The start of World War I began about a month before it officially started, when Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by Gavrilo Princip, who was a member of Nationalist Young Bosnia movement. While in Sarajevo, discussing the tense political status, Archduke Franz was shot at point blank range along with his wife. After the assassination, with the support of Germany, the Austro-Hungarian empire asked Serbia to wipe out terrorism and to accept an independent investigation into the assassination. Serbia then asked for Russia’s help, shortly after, the Austro-Hungarian empire declared war on Serbia, which then lead to Germany declaring war on Russia, and eventually countries, such as Britain joined the war to help defeat the Germans. When Britain joined the war, Canada was automatically in the war with them because it was a dominion of Britain at the time. When Canadians' found out they were excited, because they were exited to come home as heroes, and to help Britain out in the war.
The Battle of Second Ypres began in the first week of April 1915. It was Canada’s first significant European Battle. In which, the Canadians were called in to assist the British and the French in the fight against the germans who were on higher ground. On the 22nd of April 1915, the Germans released 160 tons of Chlorine Gas from cylinders. It was the first time that Canadian soldiers had faced Chlorine Gas. Although the Germans forced the Allies back 6.25 km they only advanced 3.25 km due to a weak offensive plan. Throughout the night, Canadian forces fought to get closer to the Germans, with no luck, high casualties and little ground was gained. On April 24, the Battle of St. Julien again brought bombardment and another gas attack, however this time it was directed at the Canadian line, causing the Canadians to struggle to hold on until reinforcements arrived. In total, around 2000 Canadian soldiers died in the battle.
On Oct 18, 1929 Canadian women were legally considered “persons” under Canadian Law. The victory for women's right is due to the persistence of 5 Alberta women, Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards. The battle began in 1916, when Emily Murphy first became a Judge, she was often challenged about her rulings because she was not legally a “person” in Canada. By 1927 the 5 women had received a lot of support across Canada, however they were unanimously denied the first time. Eventually on October 18th 1929 they were able to get the government of Canada to recognize that women are “persons”.
The Battle of The Somme was a campaign to relieve pressure on French forces. On the first day of the battle, multiple Canadian regiments were involved and specifically, the 1st Newfoundland regiment, had an astounding 324 killed, and 386 wounded out of a total of 801 soldiers.
Women's suffrage groups existed in Canada since the 1870s, they were often ignored by the government. But when the First world war broke out, the women took the place of men at home, which made it hard to ignore their arguments to be allowed to vote. Women were given rights to vote in 3 stages, first in 1917, female nurses and women serving in the armed forces were allowed to vote. Secondly, when the wartime election act was made it allowed women who had sons, fathers or husbands fighting overseas to vote federally. Finally, on January 1st, 1919 all women over the age of 21 were allowed to vote federally. However, provincially women were given rights to vote at different times, first in 4 western provinces in 1916, then in Ontario in 1917, followed by 1918 in Nova Scotia, 1919 in New Brunswick, then 1922 in P.E.I and lastly in 1940 in Quebec.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge began on April 9th, 1917 and it was highlighted as an important moment in Canadian History, were simultaneously 4 Canadian divisions fought together. During the battle, 3,598 Canadian Soldiers died while in battle, the victory over the German’s is often said to be the beginning of the complete independence for Canada. With the Canadians' great success in the battle, the Germans retreated allowing The Corps to gain 4,500 yards. The battle ended on April 12th, 1917.
The Battle of Passchendaele was a British offensive to get the Germans out of the essential U-Boat Ports. However with the rain and shells continuing to fall, the battlefield was turned into a field of mud and bodies. After months of stalemate, with the Germans continuing to control the ridge, the Canadians were called in to relieve fellow soldiers. By mid-November the ridge was controlled by Canadians, however it was not taken easily, around 15,654 Canadian Soldiers died during the battle.
On August 28th 1917 conscription became enforced within Canada. The Military service act was passed a month earlier on July 24th 1917. When it became enforced, there was 2 days of violence in Montreal, windows being smashed, and even tramway rails being ripped up. Eventually 150 policemen were called in to deal with the crowd, 4 were wounded and so were 2 demonstrators. The following day 1 demonstrator was even killed. It was even worse on Easter weekend of 1918, when a man was arrested for not having his conscription papers on him. It sparked outrage, and the protesters looted the army register office. Ottawa also sent soldiers into Montreal on Easter Monday, however they were met with a hail of rocks. Four unarmed civilians were killed and dozens were injured after gunfire awoke from the calvary. When the war ended it brought the end of conscription for Canada.
The end of World War I began with the introduction of American troops to the allied front lines, they were fresh and extremely valuable in defeating the Germans. However the victory was not all thanks to American troops, with big advancements in technology being made constantly it made a significant difference on the war. With the thousands of people starving from lack of food due to the ports being blocked, people were protesting and on strike in Berlin. With the resignation of Ludendorff, and the German Navy mutinied the end was close. Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated on Nov 9, 1918. On Nov 11, 1918 leaders of both sides held a meeting in Foch Ferdinand railway carriage, where the Armistice was signed at 6am that morning. When the war ended, Canadians were happy that the war had finally ended, although during the course of the war Canada made some huge improvements, such as gaining more independence from Britain, and the fact that Canada was independently able to sign the treaty of Versailles. Canada also made some big economic and technological advancements, such as more money in the economy, and more technology that potentially could help Canada after the war. So overall it was big Progress for Canada and Canadians.
The Great depression began on October 29th, 1929 or better known as Black Tuesday. It was a day when the New York Stock Market dramatically crashed despite attempts to save it. It in turn caused the Canadian Stock Market to crash, causing some of the highest unemployment rates in the entire world at the time. At its peak, Canada had a 30% unemployment rate, and 1 in 5 Canadians depended on the government for survival.