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The Home Front WWI in Canada Total War • World War I is considered a total war. This means that it required not only the efforts of soldiers on the front line, but the effort of everyday civilians back home. • Countries gathered up all their resources and geared industry towards the war. Essentially, the war affected the lives of everyone. Support for the War Effort Patriotic community groups, government campaigns, and posters suggested that no sacrifice should be spared to ensure victory in Europe. Total Wars Cost Money • The cost of the war was higher than the government’s ability to pay. When this happens to a government they have two options: • 1. Raise taxes • 2. Borrow money • They did both! Income Tax • Income tax was introduced in WWI. • The first tax in the country on money people made. • It was supposed to be temporary. Total Wars Cost Money Income Tax Cutting Back • People reduced the amount of food they ate and tried to waste as little as possible. • Reduced intake of meat, butter, sugar, and bread so that more of it could be sent overseas. • The voluntary reduction of how much food people ate was called “honour rationing”. • Although it was voluntary, people caught hoarding food could be fined or put in jail. Lend a Buck! Victory Bonds • The government urged people to buy Victory Bonds. • People who bought the bonds were lending money to the government. • When the war was over, bonds could be cashed in at a profit. • Buying Victory Bonds was considered a duty especially for those who could not join the war effort directly by enlisting. Victory Bonds Lend a Buck! • Children bought thrift stamps. • Each stamp cost 25¢ and was stuck on a card. • When $4.00 worth of stamps were purchased, the child received a War Savings Stamp. • This stamp could be cashed in for $5.00 in 1924. Soldiers of the Soil • The government urged farmers to produce as much as they could. • By 1917, Canadian farmers supplied most of the bread consumed by Allied soldiers. • When men went off to war, boys 15-19 were encouraged by the government to become “soldiers of the soil”. They were given an official uniform and a medal in recognition for their service. Factories • When war was declared, factories were quickly reorganized to produce war supplies • Plants producing airplanes, shells, and ships sprang up across the country. By 1918, 300 000 Canadians were employed in these factories and 1/3 of the shells fired by the armies of the British Empire were made in Canada. Women’s Contributions • Women worked in industries to replace them men off fighting. • 30000 women worked in munitions factories. • Common jobs were aircraft assembly, shipyards, machine shops • Women also drove buses and streetcars, worked in banks, and on police forces. • Women worked on the farms to bring in the harvest • Groups of women met regularly to organize community fundraisers, knit socks and roll bandages for the troops. The most popular organization was the Canadian Red Cross. Women’s Contributions • Many women were paid good wages during the war (still lower than men). Wages allowed women to be independent. • This was a new concept for women. Women’s Suffrage • In 1914 women in Canada still did not have the right to vote Women’s Suffrage Nellie McClung Women’s Suffrage • 1916 – Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta became the first provinces to recognize women’s right to vote in provincial elections • In 1917, Sir Robert Borden proposed, in the “Wartime Elections Act”, that wives, mothers, sisters, daughters of soldiers should be allowed to vote in the federal election of 1917. • After the war Borden extended the vote to all women over age 21 Women’s Suffrage • After the war… • Women has to give way to the returning men and give up their jobs out of the home. • They returned to the “women’s jobs” from before the war • The number of women working outside the home returned to pre-war levels • However, women had enjoyed their independence and even though their jobs changed, their ideologies around their place in the world had not. • Shorter skirts, short hair, smoking, make-up, going out without a chaperone, etc. become common and would contribute to a new “type” of women in the 1920s.