Canada’s Road To Autonomy Essay

682 words - 3 pages

Canada has had a long and storied history especially in the 20th century. A key part of this history is Canada’s road to autonomy. The first step on this road is Canada’s role in fighting and ending World War I. The second step is Canadian involvement in the United Nations’ early days to the mid 1950’s. The last step on the road to autonomy is the Constitution Act, 1982. These three moments in time form the backbone of Canada’s road to autonomy.
Canada’s role in World War I in both fighting and ending it helped it gain autonomy from Britain. In battle, Canada earned the respect of many of her allies for victories like Vimy Ridge and the Battle of the Somme. The victory at Vimy Ridge helped Canada to earn recognition as an independent fighting force different from the British. This helped to earn Canada an independent seat at the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles was a watershed moment in Canada’s road to autonomy. This “won a separate seat for Canada at the peace conference following the war” (Bradley and Wilson, 126). This was unprecedented in Canada’s history up to that point. As well, Britain also granted the colonies of the British Empire including Canada “’autonomy within the Empire’” (Bradley and Wilson, 126). Canada’s participation in World War I was a key moment in making Canada autonomous.
After World War I, the next key step to autonomy was Canada’s involvement in the UN’s formation and participation in UN affairs in the 1950’s. Canada was one of 50 countries represented at the signing of the charter that establishes the UN. Once again, Canada has signed an international treaty by itself showing the world its increasing autonomy from Britain. Also, Canada made significant contributions financially to various UN programs like the $18 million dollars provided to the International Refugee Organization (Bradley and Wilson, 285). These financial contributions made independently by Canada to the UN made Canada more noticeable on the...

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