Canada and World War II: The Moral Purpose of the War

I believe that WWII did not serve a moral purpose of sorts as the majority of the countries involved only participated due to a fear of a Hitler gaining to much momentum in his war effort.  The majority of the events that raised moral questions revolved around Hitler’s Anti-Semitic views.  It began with the enacting of the Nuremberg Laws and began to escalate from there.  The Nuremberg Laws were issued between 1933 and 1939.  It forced those of Jewish descent to make this fact known, as well due to their Jewish ancestry they lost many of their rights, including: citizenship, property, and possessions (Falk, Plante, Miller, & Figueira, 2006.)  Proceeding the enactment of these laws were a series of mass killings known as “Night of the Long Knives” and “Kristallnacht.”  During these events Hitler eliminated his political opponents and notable Jewish Citizens (Falk, Plante, Miller, & Figueira, 2006.)

However, going into the war the allies were not conscious of the persecution of the Jewish people.  This cements my previous argument further as the Allies fought the war out of fear rather out of their desire to fight for the greater good.  As well, despite fighting the war to oust the impending German power; the allies were not aware of the full extent of Hitler’s political power.  Due to winning a majority government and enacting The Enabling Act of 1934; Hitler had almost full sovereign control of his nation. (History. [2013] Night of the Long Knives.)

It was not until the Allies managed to breach Germany and force a surrender on to them did they realize the entirety of Hitler’s Antisemitism.  As the Allies pushed further into Germany they began to uncover Hitler’s acts of depravity against the Jews.  Concentration Camps were being unearthed quickly and the emergence the emaciated survivors mortified the soldiers. (Cranny & Moles, 2001.)  It was clear the soldiers were not aware of what had been going on in the enemy territory as many were completely unaware of the atrocities occurring in Germany.


File:Hitler Nürnberg 1935.jpg

Parade of SA troops past Hitler. Nuremberg [Photograph; Hitler Triumphantly Reviewing the SA; presumably after the Night of the Long Knives”.] At: (Accessed on 11.28.13)



Cranny M. , Moles G. , (2001).  Counter Points Exploring Canadian Issues.  Pearson Education Canada Inc., Toronto, Ontario

Falk J. , Yvette P. , Jorda M. & Mark F. (2010).  Social Studies Eleven Student Workbook. Hazelmere Publishing  Surrey, British Columbia

History. (2013). Night of Long Knives. Retrieved from:

Tom K. ( 2012, April 20.) The Religious and Political Views of Hitler.  Retrieved from:


The Thirties a Decade of Despair: The Great Depression and The Great Recession

The Great Depression and The Great Recession were two economic events in which the economy spiraled downwards.  “There is an old joke among economists that states: A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job.” (Mike M. [2013] Recession? Depression? What’s the Difference?)  I believe this joke is rather accurate as it shows the effect of each event.  When a recession occurs people around you begin to lose a job and thus it seems like a distant event that may or may not affect you.  While a depression, strips you of your job and thus becomes a more apparent occurrence.

In the case of The Great Depression, it stripped many people of their jobs and left thousands starving.  One of the key causes of The Great Depression was overproduction.  Business owners were mass producing large amounts of their products however, when they failed to sell quickly the owners began to stockpile them.  Thus, the business owners would have to slow down production and in doing so reduce the number of jobs ( (Falk, Plante, Miller, Fiqueira, 2006.)  The more recent Recession however, was much less severe and mainly due to an unbalanced economic system. As well, an economic class gap was partly to blame as well. (John, R. 2010)  While those of the upper class got to revel in their prosperity those belonging to the middle and lower class were struggling with lay offs.

However, if you compare the Depression to the Recession the similar cause of these events would be the Government’s (of both eras) massive spending.  Both Government’s stated that they would enact a budget but ended up spending vast amounts of money on Federal Projects.  Projects that would “supposedly” ease the strain on the economy. (Labonte, M. 2010)  Due to the Government’s money hemorrhaging in the Recession period, valuable funds were being spent on quick fixes to job shortages rather than permanent solutions (John, R. 2010.)  I believe this may apply to the Depression as well since the government of that time appeared to be squandering money in an attempt to find a solution as well.

Recession vs. Depression [Photograph; Economic Recession.] At: (Accessed on 11.28.13)



J.A. Falk, Yvette P. , Jorda M. & Mark F. (2010).  Social Studies Eleven Student Workbook. Hazelmere Publishing  Surrey, British Columbia

John R. (2010, June 8). The Real Cause of the Crash of 2008. Retrieved from:

Labonte M. (2010, Oct. 6). The 2007-2009 Recession: Similarities to and Differences from the Past. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from:

Mike, M. (2013). Recession? Depression? What’s the Difference?  Retrieved from:


The Thirties Decade of Despair: O Brother Where Art Thou

“O Brother Where Art Thou”

The Film “O Brother Where Art Thou” Is a comedy film set during the depression era.  It is an accurate interpretation of  the 1930’s in North America as it manages to do so in the various scenes of the movie.  For instance, when the little Hogwallop boy sees the escaped convicts he believes they are from the bank and attempts to shoot them.  Being a time in which money was scarce and debts were large it reflects the mind set of those in that era.  Due to many people losing their jobs and still owing much to the bank; many people would find the bank would come to repossess their property.  This is likely what the Hogwallop boy is thinking.

As well, the movie shows the exploits of the Ku Klux Klan; an organization based on radical right wing political views.  The Ku Klux Klan had its reach stretch out into almost every southern state at the time and were infamous for their violent lynchings, assaults and other violent attacks (Southern Poverty Law Center.  (1998)  Ku Klux Klan.)  This corresponds to the Ku Klux Klan terrorizing much of Southern America in the 1930s as the movie depicted this.

To conclude, I believe that this movie was an accurate portrayal of the 1930s.  While there were times where it seemed magic-realistic (The sirens for example) they were explained to be more practical and still held to the spirit of the 1930s.  It reflected the attitudes of those in the Depression Era very well as it clearly has been well researched.  The attitudes and actions of many of the characters reflect that of those who had been alive in that era.

Movie - o brother, where art thou? Wallpapers and Backgrounds

O Brother Where Art Thou [Photograph; “The Protagonists Escaping”.] At: (Accessed on 11.1.13)


Southern Poverty Law Centre (1998).  Ku Klux Klan.  Retrieved from:

History (1996-2013).  Ku Klux Klan. Retrieved from:

Canada and The Twenties: Gender Equality

Women made many strides in their equality in the 1920’s.  For example, in Canada  the Person’s case caused quite the uproar.  The Person’s case began with Emily Murphy in 1916 being the first female judge under the British Empire; she faced a lot of backlash against lawyers who had been questioning her ability to decide verdicts. (Falk, Plante, Miller, Fiqueira, 2006.)  The argument came from the British North America Act for according to the act “They [women] were not considered persons under the British North America Act” (Falk, Plante, Miller, Fiqueira, Pg 76, 2006.)

The Famous Five was a group of Alberta women who argued that under the British North America Act “persons” included women (Falk, Plante, Miller, Fiqueira, 2006.)  Eventually after several years of debate The Famous Five (which consisted of Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby) won the case and it was officially ruled that women were considered persons under the act.  This was a major stepping stone in the recognition of women’s rights in Canada and while none of the famous five were able to get to Senate, if not for The Famous Five women likely would not have been able to get into the Senate (Falk, Plante, Miller, Fiqueira, 2006.)

Along with the Person’s case women were able to enter the workforce during The First World War.  Since many men had to leave their jobs during the war it allowed women to replace them and allow women to hold jobs that were exclusively for men.  “Most found familiar jobs as secretaries, clerks, typists and factory workers” (The Canadian Encyclopedia (2012). Status of Women)  However as mentioned previously women were able to hold more unconventional (unconventional at that time) jobs such as munitions and heavy industry.

While true women have made great strides in promoting equality on both sides there is still some work to be had when it comes to true equality.  Generally speaking, men find it easier to receive promotions and raises. As well, there seems to be a negative stigma on women who choose to lead and speak-up; for that matter, women who don’t conform to societal norms tend to receive said negative stigma.  It may no longer be 1920 and the times where women were considered broodmares are long gone; there is still much work to be done until women receive the equal rights they deserve.


Bright, K. (2013, April. 8). Gender Inequality in the Workplace. [Web Log Message]. Retrieved from

Canadian Encyclopedia (2012). Status of Women. Retrieved from:

Cranny, Moles (2001). Counterpoints: Exploring Canadian Issues. Pearson Education Canada Inc., Toronto, Ontario

J.A. Falk, Yvette P. , Jorda M. & Mark F. (2010).  Social Studies Eleven Student Workbook. Hazelmere Publishing  Surrey, British Columbia

Gender Equality [Photograph; “Gender Equality”.] At: (Accessed on 10.30.13)

Canada and WWI: The Causes of WWI

There were many events leading to the World War .  “On June 28, 1914 Archdurke Franz Ferdinand was killed by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the “Black Hand” while visiting Bosnia (within the Austro Hungarian Empire).”   (Falk, Plante, Miller, & Figueira, 2006, p. 45)  The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand  set in motion a chain of events that led to the World War.  However, the creation of the Triple Entente and Triple Alliance may have been the initial cause of tensions between the countries involved.

Canada was likely involved due to influence of Britain.  Many Canadians considered themselves to be proud British subjects as many were freshly immigrated from Britain. (Cranny & Moles, 2001, Pg 8).  I believe British Nationalism played a heavy role in much of Canada’s activities during and before the War.  However it is not so present now as Canada has become recognized as quite an independent country.

I believe Canada made the right choice in participating in the war.  While true many lives were lost; Canada’s participation has allowed other countries to recognized its independence and reliability.  As well due to Canada’s many Military victories we have been able to be recognized as a hardy and accountable military force despite our relatively small military.  As well, going into War allowed for Women to enter the workforce and subsequently their recognition as ample voting citizens.

Armistice Day, Munitions Centre

Armistice Day, Munitions Center [Photograph; Victory Celebration at Canadian Munitions Center.] At: (Accessed on 09.25.13)


Canadian Museum of Civilization (2012).  The War’s Impact on Canada. Retrieved from:

Cranny M. , Moles G. , (2001).  Counter Points Exploring Canadian Issues.  Pearson Education Canada Inc., Toronto, Ontario

J.A. Falk, Yvette P. , Jorda M. & Mark F. (2010).  Social Studies Eleven Student Workbook. Hazelmere Publishing  Surrey, British Columbia

(1996) Myrna A. , Anita C. , Stephanie E. , Christopher M. & Jay W.  Canada’s Role in WWI.  Retrieved from:

Canada and WWI: The Effect of the War Measures Act and the NSA Spying Program

The War Measures Act a method to prepare Canada for war.  When put in place the War Measures Act allowed the government to do anything for the sake of Canada’s safety and readiness in the war.   Naturally such a decree infringed on the legal rights of Canadians as it essentially allowed the government to enact any law, deport anybody or seize any property as long as it was deemed helpful in the war effort (Claude B. [1999] The War Measures Act.) 

It had varied effects on Canadians.  While natural for the government to seize more control during times in which national security is threatened; it was used to do very cruel things as well.  During the WWI the Canadian Government detained thousands of Canadians who had Ukrainian ancestry as they were born in Austrian/Hungarian Empire; as well they outlawed Jehova’s Witnesses as an organization and banned texts and works in other languages (Claude B. [2004] The War Measures’ Act.)  These events are clear misuses of the War Measures Act.  As a result of these events the War Measures Act was “replaced by the Emergencies Act, which created more limited and specific powers for the government to deal with security emergencies” (Dennis S. [2012] War Measures Act.)

The War Measures Acts is very much similar to the NSA’s domestic spying program as it was enacted by George W. Bush after 9/11; an event which set America on the War Against Terrorism.  The spying program entailed the monitoring of Internet and call histories as well (2013) How the NSA’s Domestic Spying Program Works.  Another reason the War Measures Act and NSA spying program are very alike is due to the intrusive nature of both programs.  However, the War Measures Act differs from the spying program as the War Measures Act had been used for more exclusive punishments (I.e Detaining Canadians with Ukrainian descent) while the spying program was used to watch all American citizens.

However, that is not to say I agree with what the NSA is doing.  The fact that the NSA is infringing on the privacy of the American populace still stands, and that in itself is not right.  The spying program does not appear to be yielding any meaningful results and has been the result of a paranoid government. I believe it should be abolished as it only seeks to increase the tensions between the American Populace and its government.


Headline. War Measures Act Invoked [Photograph; Headline announces War Measures Act in Ottawa”.] At: (Accessed on 09.23.13)


Dennis, S. (2012). War Measures Act.  Retrieved from

(2013) How the NSA’s Domestic Spying Program Works.  Retrieved from:

National Post (2013). NSA has now Cracked into Common Internet Encryption. Retrieved from

Marianopolis Colllege (2000) The War Measures Act. Retrieved from

Marianopolis College (2004) The War Measures’ Act. Retrieved from

(2011, May. 11) The War Measures Act [Web Log Message] Retrieved from

Canada before WWI: British and Canadian Relations

As a fellow members of the common wealth Britain (the UK to be more specific) and Canada have had close relations for a long period of time.  However, before the first World War Canada’s relations with Britain were significantly better.  That is not to say they are strained in the present; “however, most English-speaking Canadians were proud to be British subjects” (Cranny & Moles, 2001, Pg 8) before the war as many Canadian citizens still had close ties to Britain.  This is largely in part to Canada being less of a culturally diverse country before the twentieth century; as “most Canadians were ethnocentric” (Cranny & Moles, 2001, Pg 9.)

However not all Canadians were fond of the British influence in Canada; specifically the French-Canadians.  “During the South- African War in 1899 many English-speaking Canadians wanted to participate.  However, many French-Canadians were opposed”(2013, Canada Foreign Relations.  Retrieved from  This was the case in the first World War as well.

The current relations of  Canada and Britain are not very eventful now however.  Canada has taken upon itself to become a rather independent nation.  However, there are still many signs of Canada’s close allegiance with Britain.  For example, the picture of the current monarch is still on Canadian currency.  As well, many roads, parks, towns and other municipal areas are named after British towns and nobles.  While Canada no longer has a predominantly British culture, its  British heritage is still very much present.

Flag of Commonwealth

Common Wealth. Common Wealth [Photograph; Flag of the Commonwealth”.] At: (Accessed on 08.15.13)


Cranny & Moles. (2001). Counterpoints: Exploring Canadian Issues.  Pearson Education Canada Inc., Toronto, Ontario.

J.J Mcullough (2013) 20th Century Canadian History.  Retrieved from

Norman L Nicholson (2013) Canada Foreign Relations.  Retrieved from