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Rallying the Troops and Gaining Support

Rallying the Troops and Gaining Support

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Rallying the Troops and Gaining Support

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  1. Rallying the Troops and Gaining Support

  2. Propaganda as a Tool of War • Propaganda was used to PERSUADE people to SUPPORT the war. • Appeared in a variety of media: films, magazine articles, radio programs, political speeches, and posters. • Was made to appeal to a sense of patriotism in the people and to encourage them to join the army, buy victory bonds, use less fuel, eat less meat, and support the government in any way. • WORKED: 80% of the Canadian men in WWI were VOLOUNTEERS. • Propaganda also spouted ETHNOCENTRIC ideas about Germans being terrible beasts. • Propaganda also minimalized the amount of casualties in the war and made it seem less horrible then it was.

  3. The Halifax Disaster • Dec. 6, 1917 • The MONT BLANC, a French vessel carrying more than 2500 tonnes of dynamite accidentally collided with another ship. • The collision caused an explosion so powerful that it devastated Halifax’s harbour and much of the city. • Between 2000 and 3000 people were killed in the explosion or the fires that followed. • More than 10,000 were injured.

  4. The Conscription Crisis • Most people believed that the war would end soon after its outbreak in 1914. • However, by 1917, there was a CRISIS. Not enough men were signing up to fight to replace the many thousands of Canadian men killed and the many thousands wounded. • Prime Minister Borden had promised that there would be NO CONSCRIPTION: Compulsory enlistment for military service. • David Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, convinced Borden that more men would be needed and that conscription was necessary. • BORDEN THEN INTRODUCED the MILITARY SERVICES ACT, which would require compulsory enlistment. • At first, there were exceptions for men who were disabled, the clergy, those with essential jobs, and CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS: Those who did not believe in the war on religious grounds.

  5. Those Who Object • The lowest levels of recruitment came from QUEBEC. Few French recruits spoke English and few officer corps spoke French. • Relations between French and English speakers were also quite strained due to the issues having to do with French Canadian rights. • Majority of French Canadians do not feel patriotic toward France or Britain because their ancestors had come to Canada generations before. • Saw the MILITARY SERVICES ACT as a way to force them into war. • FARMERS ALSO HATED CONSCRIPTION: They needed their sons and hired workers to do the work on the farm and felt that their contributions of FOOD was enough for the war effort. • THE LABOUR MOVEMENT: Middle class workers, particularly the COAL MINERS OF VANCOUVER ISLAND resisted conscription. They were making very little already and if they were sent to war-they would make less.

  6. Canada’s Election • In the face of HUGE OPPOSITION to the war, PRIME MINISTER BORDEN decided to call an election over the issue of CONSCRIPTION. • Prior to announcing the election, BORDEN passed two new pieces of legislation designed to ensure his RE-ELECTION. • 1. MILITARY VOTERS ACT: This Act allowed the men and women overseas to vote. • 2. WARTIME ELECTIONS ACT: Gave the vote to all Canadian women directly related to servicemen. • THE ABOVE ACT WOULD ALSO CANCEL THE VOTE FOR ALL CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS and IMMIGRANTS who had come from enemy countries in the last 15 YEARS. • Borden also made a COALTION GOVERNMENT with the LIBERALS who favored conscription. They made a WARTIME UNION GOVERNMENT. • THE UNION GOVERNMENT WON THE ELECTION with the support of the armed forces and those who were related to them. (women)

  7. DISCRIMINATION • Anger and resentment stirred up by the conscription debate remained. • In Quebec, French Canadians demonstrated against CONSCRIPTION. • French Canadians were taunted for not enlisting. • MANY ANTI-CONSCRIPTION RIOTS TOOK PLACE • Conscription went ahead however, and of the 404,000 men across Canada who were forced to enlist, 380,500 applied for EXEMPTIONS. • In the end 130,000 were enlisted.