The Impact of Wilfred Laurier and a Policy that Changed the Nation: Naval Services Bill

Essay by Manik1High School, 10th gradeA+, July 2006

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Sir Wilfred Laurier was Prime Minister of Canada in 1896-1911, and was well known for his amazing ability to compromise in the uprising nation: Canada. He compromised during the Boer War, Naval Services Bill, Manitoba Schools Question, and Reciprocity. In the case of the Naval Services Bill, his compromise had the perfect influence towards Canada as a nation. In the past, Britain and Germany were the strongest nations economically. In the 1900s, they began an arms race to show their military power. In 1906, Britain launched a new super battleship, the H.M.S. Dreadnought. In 1909, Britain discovered that Germany was secretly constructing four dreadnought-class battleships. The cry for more battleships was heard across the British Empire by the alliances. Canada, a part of the alliance, replied by refusal to add to Britain's navy. Canada, however, would construct a small navy of its own that could be placed under Britain's control with the approval from Canada.

Laurier's policy with the Naval Service Bill had a positive impact towards Canada. The compromise settled both English and French Canada. The Naval Service Bill initiated the construction of the Canadian navy. The decision sent a clear message to Britain that Canada would make decisions as an independent country.

First of all, the compromise settled the both English and French Canadians, who were dominating Canada during the 1900s. Although they were an important part of Canadian heritage, these two sides often had conflicts about the important decisions for the country. The English felt that Laurier was insufficient help. They accused him of being "lukewarm" toward Great Britain (What). On the other hand, French Canada felt that the new Canadian navy would bring Canada into the European War. The English, mostly immigrants from Britain, thought that they should stay connected to their motherland. They were outraged...