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Why did Canada declare war on Germany on Sept 10 1939?

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by tomflorida, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. tomflorida

    tomflorida Member

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    My full question is, why did Canada declare war on Germany on Sept 10 1939 and US did not?
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    My guess is that Canada was following Britain as part of its dominion status. Australia was in as of September 3, 1939. The US had no such compunction because it had not been attacked.
     
  3. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Following, yes....but not obligated to follow ;) Canada's earlier more-limited Dominion status had obligated it to do so in WWI...but the Westminster Statute of 1931 had transformed Canada into a fully sovereign state, theoretically co-equal with Britain and the other Dominions.

    Although Mackenzie King was convinced from the early '30s that Canada should play a part in any European war, as it had done in WWI, because of joint interests with and loyalties to the Mother Country rather than the WWI-style obligation...there was also considerable opposition from various parties in Canada to joining in a war abroad for a number of reasons. However, despite his convictions, he thoroughly believed that both chambers of the the Canadian parliament should debate the issue separately...which is why it took over a week after the invasion of Poland for Canada to declare war, to allow these debates to happen; after this there were various processes to be gone through, so the actual declaration wasn't until the 10th.
     
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  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Thanks. I didn't do any research, so I'm glad you supplied the reasoning. The seven day delay was a result of the debate, not a cop-out.
     
  5. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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  6. thecanadianfool

    thecanadianfool Member

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    We did it because we chose too, after the statute of westminster, we were allowed to chose whether or not to go to war. A majority of parliment voted yes to go to war and so we did! We did it because we thought we should.
     
  7. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Stylish and veeery dry, i like it!
     
  8. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    You have to remember our ties to England and the Commonwealth were still very strong. Canadians have always been loyal to our friends and I hope we never change.

    KTK
     
  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    We really weren't invited to the party until 7 Dec 41, and even then it was on such short notice. It is poor form to arrive ahead of schedule. Besides, we had a lot of big domestic problems to deal with here like the depression, isolation and a general lack of interest before getting entangled with another European War.
     
  10. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Oh we kept sending you missing you cards...nudged you on facebook many times in 40...put many a friends reunited search in... but I think you had a broadband problem at the time. We did get some scrap for gold.....Hey...I'm joking...don't hit me with facebook harrasment America.
     
  11. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    The invite was there and Canada and the rest of the world was in the depression. The large German presence in the States probably had something to do with it.

    KTK

    German American Bund - YouTube
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    More to do with the US's disinclination to get involved with European wars. Indeed the founding fathers warned against it and many felt that we shouldn't have gotten into WWI at that point in time. Canada also had a fair number of German settlers did it not? The area where my dad grew up was about a 50:50 mix of Scotts and Germans from what I recall. (Although both groups arrived in the 1800s for the most part.)
     
  13. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Public opinion in the US was massively against becoming part of a European war prior to December 7th 1941. The Gallup polling from May 1941 before showed something like 80% opposed fighting in a European conflict. In 1939 this number had been over 90%. More and more people grew in favor of fighting a war in Europe, but this was changing slowly. Pearl Harbor and Hitler's declaration of war left the US with little choice but to fight -- regardless of public opinion. I haven't seen a opinion poll asking whether the US supported a war in Europe taken after December 7th, but I imagine that the majority would have finally supported a war in Europe. Maybe OpanaPointer can come up with something
     
  14. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    It certainly did. Southern Ontario had large numbers. Kitchener (a large city about 2 hours west of Toronto) was originally called "Berlin", but was renamed during WWI in honour of Lord Kitchener. One of the towns near me has a significant German population: One of the local stories is that during the 1950s there were a large number of German women living there that frequently exchanged letters with men in Argentina, and would go to visit "relatives" down there from time to time.

    About 20 minutes from me is a camp founded by former Romanian Iron Guard members after the war, but that's another story....

    I don't know whether this has anything to do with German immigrants, but there is a town called "Swastika" up north. During WWII, the authorities renamed it to Winston (as in Winston Churchill) but the locals protested and the name was changed back. The Mitford family (known for their daughter Unity's associate with Hitler) owned a mine there before and during the war.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    You have to watch the questions carefully. For instance even in early 41 there was considerable support for our entry in the war if it looked like it was necessary to prevent Britain from looseing. However most expected Britain to win. The implication is the majority still didn't want war in late 41 but either had or were begining to recognize that it wouldn't be aviodable.
     
  16. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    Although indeed Canada have a large German immigrant population I do not believe that it was concentrated to the extent is was in the US. The east in both of our countries was the driving force and power house, more so pre-WWII. It was in the eastern US that some cities were predominantly of German extraction. Even today 50 million people in the States say that they are of German extraction, this is more people in all of Canada. I would suggest that American immigration since WWII both legal and illegal would have the largest numbers coming from Mexico and Asia. So the presence and influence of those of German extraction would of been much greater in the years leading up to WWII.

    I would also think that those who immigrated from German to the US (from ruin and starvation to the land of opportunity) would have very little interest in a war, having lived through it and the aftermath of it.

    But the American way of thinking did not embrace the Nazi way of thinking and the majority although less noisy than the Bund members wanted to support the Allies. But it is a terrible decision to send your young off to war and one that could not be made lightly.

    Fortunately for us the Japanese brought the US into the war and helped end it much sooner than if we would of had to carry on alone.

    KTK
     
  17. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    The phrasing of the question I'm referring to went something like "If you were asked to support a war between the US and Germany today, would you support it or oppose it?". I'm aware there are some discrepancies that relate to the wording of the questions. For instance, questions about materially supporting Britain usually have a slim majority in favor of it.
     

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