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© 2019 by Richmond Catholic Theatre

                          a 501(c) 3 organization

Manitoba, Canada - Plains of Cananda

Located in the interior of Canada, the Prairies or Plans stretch from Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains to the low Artic and 49th parallel. Populations have immigrated to this area in 6 waves, from prehistory to the present. Beginning in the mid-1800s, the third immigration wave consisting mostly of British heritage Canadians.

 

The Manitoba Act founded the province of Manitoba, Canada, effective July 15, 1870..  

Due to its latitudinal positioning, Manitoba experiences a significant annual temperature range, with very cold winters and warm summers. Cold, dry arctic and maritime polar air blow into the region during the winter, followed by mild, humid tropical air sweeping up from the south. The majority of the area's annual rainfall occurs during those summer months, with the remaining third from snowfall.

60% of the annual precipitation is during the peak growing season for grains -- May-July -- with a dry August and September, making harvest of cereal grains ideal.

Grain farming remained the predominate agricultural focus at the turn of the 20th century.  Multi-crop farms were also successful, and quality livestock and plant breeders excelled. 

The boom ended with the depression of 1913, resulting in an increase in freight rates and a sharp decrease in land and wheat prices. Moreover, when the Panama Canal opened in 1914, the transportation supremacy that the region previously enjoyed ended.  It was now cheaper to move goods through the canal than overland.

Then, during World War I, war industry demands coupled with the stopping of immigration and the drafting of soldiers sent wages and prices for goods through the roof. This inflation continued to rise, unchecked, and by 1918 there were serious problems - real wages (how far a dollar could actually get someone) dropped and working conditions deteriorated, sparking a radicalism among farmers and urban workers.  New political parties formed and many urban workers went on strike.

In 1916, in the middle of World War I, Manitoba became the first Canadian province to grant women's suffrage. 

Immediately postwar, there was a depression, but an industrial boom quickly followed in the late 1920s. So much that by 1928, industrial production defeated agricultural production. The agricultural depression continued through the 1930s, made worse by drought, pests and low world-wide wheat prices. 

Source:

T.R. Weir, The Canadian Encyclopedia, s.v. "Manitoba", last modified January 22, 2019, https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/manitoba