Canada and Politics : 1920s

Canada and Politics : 1920s
Canadian History
End of the War
 What was Canadian politics like at the
end of World War 1?
 By 1919 Canada had become bitterly
divided because of political moves
during World War 1.
 Military Service Act.
What happened to Wartime
 Two previous political party leaders before
the 1920s were:
 Robert Borden: PM who introduced Conscription.
(Conservative Party)
 Sir Wilfred Laurier: Former PM, French
Canadian. (Liberal Party)
 Sir Wilfred Laurier died in 1919.
 By 1919 Robert Borden had become so
exhausted his doctor ordered him to resign.
1920s Dominated by Two
 July 1920 Borden steps down and gives
leadership to Arthur Meighen.
 9th Prime Minister……for less then a year.
 Have you ever heard of Arthur Meighen?
 William Lyon Mackenzie King.
 Becomes leader of the Liberal party.
 Bitter rivals who attended University of
Toronto together. The only thing that they
had in common was they hated each other.
King the Conciliator
 Conciliator: To gain someone’s friendship.
 Came from prominent Ontario family.
 Had the ability to bring ‘warring parties’
 Understood that Quebec was important to
hold onto power but keep Canada united.
 Internationally recognized labour expert:
found a balance between worker’s needs
and business.
 Known as a mediator and social reformer.
Meighen the Mean??
 Came from a modest, rural family.
 Former schoolteacher. Teaching days
were short lived because he was so
harsh and strict.
 Through talent and hard work he
became a successful lawyer.
 His combative and brilliant debating
style created many enemies.
 Cold and Arrogant.
1920 Elections
 Meighen faced an uphill battle during
the 1920 elections. WHY?
 In part because of his party and
World War 1.
 Was formerly a justice minister who
smothered anti-war protests.
 1919: Crushed Winnipeg General
Strike which we will look at later.
Unions were wrong.
1920s Election
 Another party entered the scene in
1920: The Progressive Party, made of
farmers from Ontario and the West
and ex-Liberals.
 Conservatives won 50 seats,
Progressives won 65 seats and the
Liberals won 116 seats.
 King became Prime Minister and
remained PM for 22 out of the next
27 years.
King as Prime Minister
 Walked a political tight-rope where he
tried to please everyone but ended up
pleasing nobody in the end.
 For example, he lowered tariffs to
appease Progressives, but not enough to
anger industrialists.
 1925 election King lost majority but
teamed up with Progressives to
maintain power. (Con-116, Lib-101,
King-Byng Affair
 In 1926 King resigns because of a
 Key terms:
 Dissolution of parliament- Parliaments sit
for a maximum for 5 years but can be
disbanded or taken apart before that
with the support of the governor general.