Canada in the 1950sAfter world war II Canada had never experienced true peace since before the 1900s, wars and bad economy took over everyone’s thoughts and worries that they never had time to enjoy a normal life. According to the book Face Of A Nation, after the second world war the Canadian government had contributed $21.8 billion in technologies and supplies, this brought opportunity to use these new technologies after the war, which is what essentially created televisions, computers, ATMs, ballpoint pen and other appliances that we still use nowadays. With the discovery of these items there had to be factories to produce them and workers to operate the machines, at this time Canada’s unemployment rate was at 2.4% according to www.davemanuel.com, which was the lowest it has ever been until this year, and families were doing well financially which led to them starting families and caused the baby boom generation that are today our senior citizens. I think the 1950s were Canada’s greatest decade because there was prosperity, low unemployment rate, more buying power, new technologies, population growth and the war had just ended.Politics in the 1950sThe prime minister for most of the 1950s was Louis St. Laurent, later nicknamed Uncle Louis due to his good relationship with children and a friendly elderly appearance. The book Face Of A Nation states that Louis St. Laurent was Prime Minister from 1948-1957 as a successor of Lyon Mackenzie King’s to take over the new role of leader of the Liberal party which had a majority government at the time. During his career St. Laurent accomplished many great feats, one of the first tasks he faced was bringing Newfoundland into the confederation, which then became the tenth province in 1949. Another great project was the building of the St. Lawrence seaway that linked the Great Lakes to the Atlantic ocean through the St. Lawrence River which allowed cargo ships to reach halfway across Canada and go down to the United States without having to come in through the Gulf of Mexico, this influenced the United States to partially fund the expensive project. The St. Lawrence seaway is still used to this day and provides million of kilowatts in electrical energy to Canadian homes and industries. Prime minister Louis St. Laurent had achieved other great projects but his government finally came to an end when he started the building of the transcanada pipeline, this allowed for conservatives to start a campaign against the “American Pipeline Buccaneers” (“Face Of A Nation” 194 Angelo Bolotta et al), taking down the liberal government after 11 years and starting “The Chief” Era. In 1957 John Diefenbaker came to power with a minority government and from 1957-1958 they helped farmers and raised senior pensions, the support for conservative power was increasing and liberals were decreasing. The election of 1958 made history with the most dominant majority government with 208 conservatives led by ¬†John “The Chief” Diefenbaker. With the chief in power he promised Canadians a stronger, more united Canada and he worked hard for that by passing the Canadian Bill of rights in 1960. John Diefenbaker started a new era for Canadians which led to great prosperity in the 1960s.Economy in the 1950sAfter the war Canada was experiencing great prosperous times, this was due to the prosperity cycle, they had just been on the decline for the past fifteen years but now the economy had grown, more factories opened up, more jobs available, unemployment was at an all time low, people had more buying power, but this was all due to the billions of dollars spent into army research during the war, new technologies were invented and were making their way into Canadian homes hence more factories opening and more jobs being available. Canada’s oil and gas industry were having the greatest financial period in their history, gas was at an all time low at just 10 cents per litre, this meant that many Canadians invested in the automobile industry since it was hard to get anywhere in the suburbs far from the city without an automobile. During this period Louis St. Laurent was in charge and helped the economy by increasing investment spending during slow periods and controlling government spending when the economy was doing well (“Face Of A Nation” 194 Angelo Bolotta et al)Society in the 1950sCanadians were seeking an identity after a generation who had no childhood or teenage years and couldn’t enjoy a truly peaceful and free life due to all the wars and hardships in the economy. The baby boomers were the golden generation, born into great peaceful, financial times with a new invention coming every day making the world easier to see and enjoy. During the 1950s people were being “Americanized” and started listening to a new genre of music called Rock-and-Roll, it was the fast pace and enthusiasm of the songs that caught the attention of many young canadians and became a hit. Rock-and-Roll gave opportunities for artists such as The Crew Cuts and Paul Anka to become internationally known singers and songwriters. The style of music influenced teens to dress like their favourite artists, this led to the start of the rockers , a common group among teenagers who liked to smoke, skip class, dress with black leather jackets, sunglasses and a pair of jeans and were some of the popular kids back then. Kids were now trying to find their own identity, this meant that kids started to become less and less like their parents. This was a very special time to be a teenager because they could finally live a normal life thus being nicknamed “The Luckiest Generation” (Time Online Magazine).ConclusionThe greatest feeling anyone could ever experience is relief, finally being done with something that had been taking over your thoughts and every decision you made was based off that one series of bad events that brought nothing but sadness or stress; that is how Canadians in the 1950s felt, they had just been suffering for more than 20 years and now finally something good was happening and people were happy, that is why I believe the 1950s were the greatest decade in Canadian history, not only with technological advances or other things but something emotional, the feeling of joy and happiness and freedom from fear. There were political and economical mistakes in the 1950s, but that has always been there and will continue to happen. This is why I believe the 1950s were the greatest decade in Canadian history both economically and politically but also Canadians were finally Happy and proud to live in the “Land Of Promise”.

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