Canada’s History: Richard Bedford Bennett
Richard Bennett was a prime minister of Canada from 1930 to 1935, who had great wealth. Bennett was elected into the office in 1930, this was due to an accusation with the previous prime minister. This accusation was based off the fact that he had no idea how to deal with depression; and majority of canadians agreed, that he didn’t have any clue how to handle the great depression well.. Richard had a large layout for canada with many plans for canada. He was determined to change the economical issues , and political issues.
Richard won the 1935 election,and became prime minister.
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This was bennetts chance to start his reform for Canada.. On January 3 of 1935 “Bennett made a coast to coast radio announcement stating “I am for reform, and to my mind, reform means government intervention, it means government control and regulation, it means the end of laissez-faire.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._B._Bennett
As Bennetts reform was developing, he made plans to start the ideas he had for this “New Deal”. This was occurring right after the U.S. President “promised a new deal for Americans”. This supposed new deal was to include such promises and laws that would regulate the hours of work, start to provide minimum wage, have an improved working conditions , include insurance against sickness, industrial accident, and employment Relief Camps. Relief camps were developed in 1932. They were designed for thousands of homeless men, who were unemployed and desperate for work.
The job of a relief worker took part in tasks such as building or developing bridges and roads, clear cutting trees, digging through dirt and digging ditches, and worked on other projects. Relief worker salaries were kept low. THey were paid less than even the lowest paying job in Canada. Many Canadian families starved because of these issues with salaries.
There was a large increase of malnutrition and disease among the children of these relief camp workers. Richard Bennett strongly believed that all governments should not be allowed to interfere with any plans made by a prime minister. Bennett also felt strongly about the restriction of government being involved in the free enterprise system. Richard made many efforts to control and regulate the economy. Bennett also had involved traditional policies. Bennett had been working to elevate costs to unbelievable groundbreaking levels, in hopes to change outcomes in Canada markets. Richard Bennett had convinced Britain to offer Canada some of their own preferential trading opportunities.
These efforts unfortunately, failed. Not only did they not work or have great outcomes: they did not hold off the economic hemorrhage that was occuring .There had been many promises for the future of the generations from Richard Bennett outlook, like a new taxation form. Bennett had also promised the changes like insurance for people and families. He said he would accomodate and assist their needs, with a change in health care. Bennett also wanted to regulate and correct working regulations to have more accurate working regulations.
The generation also planned to reach for higher social reforms, as did bennet; all of these plans and ideas were to be improved or perfected by bennett. The working conditions were to be brought up and given a better layout. .Sadly Bennetts ideas collapsed within his time as prime minister before he could complete them. Richard Bennetts party was tightly associated with the horrible outcomes from the great depression. They had a fair understanding with the hardships of the Depression. Bennett had little to no popularity unlike the Roosevelts to be able to sell the plan.
The roosevelts had proposed they could truly reach these goals with the right people, and money. Therefore an election was called in October of 1935 where bennet would go up against the roosevelts in order to fight for the position. Bennett was put up against his opponent, Mackenzie King.. Mackenzie King had presented the idea of having “King or Chaos.” This caused a massive destruction for Bennett and his plans to stay prime minister. There was great let down and failure for Richard. The failure was caused because the canadians chose Mackenzie King, that decision therefore handed Mackenzie a majority of government.
Although Bennett’ was out of office and his new deal of legislation was being challenged. Bennett was at the Supreme Court and the court discovered that the most important parts of Bennett’s new deal were not in accordance with either the political constitution, or any rules. To answer the question;” Was Bennett the primary figure in his own demise or were there other historical developments and forces that influenced the rejection of his New Deal?
Bennett had a huge impact on his own downfall. In the beginning Bennett had a great chance of changing the economics and fixing the way the government worked, he sadly failed as he was “making progress”. Although Bennett had a great plan to change everything and correct the social and economic parts of canada, his strong demands, decisions, and rules caused a severe bombed affect on his wants. There were many things that Bennett wanted to do, to help with the great depression. His decisions only really made a larger impact on the great depression of the 1920-1930’s.
There was a few political issues that affected Bennetts plans to fix everything, such as being challenged and limited with what he could change and alter. Those restrictions may have been for the best, and maybe Bennetts downfall was truly for the better of the generation and time period; despite his hard work and dedication.