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The 20th century was a very depressing, brutal, and overall gruesome time for the world because of the 108 million lives that were lost to war. In Canadian history, there has been countless events, actions, and decisions that we can call defining moments in our history. During the 20th century, Canada had grown to a point that they had become their own country, this was a result of the wars we took apart of and were surprisingly victorious in our battles. In Canadian history, there were many defining moments such as the battle of Vimy Ridge, Canada joining NATO, and the effects of the Great Depression on Canada.
In WW1 there were many battles for land that were needed to be taken back, one of them being Vimy Ridge which was regained by Canada. The battle of Vimy Ridge started April 9th and ended April 12th, 1917. This was an important point to recapture because it was a territorial advantage point and gave our side a great new advantage in the war. The reason this was a defining moment for Canada was that France tried to regain their land back and then the British troops tried to recapture the location but also lost. When the Canadians came we retook the land because of Arthur Currie’s tactic. General Arthur Currie used a practiced attack called the “Creeping Barrage”, in which after the firing of artillery you take 50 mins to reload, in this time they would move forward until they fire again or make it past no man’s land. This was our greatest victory in WW1 and the battle that showed other countries that we were a strong and independent country. In conclusion, this battle gave us pride and showed others that we weren’t just more British troops, we were Canadian.
The Great Depression was a world epidemic that lowered the economy of every country in the world, which lead to many problems and overall caused WW2. After the First World War jobs that were needed for war disseminated giving many countries new lows for unemployment. This was accompanied by buying things with credit, which leaded to many people buying stocks with credit. October 29th, 1929, the stock market crashed, this lead to Canada and many other countries entering depression where everything was worth 40% less than before. This is a defining moment in Canadian history because it made us join the Second World War. The war effort gave many previously unemployed Canadians jobs, which increased the economy way faster than if there was no war. The war effort itself lost over 44,000 Canadians lives and 54,000 Canadians were wounded but after the war the countries formerly in depression became stable. Thus, without the war, the depression caused by the stock market wouldn’t have been lifted from Canada.
NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between North America and Europe, which outlining that if an external party would invade an alliance member the other countries would help them fight. After WW2, the Americans and the Soviet Union got into a dangerous argument over political systems; the Americans wanted a democratic government ruling all the countries while the Soviet Union wanted a communist world. Due to this argument, the Soviet Union sought Canada as an enemy as well, this prompted Canada to join the NATO. Canada joined the NATO not only to protect themselves from the Soviet but also to settle rivalries between the UK, America, and other European countries where they would have to choose sides. This is a defining moment in Canadian history because with creating this intergovernmental alliance Canada avoided being taken over by other countries. NATO alliance provided help, support and protection from enemy attacks allowing us to still be a country. After joining NATO Canada has never lost a war and allowed us to instead save other countries with our peacekeeping force. In summary, NATO saved Canada from the Soviet Union and rest of the world and allowed us to stay a strong, resilient country.
In conclusion, the three defining moments in Canadian history is the battle of Vimy Ridge, The Great Depression that lower our economy, and the creation of NATO. Canada fought and regained Vimy form the Germans giving us great honor from the other European country. The Great Depression lowered the Canada’s economy and made us join the war. NATO allowed Canada to avoid wars against the Soviet Union, America, UK, and other European countries allowing Canada with a weak army to survive.
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