Canada and the Age of Conflict

Canada and the Age of Conflict: Volume 2: 1921-1948, The Mackenzie King Era

C.P. STACEY
Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 420
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt1287qmx
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  • Book Info
    Canada and the Age of Conflict
    Book Description:

    Elegantly written, witty, and comprehensive, the volume represents a distinctive achievement by one of Canada's pre-eminent historians.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2813-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-2)
    C.P.S.
  5. CHAPTER ONE MACKENZIE KING AND THE REVERSAL OF POLICY
    (pp. 3-34)

    On December 29, 1921, William Lyon Mackenzie King was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada, realizing an ambition he had nourished for at least two decades.¹ The Mackenzie King era of Canadian history was beginning.

    In retrospect the general election of December 6, 1921 is an important turning-point in the history of Canadian external policies, yet those policies were not an issue in the election; they were never placed before the voters. The Liberals, it is true, had a platform, approved at the same convention of 1919 that selected King as leader.² We have already seen that it contained...

  6. CHAPTER TWO THE REVERSAL COMPLETED, 1922-25
    (pp. 35-72)

    By the end of 1922 it was beginning to be evident that the new Canadian government, now one year old, was steering a different course from its predecessors in matters of external policy. Another year made the differences much more evident. The King ministry’s actions concerning the settlement with Turkey and the signature of treaties were unmistakable signposts; and the Prime Minister’s views on the constitution and operation of the Commonwealth were made crystal-clear in an Imperial Conference in London.

    Even before the Chanak crisis was over, the question arose, What was to be Canada’s relationship to the conference to...

  7. CHAPTER THREE THE LATER TWENTIES: PROSPERITY AND PROBLEMS
    (pp. 73-121)

    The years 1925 and 1926 witnessed in Canada a prolonged political crisis. Its final result was to place Mackenzie King more firmly in power than before; and he controlled the government until after the onset of the Great Depression in 1929.

    King’s ministry, nearly four years old now, ‘went to the country’ in October 1925. In this campaign, just as in that of 1921, external policies were hardly mentioned at all. At first glance this might seem surprising; for there had been important developments since the last general election, and King was certainly proud of his record in this field....

  8. CHAPTER FOUR DEPRESSION DIPLOMACY
    (pp. 122-163)

    The Prime Ministers of Canada between the two World Wars were not a notably attractive group. We have already remarked that neither Meighen nor King enjoyed the warmly personal esteem that had been felt for some of their predecessors. And R.B. Bennett, who had the misfortune to govern through the depths of the Great Depression, came to be probably the most unpopular chief executive the country has ever had.

    He was not helped by being a millionaire, nor by the fact that his physical appearance was that of the cartoonists’ traditional capitalist, lacking for completeness only the dollar signs on...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE TURNING-POINTS IN NORTH AMERICA AND AFRICA
    (pp. 164-193)

    The middle thirties were years of growing popular anxiety. In Canada as elsewhere Japan’s successful defiance of the League of Nations over Manchuria troubled some people; the advent of Hitler and the prospect of a rearmed and aggressive Germany were much more disturbing. What could or should Canada do in the face of such menaces? What should she do if another war broke out? Even the continuing Depression did not wholly mute these concerns. A confused debate began which ended only with the outbreak in 1939.

    The current anxieties were reflected in a discussion in the Canadian Senate in the...

  10. CHAPTER SIX TOWARDS A NEW CATASTROPHE
    (pp. 194-236)

    Those who lived through them sometimes remember the years immediately before the Second World War as in some ways almost worse than the war itself. The war was of course a dreadful experience; one was exposed to the chance of being killed or maimed (although Canadians who stayed out of the armed forces were not subject to these disagreeable possibilities); even the homestayers, even in Canada, encountered a degree of disturbance and deprivation. But (the elderly will tell you), you knew where you stood; you were irrevocably at war with a formidable and ruthless enemy whose policies were an outrage...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN 1939: THE OUTBREAK
    (pp. 237-269)

    When Parliament met in January 1939, Mackenzie King lost no time in giving the House of Commons some indication of the nature of his growing convictions on Canada’s position. On January 16, in the debate on the Address, he quoted Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s famous dictum, ‘If England is at war, we are at war and liable to attack,’ and his further remark that it did not follow that Canada would always be attacked or would take part in all British wars, and that it would be for the Canadian Parliament to decide the extent of participation. This, he said, was...

  12. CHAPTER EIGHT THE SECOND WORLD WAR: 1939-41
    (pp. 270-323)

    In September 1939 Canada went to war with Germany for the second time in a generation. In 1914 she had been a self-governing colony, automatically committed to the conflict by the action of the mother country. In 1939, after twenty-five years of constitutional evolution, she was an independent state within the British Commonwealth, capable, as she demonstrated in the crisis, of making a separate declaration of war, but nevertheless still following the lead of Britain. The next six years would put to the test the genuineness of the ‘nationhood’ she had acquired, and show just how significant ‘constitutional progress’ was...

  13. CHAPTER NINE THE SECOND WORLD WAR: 1942-45
    (pp. 324-373)

    Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt dominated the war effort of the western Allies after Pearl Harbor; and to a very considerable extent Canada’s official relations with Britain and the United States, and with what Churchill loved to call the Grand Alliance, centred in the relationship of Mackenzie King with these two great men. That relationship, then, is worth examining.

    Both Churchill and Roosevelt, it is important to note, enjoyed enormous personal popularity among Canadians. The President was something of a hero in Canada from the days of the New Deal in 1933. Churchill’s heroic status was clear from the time...

  14. CHAPTER TEN FACING A NEW ERA, 1945-48
    (pp. 374-426)

    Between Germany’s defeat and Japan’s surrender there was a general election in Canada (June 11, 1945). Mackenzie King, announcing that this was his last election, said, ‘It is as the leader of a government pledged to the promotion of world security and world prosperity in the international arena and to policies of full employment and social security in our country that I am seeking once more an expression of confidence of the people of Canada.’ He reminded the voters of the ‘intimate and far-reaching associations’ that had been formed between the members of the governments of the wartime alliance, and...

  15. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 427-430)

    The story of Canadian external relations after 1948 can better be written by some other historian when the records are all open. It will be very different from that related in this volume and its predecessor.

    It cannot, unfortunately, be said that the Age of Conflict is over. The years since the Second World War have witnessed constant violence and bloodshed in many parts of the world. At least, however, there has been no Third World War – yet. The nuclear balance of terror has so far operated to prevent it; one hopes that the common sense of most will...

  16. APPENDIX A CANADIAN EXTERNAL TRADE: STATISTICS OF IMPORTS AND EXPORTS, 1921-48
    (pp. 431-436)
  17. APPENDIX B EXPORTS FROM CANADA TO THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE UNITED STATES: SELECTED IMPORTANT COMMODITIES, 1928-48
    (pp. 437-438)
  18. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. 439-440)
  19. REFERENCES
    (pp. 441-484)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 485-491)