Great War Veterans and the Winnipeg General Strike

Veterans hoping to find prosperity and opportunity in peacetime were to be sorely disappointed, returning to a Canada whose social and economic landscapes had been dramatically altered by the exigencies of the war and which posed great challenges for reintegration. While Great War veterans across the whole of Canada faced these difficulties, those who found themselves in Winnipeg faced an added challenge as they rapidly took on a central importance in a two month long, city-wide general strike.

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The First World War and the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

On May 15th, 1919, the Winnipeg General Strike began. Though numbers vary, an estimated 30,000 strikers from all walks of life shut down the city until the strike collapsed under government pressure in late June [1]. A strike of this magnitude did not emerge from a vacuum; it was, in many ways, a byproduct of the First World War and the instability the conflict wrought on Canadian society.

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