The Begbie Canadian History Contest, 2008
© The Begbie Contest Society

Acknowledgements :
Lombard Graphics, Winnipeg
Ikon Office Solutions, Winnipeg
Canada’s National History Society
The BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association
Canadian Parents for French – BC Chapter
St. George’s School, Vancouver
Burnaby School Board
Ontario History and Social Science Teachers’ Association
Nova Scotia Social Studies Teachers’ Association

Riverside Secondary School, Coquitlam
Scott Robinson, Principal
Raquel Chin

University of British Columbia
Stephanie Anderson-Redmond, Mike Denos, Dr. Peter Seixas

Library and Archives Canada
Brenda Campbell

Web site
Doug Dobie

The contest was prepared and/or reviewed by:
Murray Bowman, Rick Cooper, Ed Harrison, Charles Hou, Cynthia Hou, Fred Lepkin, Larry O’Malley, Rob Sandhu and Gordon Smith.


(Suggested writing time 25 minutes; value 25% of your mark)

Each question is followed by four possible answers marked A, B, C and D. Select the best answer.
When you have decided on your choice, record your answer in Section I of the answer booklet.


1. The cartoonist
A. believes that treaties were too generous.
B. takes pride in living in a Christian country.
C. is critical of the government’s treatment of native peoples.
D. believes that Macdonald should increase payments to the contractor.


2. The cartoonist is saying that Canada
A. should join the USA.
B. is able to defend itself.
C. is being given to the USA.
D. is in danger of being lost by Britain.

3. “They [the United States] coveted Florida, and seized it; they coveted Louisiana, and purchased it; they coveted Texas and stole it; and then they picked a quarrel with Mexico, which ended with their getting California ...had we not the strong arm of England over us, we would not now have had  a separate existence.”
Thomas D’Arcy McGee, 9 February 1865

McGee is referring to this American concept:
A. federalism.
B. reciprocity.
C. Fenian raids.
D. Manifest Destiny.

4. In this cartoon Conservative prime minister  Sir John A. Macdonald is the man on the left and Liberal opposition leader Edward Blake is the man on the right.
The cartoon was drawn to
A. protest the cost of building the Canadian Pacific Railway.
B. praise Blake for his rigorous opposition to the construction of the railway.
C. praise Macdonald for his vision and determination in building the railway.
D. show that Blake could have built the railway for less money than Macdonald.

5. The cartoonist believes that Laurier and Borden are acting
A. in the national interest.
B. on behalf of big business.
C. on behalf of farmers.
D. on behalf of western provinces.

6. “It can hardly be expected that we shall put 400,000 or 500,000 men in the field and willingly accept the position of having no more voice and receiving no more consideration than if we were toy automata. Any person cherishing  such an expectation harbors an unfortunate and even dangerous delusion.”
Letter from Robert Borden to the Canadian high commissioner in the UK, 1916    

“Mr. Prime Minister, I want to tell you that if ever there is a repetition of the battle of Passchendaele [a battle in which many lives were needlessly wasted], not a Canadian soldier will leave the shores of Canada so long as the Canadian people entrust the government of the country to my hands.”
Statement by Robert  Borden to British P.M. Lloyd George, London, 1918

These statements by Prime Minister Robert Borden are good examples of Canadian
A. militarism.
B. nationalism.
C. regionalism.
D. isolationism.

7. The cartoonist was inspired by controversy surrounding this issue:
A. prohibition.
B. free trade.
C. recycling.
D. gun control.

8. This advertisement was drawn to
A. educate Canadians about economics.
B. oppose Canada’s participation in a future war.
C. support Canada’s participation in a future war.
D. encourage government spending to end the Depression.

9. Study the table listing unemployment rates in four countries. According to the table, the Depression
A. affected Germany more than any other country.
B. hit the United Kingdom more than Canada or the USA.
C. hit Canada and the US more than Germany or the United Kingdom.
D. affected Germany and the United Kingdom more than Canada and the USA.

10. The Allies were not ready to open a second front in 1942 but they did mount a commando raid on
A. Italy.
B. France.
C. the Low Countries.
D. Norway. 

11. For most Canadians the most fearful part of Hitler’s “New Order” would be its emphasis on
A. discipline.
B. conscription.
C. indoctrination.
D. corporal punishment.

12. This cartoon most likely reflects the views of which political party? 
A. Liberal Party.
B. Communist Party.
C. Progressive Conservative Party.
D. Co-operative Commonwealth Federation.

13. “So long as Communism remains a menace to the free world, it is vital to the defence of freedom to maintain military strength on the side of freedom.”
Prime Minister W. L. M. King, 1948

“Canada and other free enterprise countries now know that the only real hope for security lies in a common resolution to stand together against aggression.”
Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, 1949

King and St. Laurent are both referring to the
A. United Nations.
B. North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
C. North American Air Defence.
D. North American Free Trade Association

14. In 1972 John Munro [right] was the minister of health and welfare. This cartoon refers to former prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s tendency to
A. be soft on criminals.
B. seek political consensus.
C. make firm pronouncements.
D. avoid taking positions on controversial issues.

15. This recruitment song was most likely written in
A. 1899.
B. 1918. 
C. 1939. 
D. 1945. 

16. This poster was issued to encourage enlistment in the armed forces. It does so primarily by appealing to
A. imperial pride.
B. military pride.   
C. national pride.
D. international pride.

17. These postage stamps were issued to commemorate the Royal Visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939. The stamps and royal visit were designed  primarily to strengthen
A. the monarchy.
B. family values.
C. Canadian unity.
D. loyalty to Britain.

18. One important part of the settlement process not addressed by this poster is the
A. supply of land.
B. availability of various resources.
C. hardships involved in homesteading.
D. cost involved in acquiring farmland.

19. This pamphlet promotes
A. medicare.
B. birth control.
C. old age pensions.
D. crop insurance.

20. This illustration appeared in the Georgia Straight (a Vancouver underground newspaper) in 1970. The artist illustrates
A. opposition to Canada’s new flag.
B. opposition to the Americanization of Canada.
C. support for the American annexation of Canada.
D. support for Canada’s involvement in the Vietnam war.

21. This illustration was published in
A. 1915.
B. 1935.
C. 1945.

“Ships Whistle, Cars Honk” The Vancouver Sun, 25 April 1959
“New Era Begins” The Gazette, Montreal, 25 April 1959
“Open to World Traffic” The Calgary Herald, 25 April 1959

22. These headlines all deal with the inauguration of  the
A. BC Ferries.
B. Panama Canal.
C. Rideau Canal.  
D. St. Lawrence Seaway.

23. A worker in Ottawa is shown repairing a disfigured street sign on Boulevard de Gaulle. In anticipation of General de Gaulle’s visit to Ottawa in 1967 picketers at the parliament buildings protested his visit with signs that read “De Gaulle is a communist,” “De Gaulle is old and useless,” and “Keep your nose in France.”

These protests were inspired by
A. de Gaulle’s decision to leave NATO.
B. a speech made by de Gaulle in Montreal.
C. the size of the French pavilion at Expo 67.
D. de Gaulle’s decision to visit Quebec before Ottawa.

24. The reason for the surge in American immigration to Canada was
A. the war in Vietnam.
B. civil rights unrest in the United States.
C. the rate of exchange on the American dollar.
D. employment and investment opportunities in Canada.

25. John Munro was the minister of Indian Affairs in 1982. This cartoon suggests that native self-government is
A. likely. 
B. possible.
C. unlikely.
D. imminent.


(Suggested writing time 15 minutes; value 15% of your mark)

What positions did these cartoonists take regarding Depression era relief?

Document A

Document B

(Suggested writing time 80 minutes; value 60% of your mark)

The purpose of this section is to test your ability to analyze and interpret historical documents. To complete this task successfully, consider the following steps and suggested time allowances:
(1) Read the background information and the instructions (5 minutes).
(2) Read and analyze documents 1–10 (20 minutes).
(3) Decide on a thesis and prepare an outline for your essay (10 min.).
(4) Write your essay in Section III of the answer booklet (40 minutes).
(5) Proofread your essay (5 minutes).
Use as many of the documents as possible.
Only the essay will be marked.

Background Information

Prior to the 1950s there was little legislative protection for many minority groups in Canada, who were frequently discriminated against in areas such as restaurants, hotel and rental accommodation, employment opportunities, housing, education and even barber shops. Appeals to courts often failed as the courts often supported those who discriminated against people of different religions, races and ethnic groups. After the Second World War governments passed laws protecting people from such discrimination.


Write an essay explaining why you think the government should  or should not have used legislation to end discrimination after the Second World War.  Be sure to indicate where you found the evidence to support your thesis (Documents 1, 2, 3 etc. – cite as D1, D2, D3 etc.).

Document 1

Whereas...the rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world... and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind...

The General Assembly Proclaims [that]...Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration without discrimination of any kind... such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion....

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the General Assembly of the United Nations, 1948.

Document 2

If you treat a man with scorn, For the place where he was born, Or the color of his skin, Or the church he worships in ––

Thats what’s called DISCRIMINATION, In a union, or a nation....

In stockyard, railroad, plant and mill, The union battles were up-hill Because some workers, dumb as you,  Said, “Keep out Negro, Catholic, Jew.” 

Instead of helping one another, Worker battled working brother. And when they added up the cost, Strikes were broken, battles lost....

Good unions have to meet the need Of every color, race and creed ...

For men with kids who cry for bread Might break a strike to see them fed, Unless they know that when it’s done They’ll get their share of all that’s won...

Discrimination Costs You Money,” National Labor Service, New York, NY, n.d.
Brochure distributed in Canada by Canadian Labor Reports.

Document 3

Ironically, Dresden Ontario’s chief claim to fame is that it served as the terminus of the “underground railway” granting refuge to scores of Negroes fleeing U.S. The Negro population descend from those refugees, one of whom was Rev. Josiah Henson, the original “Uncle Tom” of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous novel... His direct descendant, “Tex” Henson, a paratrooper veteran and local hero, left Dresden soon after his discharge when a restaurant refused to sell him a cup of coffee....

“It makes me real mad having to go through the whole business [telling Negroes they aren’t wanted in his restaurant],”  McKay confessed to me. “Nothing else bothers me as much... Do you know that for three days afterward I get raging mad every time I see a Negro ....

One young man [a Negro]: “When I’m refused service, I see red. I don’t feel right for a week.” A young woman in her 20s: “I’ve lived here all my life. So has my father and grandfather. This town belongs to us as well as the whites.”

Sidney Katz, “Jim Crow [discrimination] Lives in Dresden,” Maclean’s, 1 November 1949.

Document 4
Are you in favor of a licensing by-law which would restrain restaurants from refusing to serve customers, disregarding race, color or creed?

“Dresden Votes 517-108 Against Forcing Cafes to Serve Colored Folk,”
The Toronto Daily Star, 6 December 1949, regarding a municipal referendum.

Document 5

Representatives of nearly 70 organizations... will meet Premier Frost today to present a brief urging passage of legislation to deal with racial and religious discrimination... Association for Civil Liberties; United Nations association; National Student Christian Movement; Ontario Provincial Federation of Labor; Canadian Jewish Congress; Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Toronto Buddhist church; Commonwealth Youth Movement; Canadian Legion... Mrs. Lang, on behalf of the National Council of Women, said her organization worked on the principle of the Golden Rule––that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

“Seventy Organizations Demand Law to End Racial Discrimination,”
Toronto Daily Star, 24 January 1950

Document 6  

Document 7 

For the Advancement of Coloured People
Windsor, Ontario
November 16, 1950

Dear Friends:

Would you like to be able to enter any restaurant or place of amusement without a thought of being refused service?

Would you like your children to have equal opportunities for better jobs, higher education, and full privileges of citizenship?...

One thing is certain. Acting TOGETHER... all 2,000 of us, a lot can be accomplished, by education, example, by pressure if necessary, by active legislation, by publicity.

The Italians, the Poles, French-Canadians, Jews, Russians, Ukrainians... almost every nationality or group has its organization. We have none. ...



Document 8

Document 9 

As a career soldier 20 years with the Canadian army...I’m all boiled up over your article on the treatment given Miss Gladys Grizzle and Julian Brooks in Dresden restaurants. Anyone born in this country is a Canadian and entitled to all the privileges. The people of Dresden should close down the place that refused to serve these Canadians... In the last war I had Negroes under my command––had to bury two who forgot to duck. If Miss Grizzle and Mr. Brooks come to my home... they are assured of a 100% Canadian welcome.

Letter to the Editor, Toronto Telegram, D. D. Harvey, Camp Borden, Ontario,
15 September 1954

Document 10

In 1949... [Dresden citizens upheld] five-to-one the refusal of restaurants to serve Negroes... I demanded to know the difference in spirit between Dresden, Ontario, and Dresden, Germany, during the reign of Nazism...

Sundry Jewish nabobs objected to my Dresden pilgrimage. “Our job is Jews. What have we to do with the Negro problem?”... I retorted that the... appetite for someone to hate grows by what it feeds on; a Negro-hater “graduates” to Jew-baiter.

Abraham L. Feinberg, Storm the Gates of Jericho, memoirs, 1964

Answer Sheet