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Canada's Victory in the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Info: 1745 words (7 pages) Essay
Published: 19th Dec 2017 in History

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Canada entered World War One as another country considered to be part of the British colony, and left it with a refined sense of nationalism that would finally lead to the end of Britain’s authority over Canada. The Canadian victory in Vimy ridge brought Canada a sense of pride. Women’s active role in Canada during World War One changed the views of many Canadians in a positive way. Canada’s achievements during the Great World War made Canadians have more love and loyalty to their country. Men and women had battled relentlessly during World War One and earned great respect from their country, which caused the increase of Canadian nationalism.

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Canada’s involvement and victory in the battle of Vimy Ridge changed the views of many Canadian’s and it brought them a greater sense of nationalism. “Historians have said ‘Canadian nationalism was born atop the Vimy Ridge in the northern France on April 9, 1917, when the 100,000- strong Canadian corps claimed a strategic prize from the Germans near Arras, France that other allies had failed to capture’.” [1]After Canada conquered Vimy ridge, Canada was the first allied force that achieved a victory against the Germans. Canadian troops from then on gained the reputation of being tough, courageous, and successful fighters. Their outstanding achievement in the battle of Vimy ridge is what brought them a sense of pride. The feeling of empowerment and respect from other nations is what enhanced Canadian nationalism during and after the Great World War.

Canada’s achievements in the battle of Vimy Ridge brought a great sense of accomplishment to many Canadians. “The victory at Vimy, won by troops from every part of the country, helped unite many Canadians in pride at the courage of their citizen-soldiers, and established a feeling of real nationhood.”[2]During the battle of Vimy Ridge, it was the first time all Canadians fought together in a combined force. This encouraged troops to come together as one nation and work as a team to defeat the Germans at Vimy Ridge and is what helped unite many Canadians in a sense of greatness and pride. This is what made Canada considered an independent nation and that is what contributed to the increase of Canadian nationalism.

The outlook of many Canadians changed as the success and victory of the battle of Vimy Ridge had brought them a better sense of nationalism. “It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that if Vimy Ridge had been captured by a British or French formation instead of the Canadian Corps, this action would not enjoy its current celebrity,” ‘Sheffield writes.”Vimy Ridge resonates largely because of its role in the growth of Canadian nationalism.”‘ [3]Canadians after the success of Vimy Ridge believed that they could stand on their own two feet and fight for them selves without the help of Britain or other allied nations. This proved Canada was a strong country and an independent one too. This in turn is what made Canada have a greater sense of devotion to its country.

The role of women in Canada during World War One changed the perspective of many Canadians and increased their sense of nationalism. “Women were an essential component of the Canadian war effort and their efforts on the home front, in factories as well as on the battlefront were important to a successful outcome.”[4]During World War One woman were called on by necessity to do work and take on roles that were outside their traditional expectations. They became an important part of Canadian society, and became more valued by the people of Canada. This wasn’t considered the norm back in the day for women to be doing things like that. By Canada encouraging women to be involved in helping out in the war and at the home front, more Canadians have a greater sense of nationalism because they feel like their treating women with more respect.

Canadian women performed no less than men did during the Great War. “Many Canadian women worked in factories. Their contribution to the war showed that women had great courage and could do the same things the men could do.” [5] Women moved into the labor force to do the jobs of men so that they can earn a living, help out the country and the men fighting over seas. This increased nationalism in Canada because Women had gained more rights and had a more active role in the society, which brought Canada closer to its national identity.

Women’s significant contribution to the Canadian war effort showed Canada had different beliefs from other nations. “The Great War dramatically changed the lives of women in Canada. Women’s active roles during world war one brought a better sense of pride to the country, which set Canada aside from other nations.” [6] The Canadian women that help out during the war years changed the way Canadians felt about its country. Women were treated with a little more respect than before and had the opportunity to be apart of the work force which was different from what the world was used to. The women’s active roles during The Great World War changed the views of many Canadians in a positive aspect which set aside Canada from the rest of the world.

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Canada’s achievements on the battleground demonstrably promoted Canadian nationalism. One of the battles in which Canada fought courageously and determinedly was the battle of Ypres. Commander of the Second British Army, General Smith Dorrien said “No words Could Be kinder or full of praise. The whole army realized that it was only the gallant actions of the Canadians that saved Ypres: otherwise one the greatest disasters in history of the British Army might have occurred.”[7] Canada’s involvement in the battle of Ypres changed the way many Canadians felt about their country and brought them a better sense of nationalism. When the Canadian army won the battle of Ypres using unreliable artillery (Ross riffles) it’s showed that Canadians could make due with what they have and win a battle no matter what the circumstances are. Canada’s effort in the battle of Ypres changed the way Canadians felt about its country in a positive way.

The accomplishments on the battle field increased Canadian nationalism; one of the battles was the battle of Somme which got Canada a new reputation of being known as storm troopers. War correspondent, Phillip Gibbs said “The Canadians have gained great glory by their attack. Though swept by machine guns, and meeting stubborn defence, they carried a stronghold and captured hundreds of prisoners. The full story of the Canadian victory will thrill the great Dominion like a heroic song. They were careless of death, so they might win”[8] During the battle of the Somme Canadian soldiers got the glorious reputation of being called storm troopers because of their restlessness on the battlefields. Although they were not victorious in defeating the Germans it showed that Canada had some clever tactic such as “over the top”, (which was when armed forces climbed over the trenches and advanced over the enemy) to attempt to defeat the Germans. The effort of the Canadian soldiers during the battle of the Somme showed Canada’s capabilities and potentials in war which enhanced Canadian pride and devotion.

The Most bloodiest battle in which Canadians fought in was the battle of Passchendaele. It was one of the most historical and successful battles of Word War One for Canadians although they were not successful in the battle. General Haig said proudly “The Canadian have performed superbly, maintaining their spirit and pursuing their objectives in the face of overwhelming odds. They have defined the Passchendaele mud.” [9] As the Passchendaele mud was a hard obstacle, the Canadians refused to back down and with spirit they charged forward concurring their goals as well as facing the great unlikely hood of survival. This showed the Canada had mental stability and no matter what the conditions were on the battlefield, they were always determined to win and this is what lead to Canadian nationalism because Canadians to be part of a country that is known to be great and outstanding fighter.

During the First World War both men and women had battled courageously, weather it being on the battlefields or on the home front, thus increased Canadian nationalism. Canada’s victory in the battle of Vimy ridge increased the positive views of many Canadians. Canadian regarded the active role of women in a positive manner which reflected the increase of nationalism during World War One. Canada’s great accomplishments during the Great World War increased Canada’s love and patriotism to its country. World War One, as many other events has made a great impact on the increase of Canadian.

  1. “Birth of nationalism.” CTV new report [Electronic Bulletin board]. April 2007- [cited 11 October 2009]. Available form listserv@ http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070402/vimy_90years_070402/
  2. “The capture of Vimy Ridge.” Veterans Affair Canada [electronic bulletin board]. September 1998- [cited October 1 2009]. Available form listserv@ http://www.vacacc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=history/firstwar/vimy/vimy5
  3. “Vimy Ridge Status in Canadian History” Canada.com [electronic bulletin board]. 2001-[cited October 7 2009]. Available form listserv@ http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html? id=ccaca4a5-12a7-4b8c-b6a1-9c6469411fd1&k=20506
  4. Pat Station, Canadian Women and World War One (Toronto: Green Dragon Press, 2006), 15.
  5. Pat Station, Canadian Women and World War One (Toronto: Green Dragon Press, 2006), 31
  6. A.G. Smith and Robert Livesey, Discovering Canada: The Great war(Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry and Whiteside,2006),36
  7. G.W. Larkin and J.P. Matersky, Canada in the Twentieth Century World War 1(Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1987),18
  8. G.W. Larkin and J.P. Matersky, Canada in the Twentieth Century World War 1(Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1987),23
  9. Kathryn M. Bindon, More Than Patriotism( Toronto: Thomas Nelson & Sons Limited, 1979), 121


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