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Prehistory | 2 Worlds Meet | New France | England Arrives | Clash of Empires | Revolution | British America | Reform/Revolt | Responsible Government | Confederation | Nation Building | Laurier | The Great War | Roaring 20's | Great Depression | WWII | The Peace | Cold War | Trudeau | PC's in Power | Modern Canada

1929 Crash | Economic slump | Bennett in Power | The Ottawa Conference | Praire Drought | Relief | The Regina Riot | Alberta & Bible Bill | Statue of Westminister | Woodsworth & CCF | The Union Nationale | Relief Camps | Bennett's Conversion | King's Return | European Unrest | Royal Visit

The end of the First World War ended on November 11, 1918 but he result was neither conclusive or final. Germany had surrendered but had not accepted defeat, and the bitterness and resentment that many of it's soldiers and civilians carried with them was not easily pacified. The reparations conditions placed upon Germany by Britain, France and the United States insured that a return to peaceful conditions and the development of a democracy in Germany would be a difficult process.

Adolf Hitler joined the Nazi Party in the early twenties as party member number 55 after he was commissioned by the German military to infiltrate and spy on them. He quickly decided to take over the party himself and use it as tool to gain power and make amends for the defeat of Germany during WWI. By the early 30's he had been elected German Chancellor and upon the death of President Hindenburg he seized that position and made himself the dictator of Germany. 

Canada had sacrificed it's young men during the First World War and with over 66,000 dead and 172,000 wounded was not anxious to rush into another European war. The same feelings saturation most politicians and people in France and England and the policy of appeasement became a popular stance as Hitler and Germany began to rebuild it's economy, military, armaments industries with Hitler casting his greedy gaze over large areas of Europe.

In Italy Mussolini was also dreaming of Empire and in 1935 invaded Ethiopia looking for an easy victory. The League of nations decided to take action and after intense debate over sanctions, finally came up with a list of items which would not be traded to Italy.

In October there was also a Federal election in Canada and Mackenzie King came to power and the Canadian representative to the League, Walter Riddell, assumed that the statement by the new King government, stating that economic sanctions were favoured but military action out of the question for Canada. On November 2nd, as a vote neared on copper, Riddell decided to propose a resolution of his own which did not included copper, an important Canadian export to Italy. This action became known as the Canadian Resolution and put severe restrictions on Italy which seemed to be working. Canada received widespread admiration for proposing such an effective action.

By mid-December, the Canadian government, facing pressure from the Italians and French Canadian groups, backed away the resolution and issues a statement that defined the Canadian Resolution by Riddell as a personal action and not one representing Canada. At this point the resolution, after having received strong support began to faultier and then fell apart. Canada had stood up to the aggressor and then abandoned the victim.

In 1937 Mackenzie King attended the coronation of King George VI and then continued on to Germany for a visit with Hitler. King felt that Hitler was a simple man who would not be a serious danger to anyone and when Chamberlain signed the Munich agreement, King cabled  congratulations to him for the deal.

 The rewards of aggression had fallen into the laps of Italy and German and the main part of the show was about to begin. German took the rest of the Sudetenland and then threatened Poland. With the signing of the Soviet-Nazi non-aggression pact in August of 1939 the way was open for the German attack. Appeasement had done it's job and stopped a war, but only for awhile and when the war came in September of 1939 it was bigger and more horrific then World War 1 and Canada was again sucked into the vortex of violence and destruction.




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Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html