Nations are born out of conflict, and grow and thrive by learning from their mistakes. The 20th century in Canada was responsible for an abundance of great aspects that now exist in our country. Within that era the rights of women were recognized and altered, resulting in them being considered equals to men. Our army became recognized as an elite fighting force. Japanese Canadian internment camps were put in place as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor displayed nothing less then an unjust act.
All leading up to the passing of the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms making certain that inhumane acts that have happened in our past will not happen again. After all, those who do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat it. The early years of the 21st century were important to shaping Canada as a nation. 2 major events occurred during this time that helped to create our identity; the feminist movement began to take hold within and beyond our borders, as well as beginning to be recognized as a world-class military force.
Women (prior to the famous five) were tremendously discriminated against and viewed as incapable of doing many acts. Emily Murphy, a self-taught legal expert, who championed in women and children’s rights felt strongly in fighting for gender equality. In 1903 she began a campaign focusing on property rights of married women. With her hard work and dedication in 1911 the Dower Act was passed. The act stated that women had the right to one third of their husband’s property and allowed for the surviving spouse to become the legal owner of the home.
This signified a huge step for women because it proved there rights were beginning to be recognized and there was hope for one day being considered equals to men. Her career continued to progress when she along with other concerned women attended a trial for Edmonton prostitutes on October 17, 1933. The women were ordered to leave the court because the case was not to be viewed by “mixed company’. Murphy was furious and proposed that if women weren’t allowed to view the case there should be a separate court for women, run by women.
Emily later went on to become a Judge, Just like the generations of male lawyers/Judges in her family. Emily had to cope with the hurtful remarks from male lawyers questioning how she can be a Judge, and therefore be granted powers o make important/ valuable decisions, if she is not even considered ‘a person’. The law essentially categorized women as ‘crazy, unstable lunatics’ and not considered a person. This got her fuming, fighting until there was Justice. Murphy gathered up 4 other women with the same political views as her, and together they made up the famous five.
Emily, Henrietta Edwards, Irene Parlay, Louise McKinney and Nellie McClure were all strong willed women coming from well educated backgrounds and were devoted to social change and women suffrage. With the support of the female citizens they produced a petition and brought it to the Supreme Court. After a nail biting 5 weeks of debates the petition was denied. The women however were not discouraged and delivered the petition to Britain Privy Council, the highest role of government in Canada.
On October 18, 1929 the Privy Council announces the Persons Case, explaining that women were legally considered persons and therefore could become members of the Senate of Canada. There is no question about it this milestone was the first of many for Canadian women, and because of the efforts of the Famous Five’s women would now be considered equals to their male counterparts. The women of today owe a tremendous amount of gratitude for their efforts. World War I lasted from July of 1914 to November of 1918. During this time Canadians began to build an identity for themselves.
This is evident during the battle of Vim Ridge. Canadian troops were ordered by Britain to conquer Vim Ridge, a prime piece of land that would be critical to the allies’ efforts. Unfortunately the Germans had control over it, but Canadian troops lead by General Bang and General Currie were going to set out to conquer the ridge. Prior to the planned invasion the Canadian troops had to undergo weeks of exhausting practice drills, as it was crucial o stay undetected and surprise the enemy and that everything was executed perfectly, or the whole mission would be Jeopardized.
Canadian aircrafts flew overhead the ridge and photographed what the ridge looked like. Returning back to Canadian grounds with information in hand this allowed for Canadian forces to set up an exact replica of what to expect during the attack in terms of characteristics of the ridge, and where the Germans were standing guard. Troops trained for weeks on the recreated Vim Ridge set, until they knew it so well they could perform their duties blindfolded. The Canadian forces had also set in place 2 techniques that would help them take over the ridge after they emerged from the tunnels being built to get as close as they can.
They then would execute the creeping barrage and vim glide. The strategy consisted of making a smoke screen in front of them (produced by bombs) and crawling low to the ground, placing them beyond enemy lines. This allowed for the forces, when they were ready to attack, to take the enemy by surprise and hopefully conquer. On April 9, 1917 all 4 divisions of Canada’s troops attacked, he plan was executed exactly as planned and the Canadians conquered the ridge. However, this battle was a tragic one as Canada was faced with heavy casualties, resulting in 3600 soldiers killed.
The victory for Canada resulted in a nation and its armed forces being recognized for their brave men as well as smart planning and execution. Because of Vim Ridge we began to be a nation worth fearing. After the horror of the First World War and the tremendous achievement for women’s rights, Canada was a nation well on it’s way to great success. Though the war was devastating, we ultimately came out of it stronger. Moving into the ass’s women roles were continuing to evolve. The flapper girl age was beginning.
What brought upon this revolution was the fact that during the war women had to disobey societies views on what a women should and should not do by stepping up and performing the boys jobs while they were off serving in the war. They had to remove their aprons, and leave the stove. This was a time they needed to step up and take over their husband’s jobs in order to still provide for their family and be able to put dinner on the table. Once the war had ended women were not going to return back to their old roles. Women didn’t want, and didn’t feel like, they needed to succumb to society.
They were comfortable in their new lives, though it was only intended to be temporary. This new wave of young women wanted to stand out and be different. All of these factors birthed the flapper girl. She appeared as a boy, dressed with short hair, higher skirts, and flattened chests. They had a strong appearance and attitude about them they felt liberated. The younger generation saw the time frame as a perfect opportunity to introduce this new style, given that women’s rights were evolving, this would bring more attention onto them. It was overall a rebellious movement of expectations of women. (http://history sass. About. Mom/odd/sass/a/flappers. HTML) After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941 Canada took a step backwards on human rights and discrimination against the Japanese. At the time there were 22,000 Japanese Canadians living in British Columbia, some of wham’s ancestors were the first immigrants coming for work to Canada in the sass. Though they had always been discriminated against by the largely white Canadian society, it was nothing compared to what was about to come. Days after the Pearl Harbor attack, Canadian companies began to fire all Japanese workers beginning with the Canadian Pacific Railways.
Matters got worse when Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong and killed over 2000 Canadian soldiers stationed there for training. The Japanese began to be referred to as SAPS, and signs were being posted around the province harshly stating, “Keep out”. It was then the Federal Government designated a 100-mile wide strip, as a protected area to keep all Japanese until they would be further placed inland. They were finally ordered to pack a small suitcase and live in inverted over animal stalls awaiting their train to arrive. (http://www. CB. Ca/history/ OPPOSITENESS EPOCH APPEAL. HTML). Husbands, wives and children were all separated. The men were sent to work on road gangs, whereas the women and children were sent to shantytowns in the B. C wilderness. In January of 1943 the government forced the sale of all property/ belonging to the Japanese Canadians that includes their homes, cars and other valuables. The reasoning behind this was to erase any memories the Japanese built in Canada and to convince them not to assume living here when the war over. The writing was essentially on the walls, the Japanese were no longer welcome.
Once the war ended the B. C federal government decided to release all Japanese from the camps. The Japanese were then faced with choosing between deportations back to Japan, specifically parts that were destroyed during the war, or moving east into the Rocky Mountains. The majority of them chose to move to Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies. Many families did move back to Japan as well. It was a long time coming, but finally on April 1st, 1949 after much protest, Japanese Canadians were finally allowed the freedom to live anywhere in Canada.
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