Please use this organizer to develop your notes on famous Canadian Women's Rights champions from the 1920s.
"The best way a woman magistrate, or any other woman can be a saviour is not to stoop and save, but to stand by the girl and let her save herself". (Emily Murphy, 1927)
“Never retreat, never explain, never apologize – get things done, and let them howl.” I was a nervy person, and I had to be in order to get things done in a man’s world. My name is Nellie McClung.”“I was born on a farm in Chatsworth, near Owen Sound, Ontario, in 1873. When I was seven years old, my family moved to Manitoba. At age sixteen, I finished teacher’s college and I obtained a job teaching in Manitou, Manitoba. I boarded at the home of Reverend James and Annie McClung. Annie was a very strong believer in women’s rights and women’s suffrage. Suffrage means the right to vote. Annie became my mentor or personal guide. In the home, I also found myself falling in love with Annie’s son, Wes. He became my husband and biggest supporter. Together we had five children.”
“I was a member of the Methodist Church and the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The Methodist religion is an evangelical Protestant religion that is concerned with social welfare and public morals. The WCTU was dedicated to the abolition of alcohol abuse. Many women suffered from alcoholic husbands who were the only bread-winners in the family. If a husband spent most of his paycheck on alcohol, the wife and children suffered a great deal. Also, some drunken husbands physically abused their wives. The WCTU wanted to stop the sale of alcohol in Canada. This is called prohibition. The term comes from the verb 'to prohibit', which means ‘to stop’.”
“In 1911, Wes and I and our family moved to Winnipeg. I continued to work for women’s equality. I accompanied Manitoba Premier Rodmond Roblin through the city's sweatshops to demonstrate the terrible working conditions many women faced. Sweatshops were poorly ventilated shops in which women did sewing and were paid a small price for each item they finished. This is called “piece work,” and for a great deal of “sweat”, women received very low wages – often only seven dollars a week.“
“Premier Roblin and other male politicians did not want to give the vote to women. They argued that women were too “dainty” and “nice” to get involved in politics. They said that women did not know enough about politics, and that if women received the vote, there would be arguments between husbands and wives that could lead to divorce. They also suggested that if a wife wanted to vote for a certain candidate, she could “persuade” her husband to vote for that person. In any event, women were better if they kept their minds on cooking, cleaning, and raising children. The men would look after politics.”
“This kind of reasoning drove me crazy! I decided to make fun of these arguments by organizing a mock “Women’s Parliament” at a Winnipeg theatre in 1914. In the play, all the women had the vote and the men did not. I played the Manitoba premier, and when men came to ask me for the right to vote, I said things like, “You are such a pretty boy, why would you want to spoil your life by voting?” or “You men look after feeding the pigs, and we women will look after politics.” The sold-out audiences loved the fun. Two years later, Manitoba became the first provincial government to give women the suffrage in provincial elections. By 1920, women would be allowed to vote in federal elections.”
“During this time, I also published some two dozen books and went on speaking tours across Canada, the United States and England. I was a popular public speaker on issues such as prohibition and women's suffrage. When Wes was moved in his job as a pharmacist, I moved with him to Calgary, Alberta. I was elected as a member of the Alberta legislature in 1921, and I sponsored legislation such as dental and medical care for school children, married women's property rights, and mothers' allowances.”
“I had watched as Emily Murphy pressured the Alberta government to pass the Dower Act, which protected a wife’s right to one-third of her husband’s property. In 1916, Emily Murphy was appointed as a magistrate or judge in Edmonton. She thus became the first female magistrate in the entire British Empire.”
“I teamed up with Emily Murphy and three other women to fight for the right of women to be appointed to the Canadian Senate. The British North America Act, Canada’s constitution, stated that the prime minister shall appoint “persons” to the Senate. We were told by the government and the Canadian Supreme Court that the word “persons” meant men only. In other words, women were not “persons.” The five of us took the case to a legal committee of the Parliament of England. This committee decided in 1929 that “persons” included female persons, and thus, because of the work of the “Famous Five”, as we were known, women could now be appointed to the Senate.”
“Prime Minister Mackenzie King appointed Cairine Wilson as the first woman senator in 1930. In the last years of my life, Wes and I lived in Victoria, British Columbia. At the time of my death in 1951, I could look back with pride on my many accomplishments.”
AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON
“Praise the Lord and open your hearts to salvation! Alleluia! My name is Aimee Semple McPherson.”“I was born on a farm not far from Woodstock, Ontario, in 1890. My father, Jim, was a 50-year old farmer, and my mother, Minnie, was a 14-year-old servant girl whom my dad had married after his first wife died.”
“As a child, I loved to read, and by the age of 15, I was the best public speaker in the region. When I was 17, I met the most handsome and most intelligent man. He was Robert Semple, a young travelling evangelist, who came to town to preach the word of Jesus Christ. I fell madly in love with him, and we married six months later. Robert believed that we should take the gospel message to China, and so we did. In that country, Robert was stricken by dysentery (a bacterial disease that causes severe diarrhea and high fever) and he died. One month after his death in 1910, our daughter was born, whom I named Roberta Star (after her dad and as the star of new hope).”
“I learned that my mother, Minnie, had moved to New York City to do Salvation Army work, so I joined her there. I met a very handsome accountant, James McPherson, and we were married in 1912. At the local church, I conducted Bible studies and talks about my experiences in China.”
“In the summer of 1915, I started to preach to Pentecostal groups in places like Kitchener and Mount Forest, Ontario. The Pentecostal religion places a large emphasis on knowing the Bible and being possessed by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I was able to speak in different tongues or languages. When I preached, I felt the word of God shoot like electricity through my body and people loved what I preached. I bought a car and painted the following words on its sides: “Jesus is coming soon – get ready” and “Where will you spend eternity?” I packed a tent in the trunk, and Minnie and I drove our “gospel car” all over Canada and the United States. Sometimes I preached from the back seat of the car, and sometimes from the tent we would put up in a field.”
“I think that the average donation to my ministry was 2 cents per person. But after three years, I was able to save over a million dollars and to use the money to build a beautiful Angelus Temple that would hold 5,000 people, in Los Angeles.”
“I believed that God has given us many gifts and that we should use all of them to bring people to His message. In the Angelus Temple, I used costumes, props, and stage plays to tell the stories of the Bible. I even used a camel onstage. Aside from traditional organ music and choir, I also used a full jazz orchestra. I wrote and produced two religious operas. Services were translated into Spanish for Spanish-Americans. The Temple was always full and people lined up outside. In 1924, my services began to be broadcast on radio, and my popularity grew even more. They called me ‘Sister Aimee’. I was very attractive, and I could do no wrong.”
“In May 1926, I received front page headlines of a different kind. I was kidnapped on the beach and taken to a desert location. My mother ignored a ransom note for $500,000 from the kidnappers, and I finally managed to get away and find help near the Mexican border. I had been missing for one month, and when I got back to Los Angeles, I faced some of the worst lies you can imagine. Some newspapers said that I had arranged my own kidnapping, and that in actual fact, I had been away having an affair with a male radio engineer.”
“By this time I had many enemies. People were jealous of my success, and other churches in Los Angeles were angry that I was taking away their followers. At this time my marriage to James McPherson ended in divorce.”
“In the hard times of the Depression, I opened a soup kitchen at the Angelus Temple and distributed bread and clothing to those in need. I also convinced a group of doctors and dentists to offer their services for free.”
“At the end of the 1930’s, I was involved in more controversies. I quarreled with my mother and my daughter and I stopped speaking to them. In a fit of loneliness, I married an actor. The marriage only lasted three years, but I was heavily criticized for taking another husband while James McPherson was still alive.”
“On September 26, 1944, I preached to a crowd of 10,000 people in Oakland. I was on a high that night. At my hotel, I took some sedatives to get to sleep. I lost consciousness and died. There was talk of suicide, but that just is not true. There was talk that I had stolen money from the Temple, but that also is not true. In fact, my total worth at the end of my life was only $10,000.”
“The little girl from rural Ontario had found fame in the United States, and she had become one of the most important women of the 1920's.”
In 1921, only a year after women were granted the vote in federal elections, teacher and writer, Agnes Macphail, became the first woman to be elected as a Member of Parliament. Her accomplishments were numerous. She advocated tirelessly for workers' rights as well as for workers' pensions. She was also an advocate for women in penal institutions. In 1939, she formed the Elizabeth Fry Society of Canada (named after a British reformer) to advocate for criminal justice reform for women. Macphail was the first Canadian woman delegate to the League of Nations where she worked with the World Disarmament Committee. After many years in federal politics, Macphail entered provincial politics and was elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1935, becoming one of the first two women to achieve that feat. She died in 1954 just as she was about to receive an appointment to the Canadian senate.
Emily Murphy and the 1928 Person's Case
In 1911, Murphy was instrumental in forcing the Alberta legislature to pass the Dower Act that protected a wife's right to one-third share in her husband's property. A mother and author, her passion was women's rights. She was a member of the Canadian Women's Press Club executive and was the first national president of the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada.
A self-taught legal expert, she was appointed as a police magistrate in 1916. During her first day on the bench, she was challenged by a lawyer who informed her that she had no right to be there since women were not considered persons in the eyes of British law.
This launched a ten-year-long battle led by Murphy to have women declared legal “persons” and therefore eligible for appointed positions, including the Senate. Nellie McClung, Henrietta Edwards, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby joined Murphy in her battle. These five women would become known as the “Famous Five”. Turned down by the Supreme Court of Canada, they five took their case to the Privy Council in Britain which ruled in a famous 1929 judgment that women were indeed persons as defined by the British North America Act.
Before we get to far into the "Roaring Twenties", we are going to take a brief look at an article from 2007 about the Spanish Flu (and make some eerie observations about our present situation).
The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 also set the tone for labour relations during the decade and highlighted the huge gap between the rich and the working poor.
Here are a few "Hep Facts" about Canada in the 1920s to help set the scene for our next few lessons. Let's also get in the groove and start using some 1920s slang :)
To set the mood, we are going to delve back into the Canadiana Scrapbooks and take a very quick overview of the decade. The answers to these questions will guide your learning.
We are going how best to use the PERSIAT+G model to organize our information, as we start to build the skill set necessary to write an effective research essay. We will look at both of these sources, one which portrays the 1920s as mostly positive (which is the common perception), and one that has a more negative view of the decade. I would like you to organize this information using a PERSIAT chart (one for each of the sources).
Use this organizer to keep track of the important information from the following 5 battles from the First World War.
By the time the Canadians arrived in the Ypres Salient in the spring of 1915, the devastation brought on by the war was on full display. The ancient city of Ypres, France had been flattened by German shell fire the previous October.
In the late afternoon of April 22nd, 1915 the German army took advantage of a favourable wind to release a cloud of chlorine gas. Soldiers of the Canadian 1st Division watched as the yellow-green cloud descended into the French trenches. Chaos ensued as panicked soldiers inhaled the lethal chemical.
The Germans then advanced with their infantry. The Canadians rushed to create a new defensive line to stop the German assault. Throughout the night they clashed with German troops who had moved with ease through the lines vacated by the French troops.
Nowhere was this more dramatic than at Kitchener's Wood, where the 16th and 10th battalions made a full bayonet charge across more than 200 metres of open territory.
The German fire killed or wounded nearly two-thirds of the 1,800 attacking troops. But the Canadians succeeded in reaching the wood and blunting the German advance for a brief period.
On the morning of April 24th, the Germans released a second wave of gas, this time directly against the Canadian lines. The Canadians improvised by breathing through urine soaked cloth for limited protection against the gas. Eventually the Canadians were forced back. They suffered more than 6,000 casualties. It was a horrible introduction to war on the front, but the Canadians had proven they could hold their own in the face of a devastating attack.
The week after the gas attack Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae quietly wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields.”
Canadian troops had been lucky to avoid the bloodbath at the Somme that started on July 1st, 1916. The first day of the campaign saw more than 60,000 British casualties, including the near annihilation of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont Hamel, France.
It was the single worst day in the history of the British Army.
Despite the high casualties, the Battle of the Somme continued through the summer and into the fall of 1916. By September, the Canadians were called to take their turn in a series of new attacks.
On September 15th, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division launched successful attacks toward the small French hamlet of Courcelette. The French Canadian 22nd (“Van Doos” Battalion) and the 25th Battalion (Nova Scotia Rifles) captured the objective and then held off 17 German counter-attacks through four days of extreme and bloody close-quarters fighting.
By September 26th the Canadians had launched a succession of new attacks against German trench systems running just beyond Courcelette. Despite repeated efforts, they gained possession of only the first of three main trenches.
The main objective — a system of defences known simply as Regina Trench — remained in German hands. Massive barbed-wire entanglements made the German trench nearly impossible to take, and when the Canadians did reach it they were thrown back by extensive German counter-attacks. The fighting left the first three Canadian divisions exhausted.
They were withdrawn and British troops, along with the newly recruited 4th Canadian Division, arrived to again renew the attack. Blistering artillery barrages eventually pounded Regina Trench into a smudge on the landscape before it was finally captured. With both sides exhausted and winter setting in, the Battle of the Somme came to an end.
The fighting at the Somme shifted the front lines only eight kilometres at a horrendous cost of more than 1 million casualties, including 24,000 dead and wounded Canadians. The human toll of the battle remains as controversial today as it was at the time.
After the battle, Canadian General Arthur Currie undertook a thorough review of the Somme campaign and the massive French battle at Verdun. The innovations and tactics suggested in his report would lay the groundwork for the victories to come.
The victory at Vimy Ridge remains Canada's most celebrated attack of the war.
On Easter Monday, 1917, the Canadian Corps captured one of the most dominating geographic features on the Western Front. Two Canadians in particular, along with British General Julian Byng, developed the plan to crack the German fortress at Vimy.
The first was General Arthur Currie, a real estate broker from Victoria, British Columbia, who rose from the militia to become Canada's top soldier. The second was McGill scientist Andrew McNaughton, who coordinated the creeping barrage artillery tactic that helped propel the Canadians to victory.
The goal of the creeping barrage was to create a line of suppressing shellfire just in front of the Canadian troops that moved forward as soldiers advanced across the battlefield. The timetable of the attack had to be precise.
While others had tried the tactic before, none had marched forward so close to the line of fire as the Canadians at this battle. It was risky, but if it worked, the Canadians would catch the Germans before they could emerge from their fortified dugouts.
On the morning of April 9th, 1917, along the entire length of the ridge, all four Canadian divisions advanced side by side for the first time in a single attack. With the artillery hammering the Germans, the Canadians advanced quickly despite taking heavy casualties.
As each German defensive line was captured, fresh troops moved forward to continue the attack. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Canadian divisions achieved their objectives quickly. A final push by the 4th Canadian Division on April 12th captured the last major position.
But victory came at a cost. During four days of fighting, Canada suffered more than 10,000 casualties. This was in addition to the 10,000 lost in the four months leading up to the attack. While the battle itself did little to change the course of the war, it cemented the Canadians' reputation as fierce attacking soldiers.
Battle of Passchendaele
The Canadians didn't want to go to Passchendaele. They had been to Belgium's Ypres Salient before, and they knew the near impossible task that lay ahead.
It was 1917. The British under General Sir Douglas Haig had been slogging through an offensive in the area since the summer. On July 31st, they officially launched the Third Battle of Ypres.
Heavy German counterattacks, as usual, limited the success of British attacks during the month of August. Throughout September and October the British, Australians, and New Zealanders used a series of short rapid attacks to repel the German counterattacks.
Slowly they advanced forward, but their objective of capturing Passchendaele ridge, the only high ground in the region, remained elusive.
Months of battle and the onset of rain in October transformed most of the battlefield into a quagmire of mud and water that devoured men and material. The Canadians moved into the front lines at the end of October and were tasked with capturing the town of Passchendaele.
For two weeks they scrambled to build the infrastructure necessary for a successful attack, including miles of wooden duck boards that allowed them to transport men and material across the swampy ground.
General Arthur Currie, the Canadian commander, devised a series of four set-piece attacks over a two-week period that would allow them to capture the ridge. Currie ordered the 3rd and 4th Canadian divisions to launch the opening assault with the 1st and 2nd Canadian divisions carrying the attack through.
The Canadians advanced through the wasteland towards Passchendaele, slowly clearing each German pillbox and machine gun strongpoint. In the confusing morass of mud, the attacks quickly broke down into small actions. Individual valour often helped turn the tide.
By capturing Passchendaele, they managed to bring an end to one of the most controversial battles of the war. However the human cost was unimaginably high. As if to underline the futility of fighting, nearly all of the territory the Canadians captured in 1917 was recaptured by the Germans during their spring advance of 1918.
The Last 100 Days
In the spring of 1918 the Germans, fearing America's entry into the war, sought to knock France out of the fight with a massive offensive. Overwhelmed, the French and Allied forces were pushed almost all the way back to Paris.
But in July 1918 at the Second Battle of the Marne, the Allies counterattacked, halting the German advance. The Germans had lost tens of thousands of soldiers only to fail in their goal of winning the war. It was now the Allies' turn to strike.
The first blow came on August 8th, 1918 at Amiens, France. Attacking side by side with the equally experienced Australian Corps, the Canadians punched a twelve-kilometre hole in the German line that changed the entire tempo of the war.
German General Erich Ludendorff described it as "the black day of the German Army" due to the large number of soldiers who chose to surrender rather than fight to the death. The Battle of Amiens delivered a staggering blow from which the German Army couldn't recover.
For the first time, the end of the war was in sight.
Next, Canadian and Allied troops moved north to the Arras region of France to commence a final push against the Germans. Reaching the Drocourt-Quéant Line, one of the most daunting German defensive positions on the front, the 1st and 4th Canadian divisions pushed forward. Despite heavy casualties they captured the entire German position.
Next came the Battle of Canal du Nord where a bold strike on September 27th again drove the Germans into retreat. Every square inch of ground cost the Canadians thousands of casualties, but the victories demoralized the Germans who now realized the war was lost.
Over the final month of fighting, the Canadians would liberate the French cities of Cambrai and Valenciennes, pushing a further seventy-five kilometres to reach the Belgian city of Mons.
All told, the last hundred days of the war, including the Battle of Amiens, cost the Canadians more than 45,000 dead and wounded — a staggering total. The soldiers' sacrifice was critical to ending the war against Germany.
With the defining moment presentations taking place on the Monday-Wednesday when we return, there will be interruptions to the general "flow" of things, so you will need to be even more focused than usual. I am really looking forward to these presentations, and I know all of you are going to do your best!
Today we will be finishing up the overview of the war (and looking at the technology that changed warfare forever), discussing Sam Hughes and the Ross Rifle, having a interesting look (and a laugh or three) at the slang that was used during the war, and trying not to get itchy when we look at the typical equipment a Canadian soldier would carry, and the lice that infested his body, uniform and materials.
Today we will be looking at this powerpoint which will also guide our introduction to the start of World War I, and how specific events and technologies made the war one that the world had never seen before. This profile of a trench will also make it's way into our notes.
I would like you to use the Canadiana Scrapbooks (digital version here) at the front of the room (please be careful, they are very old and fragile) to answer the questions on this sheet.
There is also an opportunity for you to experience life in the trenches during the First World War with this simulation created by the Canadian War Museum.
We are going to read over the debate about Canada's participation in the war, and answer the questions that are attached to it. Please submit your answer Question #5 via the form listed in our TEAM.
Ugh. Not the best time for a snow day. I hope you are all at home and safe. This is a reminder that the learning doesn't stop, it's just delayed a little bit.
Please log in to our TEAMs for further instructions on what I'd like you to complete today.
Today, we are going to look at the background causes for World War One. Before we start we going to take a look at this article, and assess what general knowledge about the conflict we already have, what we would like to learn, and how we will approach the next few lessons.
The background will be introduced as a teacher-centered lecture on the 4 MAIN reasons behind WWI (and will serve as an excellent opportunity to improve your note taking skills). This website will also help fill in the gaps in your understanding, and this brief look at the state of governments at the turn of the century should also add some perspective.
To help with your understanding, students are asked to label the attached map, Europe on the Outbreak of World War One, indicating all the major countries, and colouring the Triple Entente one colour, the Triple Alliance another. Please include an appropriate title and legend/key.
Today we are going to explore how the man pictured below changed history.
We are also going to take a look at these primary sources.
Do you think Sarajevo is full of assassins? -Oskar Potiorek