Canada Between
The Wars
The Economy
Post War Economic
Wartime manufacturing ended
and factories retooled for peace
time, and downsized.
350,000 veterans returned to the
Unions attempted to consolidate
strength gained during the war.
Labour demands for “One Big
Union” frightened government
and business.
Post War Economic
Problems II
The government
refused a veteran
demand for a $2000
Farmers were upset
by government prices
for wheat.
Inflation, after 1917,
resulted in rising
interest rates.
Winnipeg General Strike
 Workers demanded the
right to bargain with
 30,000 workers set up
picket lines on May 15,
 The strike showed signs
of spreading beyond
 A frightened government
brought a violent end to
the strike.
Winnipeg General Strike
Bankrupt railway lines established
during the Laurier era were
consolidated by the government as
the Canadian National Railway
To meet costs the CNR raised freight
rates on the Maritime section of the
line imposing severe hardship on
industry in this region.
The Election of 1921
The Election of 1921
 The new Conservative
leader after 1920 was
Arthur Meighen.
 The Liberals elected
William Lyon Mackenzie
King to lead their party.
 Discontent among
farmers resulted in a new
federal political party The Progressives.
Arthur Meighen
The Election of 1921 II
 The Progressives supported
free trade, lower taxes and
cheap freight rates.
 The Liberals also supported
free trade.
 The Conservatives continued
to support high tariffs and
this cost them the election.
 Mackenzie King formed
government in 1921.
Mackenzie King
The Election of 1921 III
Liberal seats
Progressive seats
Conservative seats
Progressive strength in the West combined with
Liberal support in Quebec and the Maritimes
swept the Conservatives from power.
Canadian Autonomy
The Growth of Canadian
Autonomy 1914 -1919
Decision making for much of World War I was
entirely British.
In 1917 the British War Cabinet was expanded
to become the Imperial War Cabinet which
included all of the Dominion prime ministers.
In 1919 Canada placed her own signature on
the Treaty of Versailles and took a separate seat
on the League of Nations.
Mackenzie King and The
Mackenzie King did not support military
expansion and wished to distance himself
from the Empire.
He cut the defence budget and appointed
O.D. Skeleton to direct Canada’s foreign
King’s policies were popular in the West
and in Quebec.
King and Canadian Autonomy
Liberal nationalism was demonstrated by
The Chanak Crisis of 1922
King refused to support Britain’s
request for troops in case of a war
with Turkey.
The Halibut Treaty of 1923
For the first time Canada signed an
international treaty without British
The Statute of Westminster 1931
In 1923 at the Imperial
Conference Mackenzie King
and J.B.M. Herzog of South
Africa proposed that the
foreign policy of each
dominion should be completely
independent of British control.
The King-Herzog Principle led
to the Statute of Westminster
of 1931 which established
Canada as an “autonomous
community within the British
The King-Byng Affair
The Election of 1925
Between 1921 and 1925
economic conditions in most of
Canada improved
 The Progressive party was weakened
by internal disagreement
 The Liberals had failed to keep all the
promises of 1921. They were now
vulnerable in the Maritimes because
Freight Rates
and Tariffs.
The Election of 1925 II
Conservative seats
Liberal seats
Progressive seats
Mackenzie King lost the election but
called on the support of the
Progressive Party and refused to resign.
The King-Byng Wing-Ding 1926
 A scandal in the Liberal
government forced
Mackenzie King to ask
Lord Byng, the GovernorGeneral, for dissolution.
 Lord Byng would not
grant this request
Meighen led the
largest party.
An election had just
taken place in 1925.
Lord Byng
The King-Byng Wing-Ding
A reluctant Arthur Meighen now formed
King accused Lord Byng and the Conservatives
of “twisting the Constitution.”
The Progressives continued to support the
Liberals and Meighen was quickly defeated.
An election called for September 14, 1926
returned King and the Liberals to power.