CANADIAN HISTORY 1201 Unit 3: The Prosperity of the 20s
When and why did the Post-War Economic slump end? • By 1923-24 the economic slump was over • The boom was mostly experienced in Central and Western Canada • World’s economy improved • Demand for Canadian goods rose again (metals and wheat especially) • Pulp and paper industries expanded due to American demand • Automobile industry rapidly grew • New demand and production of household products (radios, record players, appliances)
MANUFACTURING • Concentrated in Toronto and Montreal • Value rose by 700% since 1914 • Hamilton – Steel and Iron • Kitchener – Rubber and furniture • Windsor - Automobile
AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTION • Windsor grew alongside the center of the automotive industry, Detroit, which was on the other side of the Detroit River • Branch plants were set up in Canada • Could avoid the import tariffs • Could be shipped throughout the British Empire at preferred rates * Cars were a rarity before the War because they were expensive, flimsy and there weren’t as many roads.
FARMING • Wheat farmers earners record amounts by the mid-20s • High cost of machinery cut into profits • Many people from eastern Canada migrated to the west to start farms (they were inexperienced and tended to exhaust the soil) • Many other farmers gave up their lifestyle looking for better lives in the growing cities.
THE MARITIMES • Some growth in pulp and paper industries and some places (Annapolis Valley, Halifax and Saint John) did experience some economic growth. • Overall, the Maritimes were in economic decline. • The coal mining industry was negatively affected by the shift from coal to oil and electricity. • The steel boom in central Canada and the US took away from that industry in the Maritimes • Federal government reduced railway rates in the Maritimes were also abandoned, making it expensive to ship goods out
THE GOOD TIMES OF THE 20s • Many people moved into the cities to work in factories • Many people also worked in the growing tertiary (service) industry (transportation, finance, public administration and hospitality). • Wages were rising and people could buy items on CREDIT for the first time.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES OF THE 20s • Workers had more money to spend on luxury items such as cars, radios and electrical appliances (stoves, irons, vacuum cleaners, toasters and sewing machines) • Telephones, radios and cars greatly reduced isolation of the rural population • People could socialize more and participate in leisure activities because of the new-found FREE TIME and ease of travel • Products could be moved easier (cars, train links, airmail (new in 1927)) • Most people had radios that they tuned into for information and entertainment, but most of the programs were American.
All of these developments created such confidence in the economy that many people bought stocks in businesses. • As a result, the stock market boom created even more confidence that the economy could only get better.