Canada in the World Wars and Interwar Years

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Canada in the World Wars and Interwar Years

Post  kosovohp on Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:16 am

Because Britain still maintained control of Canada's foreign affairs under the Confederation Act, its declaration of war in 1914 automatically brought Canada into World War I.[57] Volunteers sent to the Western Front later became part of the Canadian Corps.[57] The Corps played a substantial role in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and other major battles of the war.[57] Out of approximately 625,000 who served, about 60,000 were killed and another 173,000 were wounded.[58] The Conscription Crisis of 1917 erupted when conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden brought in compulsory military service over the objection of French-speaking Quebecers.[57] In 1919, Canada joined the League of Nations independently of Britain and,[57] in 1931, the Statute of Westminster affirmed Canada's independence.[59]

The Great Depression brought economic hardship all over Canada. In response, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Alberta and Saskatchewan enacted many measures of a welfare state (as pioneered by Tommy Douglas) into the 1940s and 1950s.[60] Canada declared war on Germany independently during World War II under Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, three days after Britain. The first Canadian Army units arrived in Britain in December 1939.[57]

Canadian troops played important roles in the failed 1942 Dieppe Raid in France, the Allied invasion of Italy, the D-Day landings, the Battle of Normandy, and the Battle of the Scheldt in 1944.[57] Canada provided asylum and protection for the monarchy of the Netherlands while that country was occupied, and is credited by the country for leadership and major contribution to its liberation from Nazi Germany.[61] The Canadian economy boomed as industry manufactured military materiel for Canada, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union.[57] Despite another Conscription Crisis in Quebec, Canada finished the war with one of the largest armed forces in the world and the second-wealthiest economy

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