Sociasl Essay

Submitted By rsandhu77
Words: 1544
Pages: 7

The 1920’s was an overwhelmingly successful time for Canada. The 1920’s were the interwar years. Also, for a decade people suffered due to the Great Depression. Despite the troublesome times, Canada achieved numerous accomplishments, independence being one of them. Although Canada lost their dependence on Britain they were becoming increasingly dependent on the United States.

Canada was doing well economically. Britain was no longer their main trading partner, though their trade with their neighbor country, the United States, was increasingly growing. Canada continued to be a major exporter. Wheat remained the biggest export of Canada; there was also an enormous growth in the exploitation of natural resources and manufacturing. There was also an increasing boom in the mining industry. Record amounts of lead, silver, copper and zinc were mined and used in consumer goods. Most of the materials mined were used in products made in the United States. Canada also had a boom in their forestry industry. Canadian pulp and paper were being exported, and new mills were built in several provinces. This expansion created the need for hydro-generating stations; they provided cheap energy for Canadian industries. Canada’s dependence on the United States began to show when U.S. investors started to set up branch plants. These were businesses controlled by companies in the United States, but operated in Canada. By the end of the 1920’s the Canadian auto industry had been taken over by the “Big Three” U.S. car companies. The “Big Three” consisted of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The U.S. also owned a high percentage of Canada’s oil business, nearly half the machinery and chemical industries, and over half the rubber and electrical companies.

Canada was growing in their own social independence despite the continuing influence of the United States. Because of the growing economy, people had the money to participate in various activities. This caused the decade to be known as the “Roaring Twenties.” Transportation across Canada was becoming easier. In the 1920’s Canada’s 1600 km of top-rated highways were increased by tenfold. Most of the better roads ran to the United States. This forced Canadians to drive on the right side of the road (like the U.S.) rather than the left side (like Britain). Communication was also being improved. The telephone and radio began to dominate Canada. Widespread use of the radio helped bring together communities; it brought entertainment and culture to all Canadians. However, Canadian stations soon began to find it difficult to compete with the larger stations in the United States. By the end of the 1920’s nearly 300,000 Canadians tuned into U.S. stations rather than Canadian ones. Entertainment and fashion in Canada was also greatly influenced by the United States. Canadians were dressing according to Americans because of the increase in American tourists. Men wore straw hats, bell-bottom pants, bow ties, and slicked down hair. Women wore the “flapper” look, “bobbed” hair, hemlines above the knee, silk stockings, and dresses that promoted the flat-chested look. Canadian movies were also giving way to Hollywood. Many Canadian actors, writers, and technicians were drawn to Hollywood. Toronto-born star Mary Pickford became known as “America’s Sweetheart.”

Canada became almost completely politically independent. At the Imperial Conference of 1926 Canada made the greatest progress towards changing their legal dependence on Britain. At this conference Canada requested formal recognition of their autonomy, the freedom to govern themselves. The recommendations of the Balfour Report became law in 1931, when the statute of Westminister was passed by the British government. This statute formally turned the British Empire into the British Commonwealth. Canada was now a country equal, in status, to Britain. Canada was now entitled to make its own laws without the constant British eye on them. The King-Byng crisis was…