Essay Sample: Industrial Revolution in Canada

Published: 2022-02-16 09:17:36
Essay Sample: Industrial Revolution in Canada
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Economics Industrial revolution
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1824 words
16 min read

Industrialization refers to a process of economic and social change. The whole process of the industrial revolution shifts the regular economic activity to focus more on work, salary, and labor. Industrialization in Canada was linked to that of their neighbors and Britain (Stearns, 2018). However, rapid changes started to accelerate after 1850 and the better part of the 19th century. From the start of the 19th century, these changes were classified into two forms. First, the standard economic and social practices were transformed from subsistence agricultural activities to manufacturing processes and services. Second, the rural cottage industries were changed to the urban industrial system, and the privatizations were started where all those were employed were to earn wages or their services and labor. In British North America invention of the common currency in carrying out the trading activities helped in the industrialization process by removing barriers to trade and enhanced free movement of the traders (Stearns, 2018). The industrialization process did not only change the economic status of people, but it also impacted their social lives and organization. However long it took to change from feudalism to capitalism, from agriculture to the manufacturing system, it significantly impacted the human existence positively in Canada. The manufactured products needed transportation, thus the emergence of canals, roads, railways and shipping activities, and later air transport systems (Conrad, 2012).

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During the first phase of industrialization in Canada, international development played a significant role in ensuring that Canadians experienced the industrialization process despites the fact British North America had its Industrialization (Stearns, 2018). Industries were being formed all over by the 1860s. New Brunswick was known then to be occupied mainly by forest industries and shipbuilding. In Nova Scotia, it was dominated by metal and coal industries from Cape Breton, and in the western part of the province were textile and sugar refinery industries. Vancouver Island coal mines in Nanaimo, Chain making in Victoria, and the making of Royal massive shipyards in Esquimalt. This process was highly supported by the mercantilists in Canada who believed that colonies could provide raw materials to their mother country, and after they have manufactured them, they would then sell them as finished goods to the colonies. The provincial British and colonial governments kept the prices of the local land high with a desire to have workers who earn salaries rather than farm settlers. It means that the attention of people like investors, workers, and the government had started to shift from agriculture to industries. The invention of steam power propelled the shift of agriculture and resources extraction economy to manufacturing rather than wind and the new transportation system (Stearns, 2018). In the 19th century, the railway was constructed, which connected Ontario, Quebec, Maritime Provinces, and east of the United States. The invention of such canals as Montreal's Lachine Canal in the 1820s also encouraged the transportation of goods. By the 1850s, most factories had started making metal goods and tools, and the British government was funding the industrial investment at this time through the British financing of bonds.

The Second Phase of the industrial revolution started in the late 19th to early 20th century (Binson, 2012). The Canadian adopted the use of mass automation, the building of large factories, and the moving assembly line. Industries started looking for skilled personnel in various sectors and departments like managers, technicians, drivers, and casual laborers. The demand for a large amount of capital, adequate raw materials, and products also became common as many people had started to adapt to the manufactured commodities. By the 1890s, most companies had begun using iron ore, which was being mined in Newfoundland's Bell Island and Labrador. Workers were moving from one province to the other in such jobs leading to the demand for more housing around the industries. There were various recruitment points for workers, for example, in Lancashire and Yorkshire, Wales, Lowland Scotland, and Germany. Some workers were also migrating from different rural areas of Hungary, China, Ireland, and China to more industrialized and urban centers. This growth system of intensified use of machines and automation provided a lot of employment opportunities to the peasant families, most of who were coming from countries that were still practicing the feudal system. Most of the unskilled workers like children were given opportunities at the coal mines to do less demanding jobs like cleaning of the working tools. North America underwent a significant transformation as its economies of scale started rising, urban centers got reshaped to be better than before, technological advancement and development were adopted, production and manufacturing on a large scale were practiced by most of the industries (Stearns, 2018). Some entrepreneurs and industrialists took this opportunity to establish big factories that were initially meant to manufacture less expensive and durable cars and later, they started making more costly and luxurious cars for wealthy customers, for example, Henry Ford, an industry that was known for manufacturing various automotive with the logo of Ford.

In 1879 a national policy was passed, which was meant to protect the manufacturing sectors through tariffs; this followed after the confederation of 1867. The primary goal of the strategy was to ensure that industries in Canada have developed, including small-scale factories. This was done by enacting a law that allowed for the taxation of the goods, which were being imported from other countries at the rate of 20 percent (Binson, 2012). The policy also helped in facilitating the establishment of the branch plants and headquarters in different countries. For example, some companies had their offices in different countries; although they were operating from Canada, hence, they were allowed to establish their headquarters in Canada to protect them from the tariff wall. By 1920s, America had established there branch plant operations in various industrial parts of Canada, for example, automobile assembly, chemicals, consumer products, and auto parts. However, the policy faced some criticism from people who felt that the plan was unfairly benefiting industrialists, bankers, and people from central Canada at the expense of other regions or workers (Griffin, 2018). The eruption of the First World War also played a significant role in ensuring the faster growth of industries in Canada. A state effort to support the war led to a high demean of arms and munitions, transportation, and other war equipment, thus accelerating the development and growth rate of various still industries. During the Great Depression most of the parts of Canada became industrialized, wages which were being given to the worker in these industries attracted a mass number of people who migrated to urban centers in search of jobs from rural areas (Hallowell, 2006). However, these changes to wage depended economy led to lots of hardship, especially during depression leading to mass lay off by the different industries. Hence many people started questioning the capitalist system, which was primarily based on industrialization.

The Great Depression ended during the Second World War by compelling various federal state planners to intervene in the industrial economy and operations (Hallowell, 2006). Those central state planners constructed new industries and corporations, and they gave private industries tasks of manufacturing transportation tools, types of machinery, munitions, and arms, which were highly demanded war purposes. For instance, a company by the name Polymer Corporation in Ottawa was given a task of manufacturing rubber, which was being used to fight during war periods, this helped in reviving a chemical industry in Southwest of Ontario. Manufacturing of consumable goods was abolished during those periods of war, and only the automotive and steel industries were allowed to operate (Binson, 2012). Some of the leading general motor industries in Canada I various places like, Windsor, Oshawa, and Ajax, provided the government of Canada with vehicles on contract. At the coastal regions, steel production and shipbuilding were booming, especially in Hamilton, Ontario. By the time World War two was ending, Canada had archived full employment to the citizens.

Royal Commission on labor and capital had a significant role to play, however before its drafting in 1889 manufacturing sector had taken the more substantial part of the economy of Canada, and most people had adopted the form of wage labor, where was beg paid according to the services or energy he/she had provided (Hallowell, 2006). Before the labor relations policy could effectively start to be enacted and followed by various companies, most people were working in a dangerous environment, which was never clean and, most of the time, very cramped. Most of the workers were being injured almost daily, as industrial accidents were prevalent. Laborers were to work for very long hours with low payment of wages, and child labor was a common practice. Some of the renowned industries which were exploiting workers included Tobacco, textile, and substantial manufacturing companies. Between the 19th and 20th centuries, some of the organized labor movements emerged to fight against the exploitation and misuse of workers (Binson, 2012). Although differences emerged between craft and industrial unions, about was allowed to be the members of the organized labor movement, which hampered the efforts to fight for the rights of workers. However, the push for better pay and healthful working conditions for workers never stopped. In 1919 a general strike was organized in Winnipeg by the labor organizations; however, their demands were challenged by the corporate interest and the government who subdued the workers' organization through the legal system (Hallowell, 2006).

Most of the labor movements and organizations gained to strengthen and support during the Second World War and the Great Depression to fight against the capitalists' system. These organizations mobilized and successfully brought together all workers in various industries, and ensured that the union rights and those of the workers are heard and recognized. They organized a series of strikes and protests around the country when war was continuing. Their efforts and determination led to changes in the legal system, where a decision was made in 1946 by Justice Ivan Rand which stated that unions of workers were to be recognized by law and established in Canada, and the problems which they were fighting for were to be heard by the industry owners (Hallowell, 2006). Some of the rights they were fighting for included; minimum wages, pensions after retirement, collective bargaining, legislated working hours, vacation payments, workplace benefits, legislation protection against unemployment and workplace accidents and discriminatory hiring, examples of some of these unions were, Canadian Congress of Labor and International United Auto Workers (Binson, 2012). Most Canadian families changed from a farm-based economy to industrial economy and wages in urban centers by the early 19th century (Conrad, 2012). All members of the family were required to work so that they and be paid a given amount of salary. Fathers, mothers, and children had to carry out a given task, so the earnings of the family could be large enough to sustain the whole family members. After 1920 the wage system became an essential work for every Canadian, and most of them left...

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