Being a proud Canadian
By: Andrew Saminathan
There many things that makes me proud to be Canadian. History is the study of past events, particularly in human affairs. This said; three Canadian history things that make me proud are the Second Battle of Ypres, the Canadian rights and the Suez Crisis.
Firstly, at the Second Battle of Ypres, Canadian and French Algerian forces were confronted with a new horror of modern warfare: gas attacks. The German forces launched chlorine gas cloud, which could be seen moving along the battlefield towards the Canadian and Algerian troops. The German troops, uncertain of the impact the gas would have, moved cautiously ahead. This delay gave the Canadians a chance to recover after the attack. The chlorine gas had devastating impact. The Algerians retreated, while the Canadians attempted to stand their ground. Without gas masks, however, the many Canadians inhaled the chlorine gas, which caused their lungs to fill with water; thus, every breath brought the soldiers closer to asphyxiation. The second battle of Ypres makes me proud because the Canadian earned a reputation for incredible bravery and determination. We showed more determination in getting our constitution.
Next, a constitution is the ultimate law of a country or organization. Canada’s first Constitution was drafted in 1864, and came into effect on July 1, 1867 under the title The British North America Act. The BNA Act laid out the government of the new Dominion of Canada, and divided up provincial powers from federal powers. Unfortunately, the Act could only be passed or changed by the British Parliament, and gave Canada no Supreme Court of her own. In 1931, the British House of Lords granted Canada the right to create a Supreme Court, but until the 1980's, Canada had no way to change its own constitution. The particular problem was that no one could agree on a formula for amending any new constitution. The Supreme Court was asked to rule on the legality of Trudeau changing the constitution without the consent of the provinces. The Supreme Court ruled that there was no law to prevent Ottawa from writing a new constitution but many provinces have to agree on the changes. The provinces feared that the move would give the federal government too much power. We are not just good at being brave and having determination but we’re also good at problem solving.
Lastly in the late 1800s, French business leaders and the British government had control of the Suez Canal, which provided them with a time-saving shortcut by allowing their ships to sail from Asia and India through the Middle East, thus avoiding the long trip around Africa. This arrangement was especially important to the British Empire, since it still had close ties to its colonies in Australia and India, and needed their resources to reach England quickly and cheaply. The British Empire was disintegrating; India was independent, and Britain could no longer count on a steady stream of resources from it. The Canal, however, did provide postwar Europe with a valuable commodity. Because the Canal was next to major oil supplies, it was an excellent choice for the movement of oil to Europe. In the early 1950s, the King of Egypt was overthrown and replaced by a nationalist government that emphasized its strong connections to Islam. The new government, led by President Nasser, took an aggressive anti-Israeli stand, which led to direct conflict between Egypt and Israel in 1955. In 1956, Nasser declared his intentions to nationalize the Canal, meaning that it would be under exclusive control of the Egyptian government. This would bring an end to British and French control of the Canal, and could have crippled the economy of Europe. When Israel launched a full attack in 1956, it had the support of the British and French troops. The forces made rapid progress, but the direct involvement of European powers made the war a global issue. It was Canada’s Lester B. Pearson who drafted the successful plan. By proposing that the United Nations send in a peacekeeping force consisting of troops from nations that were not involved in the conflict, Pearson found a workable approach. Pressure from the world’s superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States, eventually brought an end to the Crisis.
Therefore, the three Canadian history things that make me proud are the Second Battle of Ypres, the Canadian rights and the Suez Crisis. This shows our bravery, determination, and problem solving skills.
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