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Canada in 1912
1912
nineteen hundred and twelve

As part of the British Empire, when Britain declared war on Germany and Austro-Hungary in 1914, Canada was automatically involved. Those who did not support Canada's participation in the First World War protested vigorously. In response, the government passed the War Measures Act to allow suspension of civil rights during times of crisis.

In 1916, Manitoban women became the first Canadian females who were granted the right to vote. In the same year, 25,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders were killed in the Battle of the Somme, and the Canadian Parliament buildings were destroyed in a fire. The following year, the government introduced a new tax on income as a temporary measure to support the war effort. Canada fought its hardest battles that year, in Vimy Ridge and in Passchendaele. The destruction of war spread to Canada when a munitions ship collided with a relief ship in Halifax Harbour. At least 1,900 were killed in the blast and the city was physically devastated. In 1918, Canadians forced their way through German trenches at Amiens. It was to be the beginning of Canada's "hundred days", which led to the end of the war on November 11.

The League of Nations was formed in 1920 with Canada as a member. It was a sign of the country's emerging independence on the international stage. In the same year, the North-West Mounted Police became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and women were eligible to sit in the House of Commons.

Boundary Changes

  • 1925 Canadian boundaries are extended to the North Pole
  • 1927 Quebec-Newfoundland (Labrador) border is established by the British Privy Council
  • 1949 Newfoundland joins Canada as the tenth province. (But Quebec still does not recognize the 1927 boundary)
  • 1977 Canada claims all offshore waters within 200 nautical miles (370 km) of the coast

GLOSSARY TERMS

First World War: The 1914-18 war fought between Germany and Austria-Hungary and the Allied Forces of Canada, U.S., Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France, Russia and other European nations. It led to the collapse of the German, Austrio-Hungarian and Russian empires. Ten million lives were lost.

War Measures Act: A statute passed in 1914 that gives Cabinet power to govern by decree during times of "war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended". It was used during both world wars and again in 1970 in Quebec during the October Crisis.

Battle of the Somme: One of the most futile and bloody battles in history, when the First Newfoundland Regiment was wiped out at Beaumont Hamel on the first day of the battle which last from July 1 to late November in 1916. 623,907 members of the Allied forces, 24,713 of them Canadian, and 660,000 Germans were killed.

Vimy Ridge: Battle in 1917 where Canadians attacked along a 6.4-kilometre front in France and swept Germans from their key position, after many other regiments had failed to do so. It was the first time Canadians had attacked together.

Passchendaele: A Belgian city where, on October 26, 1917, the Canadian Corps attacked and seized the city, succeeding where others had failed. Nine Victoria Crosses were awarded after the battle.

Amiens: French city where a battle took place between August 8 and 11 in 1918. Known as the "black day for the German army", when Canadian and Australian troops were victorious.

"hundred days": Success at Amiens initiated the 100 days when Germany was repeatedly driven back along the Western Front. It culminated in armistice on November 11, 1918.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police: National police force that provides policing for all provinces except Ontario and Quebec. Established in May 1873 as the North-West Mounted Police.

House of Commons: The elected lower house of Parliament that includes a Speaker of the House, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, members of governing party, members of the Opposition and all other elected Members of Parliament.

200-mile fishing limit: Federal government extended the Exclusive Economic Zone for fishing to 200 miles offshore on January 1, 1977 in response to hardship in the Atlantic groundfish industry.

GLOSSARY TERMS

First World War: The 1914-18 war fought between Germany and Austria-Hungary and the Allied Forces of Canada, U.S., Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France, Russia and other European nations. It led to the collapse of the German, Austrio-Hungarian and Russian empires. Ten million lives were lost.

War Measures Act: A statute passed in 1914 that gives Cabinet power to govern by decree during times of "war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended". It was used during both world wars and again in 1970 in Quebec during the October Crisis.

Battle of the Somme: One of the most futile and bloody battles in history, when the First Newfoundland Regiment was wiped out at Beaumont Hamel on the first day of the battle which last from July 1 to late November in 1916. 623,907 members of the Allied forces, 24,713 of them Canadian, and 660,000 Germans were killed.

Vimy Ridge: Battle in 1917 where Canadians attacked along a 6.4-kilometre front in France and swept Germans from their key position, after many other regiments had failed to do so. It was the first time Canadians had attacked together.

Passchendaele: A Belgian city where, on October 26, 1917, the Canadian Corps attacked and seized the city, succeeding where others had failed. Nine Victoria Crosses were awarded after the battle.

Amiens: French city where a battle took place between August 8 and 11 in 1918. Known as the "black day for the German army", when Canadian and Australian troops were victorious.

"hundred days": Success at Amiens initiated the 100 days when Germany was repeatedly driven back along the Western Front. It culminated in armistice on November 11, 1918.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police: National police force that provides policing for all provinces except Ontario and Quebec. Established in May 1873 as the North-West Mounted Police.

House of Commons: The elected lower house of Parliament that includes a Speaker of the House, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, members of governing party, members of the Opposition and all other elected Members of Parliament.

200-mile fishing limit: Federal government extended the Exclusive Economic Zone for fishing to 200 miles offshore on January 1, 1977 in response to hardship in the Atlantic groundfish industry.





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