boer War and the First World War there is one clear difference. In Africa, Canada had no choice but to surrender its military leadership to Britain, but when World War 1 became a reality for the entire world, Canada had more control over its military strength. Canadian historian Desmond Morton simply believed that this was the birth of Canadian independence because “Canadians were unwilling to surrender control over their own war effort.” [5]Morton is correct in statin...

Read more

Keywords

-1902 -1924 -1939 -2010 000 1 10 100 102 11 11th 12 13 131 132 134 14 147 15 150 16 16th 17 18 1899 19 1914 1917 1918 1919 1921 1922 1929 1930 1937 1972 198 1982 1983 1992 1994 2 20 2003 2004 2005 2007 2008 2009 2010 205 20th 21 216 22 229 23 24 25 26 27 270 28 28th 29 29th 3 30 31 32 33 34 348 357 3600 39 4 461 5 5000 53 536 6 64 66 68 69 7 71 721 73 7300 74 8 82 9 976 9th abl absolut accomplish accord achiev acknowledg action adam advanc affair affect afraid africa afrikan aggress agreement aim alexand alli allianc allow almost alon also american amongst amount anglo anglo-japan annual anoth answer anyon approach approv approxim april archiv aren armi articl aspect assign associ atlant attack attempt attitud august australia australian austria austria-hungari author autonomi away b back barrag battalion battl battlefield becam began begin behalf behind belgian belgium believ benefici best better birth bite blackwel bloomington blow board boer bombard book borden brave brigadi bring britain british briton brought brutal busch c c.j call cambridg came canada canadian cannon cannot captur case casualti catalogu catharin caus cement central centuri certain chanak chang channel chief choic clear close closer coast colonel coloni combin come command commiss common commonwealth companion compar complet compromis compuls concern conclus condit confer conflagr conflict congress consid consolid constant consult content continu contribut control corp correct cost could couldn countri cours coven creat creation creep crowd cuba curri dandurand daniel dark day dead deal death debat decid decis declar dedic defenc defend defin degre demilitar demonstr deni derek desmond despit devast dewey diari didn die differ direct director disagr disciplin discuss disput dodwel doherti dominion doug dougla drag drastic drummond dual due earli earn easter econom effect effort embroil emissari empir employ encount end enemi england english english-japan enter entir equal especi essenti establish estim europ european even event eventu ever everi everyman evid evolut exist expans expect expeditionari experi experienc express extern face fact factor far fast fewer fewest field fight final fireproof firm first fledg flood foot forc foreign forev forget forgotten form format forward fought found foundat four franc free friend front fulfil full full-fledg futur g.w.l gain gave general georg german german-occupi germani get give given global go goal gosselin got govern granatstein grave great greater greatest ground gun haig hand handl happen harold hay headquart heaven help helpless henri heritag heroic hesit hide high higher hillmer histori historian hit hold horn horribl horrif hour hous huge hungari hurt ian ibid idea ideal ignor illinoi illustr ilo imag immedi imperi import imposs impregn inch includ independ industri inevit influenc innov insist integr intellig interest intern interv invad involv issu itali iunivers j.l japan john join journal journey juli june justic ken kept kill kind king l labour laid land larg launch lay leadership leagu led left liaison liberia librari lieuten light like live lloyd london long longer look lost lyon m machin mackenzi macmillan made maintain major make mani mark marshal massiv matter mcclelland mcgill mcgill-queen mean mechan member membership memoir men mere middl might militari million minist minut miss mission mississauga moment monday month morton move much must nation naval nebraska necessari need needless negat neighbour never new nicholson non non-aggress norman novemb number nurs object obscen occas occupi occur offens offer offici one oper orang order organ origin outsid oversea p p.66 p.68 pacif pack paper parad parliament part parti particip passchendael path peac peculiar pen piec place plan play player point polici polit port posit power prepar presenc preserv press prime privat problem prosper protect prove publish pursu push put queen question quo quot rain rainfal rank raoul reach realiti realli reason recogn recognit refus regard regiment relat reli reluct remain remark rememb remind renew report repres represent republ reput request resili resolv respect respons revolut ridg right rise robert role ross routledg saga said sail samuel saunder saw say scale scene schreiber screen search seat second seek seem seen self self-govern send sent serious shane sheep shine shock show sign signatori signatur signific similar simpli simpson sinc sir situat skaarup slaughter small smoke soil soldier solid someon someth sourc south sovereign spare speak special spoke st staff start state status step stewart still stood stop storm strateg strategi strength strict strong studi success suffer support surrend symbol tactic take taken taylor ten term terribl territori thing think thought thousand threat three tie time togeth toll took top toronto total touch toward tragic transcend transfer transpir treati trench tri tripl troop trooper truli truste turn twenti twenty-first two umpir unabl undeni unit uniti univers unlik unreli unsuccess unwil upon upset us usa use vancouv vanwel versaill veto victori villag vimi waist want war washington wasn water way weak weapon wear well went weren western whether will william wish wit withdraw within without withstand won work world wors worst would wound write written wrote x year yesterday york zealand zone zuehlk