Embattled Nation

Overview

Embattled Nation explores Canada’s tumultuous wartime election of 1917 and the people and issues that made it a pivotal moment in Canadian history.

Embattled Nation explores the drama of Canada’s tumultuous wartime election. Weeks after the Vimy offensive, Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden issued a call for conscription — the forced enrollment of Canada’s men for service in the army. Most Liberals, led by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, opposed the measure, while in Quebec, a new movement emerged to fight the government. Borden resorted to unprecedented measures in order to win.

Using new sources, this book examines the roots of this divisive election. Everyone had an opinion, and an enduring record of voter turnout was recorded in 1917. Dutil and MacKenzie chronicle Prime Minister Borden’s new Union government and the means by which this new party was able to win the election. This was a nightmare election campaign, with English and French Canada bitterly divided over the question of what Canada’s role in the war should be, and, indeed, what Canada’s identity should be. The debate of one hundred years ago still resonates today.

About the Authors

Patrice Dutil

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
Patrice Dutil photo

Patrice Dutil

Patrice Dutil is a professor of politics and public administration at Ryerson University, and the president of the Champlain Society. He is the author and editor of many books on various aspects of Canadian political history and public administration, including Macdonald at 200: New Reflections and Legacies (Dundurn). He lives in Toronto.

David MacKenzie

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
David MacKenzie photo

David MacKenzie

David MacKenzie is a professor of history at Ryerson University and the author of several books on Canadian history and international relations. He is also the editor of Canada and the First World War. He lives in Toronto.