The First (1914 to 1918) and Second (1939 to 1945) World Wars were significant events for many places around the world, including Quebec. Many Quebecers participated in these two wars as soldiers in the Canadian army. The World Wars brought many changes to Quebec’s economy and politics. They also put Quebec and Canada in direct contact with other countries around the world.

World War 1
World War 1 began in 1914 between Germany, Russia, Great Britain and France. It ended with the surrender of Germany in 1918. Most of the European colonies quickly found themselves involved in the conflict because of the political alliances between countries. Since Canada was part of the British Empire, it was automatically involved in the war alongside Great Britain. In total, 60,000 Canadians died in the First World War.
Participation in the war was a source of conflict between French and English speakers in Canada. The majority of English Canadians wanted Canada to participate in the war, while many French Canadians did not see the point of getting involved in a war that did not concern them. This difference of opinion led to a drafting crisis in 1917.

World War II began in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. The Allies declared war on Germany. Soon, the whole world was involved in the conflict. The war resulted in the deaths of 45,000 Canadians. It greatly impacted Canada’s economy. Women were called to work in factories to replace men who had left for the war front, permanently changing the division of labor in Canada. Similar to World War 1, the second world war was also a source of conflict between French and English speakers in Canada. A new medium, radio, allowed Quebecers to follow the events of the war in Europe and opened up Quebec to the outside world. The war ended in 1945 with the surrender of Germany and the allies (France, Great Britain, Canada and the United States).

Author :
Alexandre Lanoix. RECITUS. Translated by LEARN.