1916 places Canada in the middle of World War I. It is a period of heavy nationalism and just precedes the time when the government chose to go for mandatory conscription of young men to supply the armed forces. Capitalism and Industrialism play strong roles in forming the economies of most of what we know as the western world. They are unchecked by any social policy framework. These forces have created a power imbalance. A few people hold most of the wealth and power. Many people are experiencing displacement from older types of economies with great unemployment, poverty and hardship resulting. The ideas of Marx and Engel are under wide discussion and during this period the Bolshevik revolution occurs in Russia. The women’s suffrage and temperance movements are in full force. Scientific knowledge and understanding of the universe continues to grow exponentially, and most educated people are thinking about the relationship between scientific thought and religious ideas. (Grun) Germany contains forces that contain both the most enlightened attitudes (Socialism) and the most barbaric (The precursors of Nazism). (Irvine)
In the 1920s, the League of Nations is formed. Adolph Hitler announces his 25-point program and begins his own political journey. Radio and modern communications is being born. The fields of Psychology and Psychiatry are under development with key writings from both Jung and Freud. Post-war Christianity is on the decline as a result of the depressing impact of modern warfare. Only the social gospel stream has life and power for people. (Hewett, p177) Labour parties form across Europe and major strikes occur. 1924 sees the first Labour government in Britain while Fascism and Mussolini take over in Italy. Women get the vote in Britain. A general state of economic depression leads to the 1929 crash on Wall Street, which is then followed by the 1930s’ deep depression. (Grun, by year)
The Canadian Scene
Canada is still a relatively young country...