A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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The 1920s time period is very applicable to the saying, from A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, and it was the age of foolishness.” The 1920s had been a decade of success and the “best of times” for women folk. This was witnessed by the attempts at equality through the suffrage movement, which aimed at winning the right to vote. Through potential leaders such as Nelly McClung and Therese Casgrain, women gained the vote in 1925 (throughout all parts of Canada except Quebec). Women were also very successful at obtaining their due political rights such as education. The restrictions imposed on women were lifted and the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) views on prohibition were readily accepted. While women made many strides towards equality, other groups continued to face prejudice and inequality.
Numerous groups encountered conflict and had to endure hardships. These comprised of the First Nations, Chinese Immigrants as well as Black Canadians. The First Nations were assimilated and Residential schools were built for children. They were discouraged to speak in their native tongue and follow their native traditions (ethnic nationalism was highly discouraged). They were brutally punished and abused, for disobeying instructions, which lead to deaths and personality disorders. The Chinese Immigrants also faced much neglect, after their assistance with the Canadian Pacific Railway, they were compelled to pay a head tax and a law was passed which prevented Chinese immigration. The plight of Black Canadians was solely due to the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) which aimed at the destroying interracial relations. Their actions weren’t condemned, which was shocking.
The Black Canadians, Chinese Immigrants and First Nations weren’t the only groups to face prejudice, other groups such as workers and labor class, also endured laborious hours and jobs, under unfair conditions. Because of this, worker unions formed and there were violent strikes across Canada. This was because workers weren’t getting decent wages for their hours of strenuous labor. The Winnipeg General Strike, made its mark on history, on the 21st of June as metal trade workers protested about their long hours and unfair wages. With assistance from the Central Citizens Committee, the city shut down for up to six weeks. This was followed by a riot, where the mob set a street car on fire and threw bottles and bricks at the police.

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The police thus resorted to firing upon the mob, which led to many injuries and deaths. Many other strikes followed throughout the 1920s, by the protestant workers.
The 1920s were also considered a period of depression, for many provinces in Eastern and Western Canada. The Maritimes were put out of their business of supplying primary resources, because of the prosperity of Central Canada. Miners forming the British Empire Steel Corporation had their wages cut by half. This deprived them of the basic necessities of life and the average amount of funds for food was 13 cents per day. This greatly affected and shattered the economy of the Maritimes. They felt ignored by the government in comparison to Central Canada. This made them yearn for equality, as the government paid attention to the prosperous provinces.
Women made great strides towards equality, but other groups continued to face prejudice and inequality. This was evident by the violence and abuse suffered by the First Nations, the taxes and laws imposed on Chinese Immigrants, as well as the KKK’s unjustified actions. The worker strikes as well as the Maritime’s Issue presented an unidentified conflict which wasn’t addressed as workers weren’t getting their due rights and getting a fair say. It wasn’t the “best of times” for these groups and protests were consistent throughout the 1920s.

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