Drawing on contemporaneous accounts of the First World War from Canada and the United States, freelance journalist Melina Druga offers readers an insightful exploration of early-20th-century attitudes toward the conflict, in A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WWI.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in 1914 Sarajevo plunged the globe into a massive war — one that would completely reorganize life as we once knew it. Little more than a month after the Austro-Hungarian heir’s death, Great Britain formally joined the fray with a declaration of war against Germany. And, far across the Atlantic, the costs of international engagement weighed heavily on two neighboring countries.
On the surface, the United States’ and Canada’s predominant viewpoints on the war served only to magnify pre-existing tensions between the nations. Yet news reporting from either side of the U.S.-Canadian border reveals deeply divided reactions among public officials and private citizens alike. Despite the country’s longstanding commitment to neutrality, many major U.S. newspapers sang profiteering’s praises. In the north, Canadian reporting divided along party lines as debates raged over whether the nation should fight alongside Great Britain or remain neutral in the face of British involvement.
1914 is the first installment of the A Tale of Two Nations series.