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The Great Transformation
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The Great Transformation
1896-1915




An unprecedented age of prosperity and massive immigration transform Canada at the turn of the 20th century. Canada's first francophone leader, Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, leads a country marked by Prairie boom times and massive industrialization. Those who shape the new society include peasants from Eastern Europe, in search of free land; socialists who try to mobilize an emerging urban working class; and campaigners for temperance and women's suffrage. The dizzying pace of change also brings ethnic intolerance and racism, particularly against Asian immigrants. As well, growing tensions over Canada's role in the British Empire, foreshadow divisive times to come as the First World War looms on the horizon.
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Newsworld broadcast:
Monday, January 07, 2002
10pm-Midnight Eastern



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Age of Prosperity
Few prospectors made it rich during the Klondike Gold Rush. By the time most gold-seekers reached the region, the richest riverbeds had already been staked out. (Courtesy of the National Archives of Canada  PA-005389, Panning gold during the Klondike Gold The Klondike Gold Rush symbolically ushers in an era of prosperity marked by Prairie boom times, rapid industrialization and technologial innovation
Seeking an Identity
Lead by political master, Wilfrid Laurier, Canadians question their allegiance to Great Britain while a new nationalism emerges in Quebec as the country struggles to define itself in a new century Wilfrid Laurier was Canada's first francophone Prime Minister. Nicknamed the
A Land of Many Cultures
Dutch immigrants were part of the flood of Europeans to Canada in early 1900s. (Courtesy of the National Archives of Canada) Newcomers flock to Canada and change the cultural landscape of the country. But not everyone is welcome, as prejudice and hate grows in the land of promise.
A Demand for Change
Canadians demand social justice in a country marked by extravagant wealth and wretched poverty. Leading the fight for a better world are the emerging voices of women and workers. In the early 1900s, Montreal's poor lived in shanties or crowded apartments. Pictured here, a Montreal family in a one room tenement in 1912. (Courtesy of the National Archives of Canada)
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