Winnipeg General Strike Essay Thesis

Essay on The Winnipeg General Strike

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The Winnipeg General Strike The year of 1919 has been one of the most influential years of strikes in Canadian history. The event that occurred on this year still lingers in Canadian minds and continues to be one of the most meaningful and powerful effects of labor protest and the struggle of people to create trade union rights. As it is stated it is “the first and the only time in Canadian history that a major city was split clearly into two opposing classes.” (McNaught,…show more content…

At the same time, Prime Minister Robert Borden passed a legislation that banned labor unions in the country. Due to the newly build railroad, many immigrants started to immigrate to the west and by 1919 the population of working class in Winnipeg tripled. It is stated that: “the end of the world war signaled the release from the patriotic obligations that had kept reluctant workers on the job, and it brought new and complex problems of reconstruction and soldiers’ resettlement.” (Bercuson & McNaught, 1974). The war was over in 1918 and much of Canada’s production and shipment to Europe stopped. Many people in Winnipeg were left unemployed and with the return of soldiers from war, the unemployment rate rose even higher. The Canadians took an example from the Russian’s Bolshevik revolution that occurred in 1917, where the Russians were able to overthrow their government and opt for change. Canadians however did not want to resort to violent acts like the Russians, but they believed that they can bring change if the working class had more power. As one author says, “ indicative of the prevalent labor unrest was the series of strikes in western Canada in 1918. Of those the most serious occurred in Winnipeg. It lasted for over three weeks and reached semi-general

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