The “Roaring” Twenties

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The “Roaring” Twenties Canada 1919-1929

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The “Roaring” Twenties. Canada 1919-1929. Once the war ended in 1918 , thousands of Canadian soldiers were stuck in Europe waiting to be shipped home. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of The “Roaring” Twenties

Page 1: The  “Roaring”  Twenties

The “Roaring” Twenties

Canada 1919-1929

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Once the war ended in 1918, thousands of Canadian soldiers were stuck in Europe waiting to be shipped home.

Many rioted out of sheer boredom at the months of waiting. The leaders of the riots were arrested and shot. Eventually, enough transports were found to send these soldiers home to a heroes welcome.

The conditions that these soldiers endured helped to spread the worldwide outbreak of Spanish ‘flu to Canada; 20 million were killed worldwide, 35,000 Canadians died.

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Trouble at Home: The Winnipeg General Strike 1919 Many returning soldiers found they had no

jobs; the munitions factories were no longer needed to produce weapons for the war.

Many Canadians were impressed by the Russian Revolution, which seemed to give power to the ordinary worker. One of the centres of worker frustration was the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba in the summer of 1919.

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When the metal workers of Winnipeg went on strike for higher pay, they called on their fellow unionized workers to join them. Soon, 35,000 workers were on strike, with their leaders openly supporting the Communist government in Russia.

The Mayor of Winnipeg called on the Canadian army and the RCMP for support. Together, they dispersed the rioters, whose leaders were arrested. Those born outside of Canada were deported to their country of birth.

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Politics and the Economy

After the postwar slump, parts of the Canadian economy began to recover, except for the Maritime Provinces.

People bought cars and new electrical appliances on credit. They also speculated on the Stock Market to make quick profits.

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Canada gained more independence from Britain as the 1920s progressed. Prime Minister Mackenzie King fought and won the 1926 federal election by criticizing the powers of Governor-General, the British Lord Julian Byng, who had interfered in the Canadian political process.

By 1926, the USA had replaced Britain as Canada’s greatest trading partner.

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Culture The 1920s was the era of the Group of

Seven, who painted Canada’s rugged northern landscapes in bold colours and thick brush strokes.

Though not a member of the Group of Seven, Emily Carr was influenced by their work in her paintings of Aboriginal life in British Columbia.

Original members of the Group of Seven: J.E.H. MacDonald, Lawren Harris, Franklin Carmichael, Arthur Lismer, F.H. Varley, A.Y. Jackson, and Franz Johnston.

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Canadian writers and novelists were also making an impression. Books such as Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (Stephen Leacock) and the Anne of Green Gables chronicles (Lucy Maud Montgomery) were popular among Canadians.

Male and female Canadian athletes won several golds at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.

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The Bluenose schooner won the hearts of Canadians by winning the International Fisherman’s Trophy 17 consecutive times (1921-1938).

Hockey emerged as one of Canada’s favourite sports and pastimes – a popularity that soon spread to the United States with the creation of the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks (in order to form the “Original 6” NHL teams by 1926-1927)

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Women Become "People" 1929 During the 1920s, women occupied low-

paying, low-status jobs. Many employers, including the federal government, forced women to resign when they got married.

Only 25% of women attended high school; many were still expected to help look after their family until they married, then to look after their own children.

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Alberta’s ‘Famous Five’ (Emily Murphy, Irene Parlby, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Edwards and Louise McKinney) challenged the Canadian Supreme Court over women’s status.

In 1928, the Canadian Supreme Court declared that only men were ‘persons’. The ‘Famous Five’ took the case to the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council, who in 1929 overturned the decision of the Canadian Supreme Court (they had the power to do this until 1949) and ruled that Canadian women were “people’ under the law.

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By 1920, 1 in 4 families had a telephone; by 1929 this had risen to 3 in 4.

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•With the advent of cheaper cars due to production line technology at the Ford plant in Windsor, Ontario, many Canadians bought cars. Highways, paved roads, gas stations, parking lots and motels were the result of the widespread use of the car.

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•With the advances in airplane technology in World War One, bush pilots were able to fly great distances into the northern territories and ‘air mail’ became popular.

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In 1924, a Canadian engineer called Ted Rogers invented a radio that plugged into an electrical current. By the end of the 1920s, millions of Canadians were listening to Hockey Night in Canada.

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In 1922, the Canadian doctors Frederick Banting

and Charles Best injected a 14-year-old diabetic with

insulin to control his blood sugar. Although not a cure,

it has kept millions of diabetics around the world

alive ever since.

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Introduced in January 1920, prohibition made alcohol illegal across the United States. It failed to stop people drinking and encouraged organized crime, which supplied bootleg liquor. Much of the bootlegged liquor was smuggled over the Canadian border.

Prohibition met with great resistance, and was eventually abandoned in the United States in 1933. Prohibition was not popular in Canada; it had been introduced towards the end of the First World War, but most provinces had abandoned it within 10 years. PEI kept prohibition until 1948!

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In the 1920s mobsters fought for control of the bootleg trade. Gang leaders such as Al Capone were brutal and their rivalry led to many bloody clashes; Al Capone is said to have controlled the bootleg liquor trade out of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Mob warfare declined in the 1930s, but crime continued to bring notoriety. Many gangsters were as famous as movie stars.

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Al Capone

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Fashion Scandalously high hemlines, bobbed hair,

cloche hats, and “unfeminine” shapes typified the new fashions of the 1920s. These women were called ‘Flappers’, a put down by men who said women were like baby birds trying to break free of their control

Moralists strongly disapproved of ‘Flappers’, who smoke, drank and swore. They loved fast cars and all-night dance clubs.

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Betty Boop


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Music and Dance Crazes The African-American style of music known as

“jazz” was born in the southern USA. During the 1920s it put down roots in northern cities

such as Chicago and Toronto, and developed a firm following among young whites.

New dances reflected the pursuit of fun and excitement of the 1920s generation.

The most famous, the frenetic Charleston, was a craze of the mid-1920s. The dances were uninhibited, and totally unlike anything seen in polite white society before.

Other dances included: the Bunny Hop, the Black Bottom, the Foxtrot, the Jitterbug and the Shimmy.

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Movie Mania

The 1920s was the golden age of silent movies. Early Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and the Canadian Mary Pickford enjoyed worldwide fame.

By 1929, the “talkies” were driving silent pictures off the screen.