Technology and Invention (57-58) and a booming Economy (59-62)

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Technology and Invention (57-58) and A Booming Economy (59-62)

  1. With reference to the telephone, air travel, the discovery of insulin and radio, EXPLAIN how the 1920s was an era of innovation and discovery.

  • Telephone

    • At beginning of decade only 25% of Canadian homes had a telephone

    • These phones required a crank and the mouth and ear piece were separated

    • Dial telephone appeared in Toronto in 1924, and phones now had a combined mouthpiece and earphone

    • By end of decade, almost 75% of Canadians had telephones in their home

      • Easier form of communication that is faster, and more efficient

      • Also allows people over great distances to stay connected

  • Air Travel

    • Pilots returning from war were eager to continue flying and thus travelled the country performing stunts

    • In 1924 government created the RCAF to conduct surveys, patrol for forest fires and watch out for smugglers

    • In 1927, post office hired pilots to fly mail to remote areas

      • Allows for easier transport of people, medical aid, food etc

  • Discovery of Insulin

    • Frederick Banting and his medical student Charles Best worked to isolate insulin in animals so he could treat people with diabetes

    • In January 1922, he injected insulin into Leonard Thompson

      • It was one of the most revolutionary discoveries in medical science

  • Radio Radio- Impact of US on Canadian Culture

    • The radio made the world seem smaller and ended isolation

    • Inexpensive entertainment and brought families together to listen to the latest news, sports, music and drama.

    • At beginning of decade radios were a status symbol, however by the end of the decade, there were more than 60 radio stations in Canada and almost a third of Canadian homes had a radio.

    • The Aird Report recommended that a government board operate a coast to coast radio system (later the CBC)


  1. EVALUATE what you think was the most significant innovation during the 1920s. Justify your choice.

  • Answers will vary

  1. Why would few have predicted the booming economy that lay ahead?

  • In 1923, unemployment was at 17 per cent.

  • Inflation was eating up people’s life’s savings.

    • Rising cost of living- meaning prices of goods rise more quickly than people’s salaries

  • Exports to war-ravaged Europe were on the decline

  1. Using information found on page 50 complete the flow chart found on page 63.

Natural Resources

Agriculture- crop prices rise (1925-28)
Farmers invested profits to buy better equipment

Pulp and Paper- largest supplier of newsprint
supplying newsprint to the USA (2nd largest industry)

Mining- growing demand for minerals and metals

demand for metals linked to demand for automobiles

and electric appliances

Energy- petroleum and hydroelectricity

Linked to automobiles (oil and gas) and mining

  1. Make a t-chart comparing the negative and positive consequences of the automobile industry in Canada since the 1920s. IMPACT OF USA- Economic

Negative Consequences

Positive Consequences

  • The problem of branch plants

    • American companies set up offices in Canada & all proceeds go to US

  • Amalgamation and the end of the Canadian automobile companies

  • The decline of downtowns with the growth of suburbs, traffic jams, pollution

  • Jobs

  • Spin off industries (road making, rubber tires, gasoline stations, motels)

    • Development of infrastructure

  • The creation of suburbs

  1. What is a share and how is it used to finance the growth of companies?

  • A share is part ownership of a company

  • Shares are sold to investors to raise money

  1. How did the investment strategies of Great-Britain and the United States differ? (IMPACT OF USA and GB on CANADA)

  • British financiers had invested in Canada by buying bonds

    • Bonds do not involve ownership but provide guaranteed interest payments

  • American investors preferred to buy shares in natural resource companies

    • By 1930, American investors controlled 20% of Canada’s industries, rising to 40% in the mining, smelting and petroleum industries

    • American investments surpassed Great Britain’s by 1926

  1. During which period did American investments increase most rapidly? Why? (Hint: Use the pie charts on page 62)

  • Between 1914 and 1920 American investments increased by 21%.

  • The most important reason for this growth was the First World War.

  • Since Great Britain was strapped for money, Canada turned to the US for loans and financial help.

  • Canadian minerals and other natural resources were in great demand during the war, and many American investors saw an opportunity to make money by owning these resources.

  1. How did American companies avoid paying tariffs on goods?

  • American companies established branch plants

    • A branch plant is a factory or business owned and controlled by a larger company that is based in a foreign country

    • Avoid National Policy- protectionist economy

  • Although these firms were run by American managers and returned profits to the home office, the produced “made in Canada” goods and thus avoided paying tariffs

  1. What was the result of the establishment of American Branch Plants?

  • With the establishment of American branch plants, Canada lost control of its major industries resulting in a strong dependence on the US economy

  • By the end of the decade, Americans owned:

    • 82% of Canada’s auto production

    • 68% of Canada’s electronics industry

    • 64% of Canada’s rubber industry

    • 42% of machinery

    • 41% of chemical production

  • Economically, Canada was becoming tied to the United States and Canadians became concerned about foreign investment

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