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Heritage Trails

Alberta Elections: Pre-1905

Wilfred Laurier's Liberal government creates two new provinces: Alberta and Saskatchewan. An interim administration led by Premier Alexander Rutherford is appointed to govern Alberta.


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Alberta Elections: 1905

Alexander Rutherford's Liberals win Alberta's first election. The division of ridings favours northern Alberta, where the Liberals have the most support.


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Alberta Elections: 1905 to 1909

Alexander Rutherford sets up Alberta's bearuocracy. Economic prosperity and the establishment of Alberta Government Telephones helps Rutherford's Liberal government win the provincial election in 1909.


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Alberta Elections: 1909 Rutherford, Reliability and Railroads

Alexander Rutherford campaigns on the slogan, ?Rutherford, Reliability and Railways? in 1909. The provincial Conservatives oppose his government's spending practices, particularly the subsidization of railway building projects in the province.


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Alberta Elections: Rutherford Resigns Over Railway Scandal

Alexander Rutherford resigns after it is discovered that American speculators have profitted from trading government bonds extended to the Alberta Great Waterways Railway. Despite this setback, the provincial Liberal government, now led by Arthur Sifton, continues to enjoy popularity as Alberta's cities and rural areas expand rapidly.


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Alberta Elections: Premier Sifton Returns Liberals to Office

Between 1909 and 1913, Alberta's cities and towns, its transportation and communication links and its coal and agricultural industies expand rapidly. A grassroots political movement under the banner of the United Farmers of Alberta emerges, but does not challenge the provincial Liberal government in the election of 1913.


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Alberta Elections: 1917 World War I and the Rise of the UFA and Non-Partisan League

During World War I, Alberta's rural areas expand, while the province's cities decline. The United Farmers of Alberta and other lobby groups become more active. The Non-Partisan League brings together independent persons seeking election to the Alberta Legislature.


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Alberta Elections: 1917 Prohibition, Women?s Rights and the Liberal Return Under Arthur Sifton

In 1915, through the influence of temperence lobby groups, Albertans vote in favour of Prohibition. The Liberals are returned to office following the provincial election in 1917, joined by two women from outside the party. Over 6000 Albertans die in World War I.


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Alberta Elections: 1921 Returning Veterans and Labour Strife

The end of World War I brings unemployment and labour unrest as returning veterans compete for jobs taken by new immigrants. The United Farmers of Alberta, led by Henry Wise Wood, decide to run candidates in the next provincial election.


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Alberta Elections: 1921 The UFA Topples the Liberal Government

Despite Henry Wise Wood's opposition, the United Farmers of Alberta decide to run candidates in the 1921 provincial election. To many people's surprise, they win the election. They eventually encourage Herbert Greenfield to run in a bye election and become Premier.


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Alberta Elections: 1926 Farmer Herbert Greenfield Turfed as UFA Stumbles Through Term in Office

The inexperienced United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) come to power in 1921, when the province is undergoing economic decline. In response, the UFA brings in new talent to help run its administration, including a new Premier, John Brownlee. He leads the party from 1924, as Alberta's economy begins to recover.


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Alberta Elections: 1926 Brownlee Leads UFA into Second Term

Improvements in trade, technology and grain handling bring prosperity to Alberta's agricultural sector in the mid 1920's. The United Farmers of Alberta are reelected in 1926, amid this time of prosperity and opposition to the established "eastern" parties.


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Alberta Elections: 1930 Depression Hits Alberta and Nativism Gives Rise to KKK

In the late 1920's, the United Farmers of Alberta under John Brownlee sell the government's money-losing northern railways and achieve provincial control of natural resources. Increasing intolerance of ethnic minorities gives rise to the Ku Klux Klan and other fundamentalist groups in Alberta.


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Alberta Elections: 1930 John Brownlee?s UFA Wins Third Term in Office

The stock market crash in 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression do not undermine support for the governing United Farmers of Alberta (UFA). Instead, Albertans view the Depression as the result of outside forces, including the federal government and "eastern" banks. They reaffirm their faith in the UFA to control these forces in the provincial election in 1930.


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Alberta Elections: 1936 William Aberhart?s Social Credit Topples UFA as Alberta Suffers from Great Depression

The ideology of Social Credit, calling for the recirculation of money tied up by the world's banks, is born out of the Great Depression. In Alberta, William Aberhart and his lieutenants spread this ideology, combined with Christian fundamentalism. Their new Social Credit Party wipes out the United Farmers of Alberta in the provincial election in 1935.


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Alberta Elections: 1936 William Aberhart?s Social Credit Topples UFA as Alberta Suffers from Great Depression

With no end to the Great Depression, and following a scandal involving Premier John Brownlee, the United Farmers of Alberta lose much of their support. The disenchanted electorate in Alberta are ready for a radical political solution to the Depression.


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Alberta Elections: 1940 Alberta Bankrupt, Press Act Scandal and Backbenchers Revolt As Aberhart Abandons Social Credit Tenets

The Social Credit Party, elected to the Alberta Legislature in 1935, is mostly unsuccessful in passing bills intended to uphold its ideology. Premier William Aberhart forsakes the party's ideology in return for financial assistance from Ottawa in 1938.


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Alberta Elections: 1940 Royal Visit, Fascism and World War II Put Aberhart?s Socred?s Back in Office

Alberta's economy begins to recover in the late 1930's, as the prospect of war looms. This serves to raise support for the governing Social Credit Party, despite its deviation from Social Credit ideology, as it heads into the provincial election in 1940.


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Alberta Elections: 1944 Economy Flourishes During World War II

Alberta's economy booms during World War II, as the province contributes much of its manpower and resources to the allied war effort. While jobs are abundant, rationing limits what goods people can spend their extra money on.


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Alberta Elections: 1944 Aberhart Dies and Ernest Manning Leads Social Credit to Fourth Term in Office

Following William Aberhart's death in 1943, Ernest Manning takes over as leader of the Social Credit Party and Premier of Alberta. The youthful, straightforward man appeals to voters' wishes in the 1944 provincial election. Before the election, his party embarks on a program to reintegrate war veterans into Alberta society.


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Alberta Elections: 1948 Leduc Strike, Alberta Debt-Free

New opportunities created for veterans and an oil boom contribute to Alberta's economy following World War II. The Social Credit government benefits from this prosperity, but its leader, Ernest Manning, faces opposition from within the party over his abandonment of Social Credit ideology.


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Alberta Elections: 1948 Manning Purges Party, Runs Good Administration, Fights ?Godless? Communists and Wins Socred?s Fifth Term in Office

Ernest Manning purges his Social Credit Party of ideological Douglasites opposed to the world's banks, including Jewish bankers. He speaks out against "godless communism" on his weelky radio program and during the 1948 provincial election campaign, which his party easily wins.


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People and Places: Parlby Lake

Brothers Edward and Walter Parlby are "remittance men" from England who have settled in the Beaver Lake District, near a lake to be named for them. A neighbour of the Parlbys returns from a trip to England in 1896 with a family friend, Irene Marriott. She and Walter fall in love and marry the following year.


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People and Places: Irene Parlby and the ?Persons Case?

Irene Parlby gladly leaves behind her upper middle-class lifestyle in England for a less structured life in rural Alberta. She becomes active in politics at various levels and helps achieve the Dower Act in 1917 and the legal recognition of women as persons in Canada in 1929.


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Alberta Elections: 1952 Oil Boom Continues, Urbanization Gives Manning a Smooth Run

Alberta's oil and gas industry expands greatly after World War II, with the building of new wellheads, pipelines and refineries. New towns develop and Alberta's cities expand rapidly, while many of the province's farms are consolidated.


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Alberta Elections: 1952 Alberta?s Golden Age Manning Wins Sixth Term for Social Credit

The Alberta Social Credit government expands its departments and services around 1950, fed by the province's ever-expanding oil industry. There is little opposition to the party as it heads into the 1952 provincial election.


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Alberta Elections: 1955 Interest-Free Loan Scandal within Manning?s Cabinet

Supermarkets, rock-and-roll and other phenomena reflect Albertans' increasing affluence during the mid 1950's. The Social Credit government tries to gain control of the province's American-dominated oil and gas industry in part by instituting an Oil and Gas Conservation Board.


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Alberta Elections: 1955 Ernest Manning Wins Seventh Term for Social Credit

Reports alleging that certain cabinet ministers were getting interest-free loans from the Alberta Treasury Branches weaken support for Ernest Manning's Social Credit government. He calls an inquiry and an early election in 1955 to clear these ministers of any wrongdoing and to divert attention from this issue.


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Alberta Elections: 1959 Prosperity at Home, Communism Abroad and the Threat of Nuclear Destruction

Continuing prosperity in Alberta through the late 1950's brings increasing urbanization and the rise of the automobile. The spread of communism and nuclear testing encourages the further development of education in the province. Out of this era grows a younger generation unwilling to conform to their parents' lifestyles.


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Alberta Elections: 1959 Rise of Conservatism

The rise of conservatism poses little threat to Alberta's governing Social Credit Party in the 1959 provincial election. Ernest Manning stays committed to government restraint, as well as his religious fundamentalist beliefs.


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Alberta Elections: 1963 Land of Prosperity, Expansion, Oil Royalties and Education

Fear of nuclear holocaust and optimism surrounding the development of the province's oil and natural gas reserves and its educational facilities dominate the minds of Albertans during the early 1960's. This contributes to the success of Ernest Manning?s Social Credit Party as it heads into the 1963 provincial election.


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Alberta Elections: 1963 Grain Sales to China and Fear of Pollution Predictable Manning Wins Eighth Term for Socreds

The Social Credit Party wins a commanding majority in the Alberta Legislature following the 1963 provincial election. The general public are content with the party's solid administration through this period of economic prosperity.


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Alberta Elections: 1967 Age of Radicalism U of A Teach-in with Manning

In spite of continued economic prosperity in Alberta, baby-boomers begin to challenge the "establishment" of the late 1960's, including the province's longstanding Social Credit government. They voice their opinions at "teach-ins" at Alberta's rapidly expanding universities.


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Alberta Elections: 1967 Manning?s Socreds Win, But Progressive Conservatives Under Peter Lougheed Win Six Opposition Seats

Alberta's Social Credit Party faces new opposition in the provincial election of 1967. The younger, seemingly more professional Progressive Conservatives, led by Peter Lougheed, appeal to urban voters, who make up over eighty percent of the province's population. The new party takes six seats in the election to become the Official Opposition.


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Alberta Elections: 1971 Ernest Manning Resigns; Harry Strom Takes Over Rise of Age of Professionalism

Harry Strom takes over as leader of Alberta's Social Credity Party when Premier Ernest Manning resigns in 1968. The party looses support to the Progressive Conservatives, who better reflect voters' new lifestyles and outlook.


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Alberta Elections: 1971 Socreds Lose, End of Dynasty Peter Lougheed?s Progressive Conservatives Win Election

Peter Lougheed's Progressive Conservatives defeat the Social Credit government in the 1971 Alberta election. Despite continued economic prosperity, Albertans are ready for a change in government.


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Alberta Elections: 1975 Oil Crisis of 1973 Creates Boom Economy in Alberta

Peter Lougheed's Progressive Conservatives come to power in Alberta in 1971, just before the OPEC embargo sends oil prices skyrocketing. The resulting wave of prosperity attracts many people to the province and encourages the further development of Alberta's oil resources. The government expands services to meet the province's increasing needs.


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Alberta Elections: 1975 National Energy Program Lougheed Fights Trudeau, Raises Oil Revenues and Wins Election for PC?s

The Progressive Conservative government in Alberta expands its services in the early 1970's as oil royalties fill the provincial coffers. Pierre Trudeau intervenes to help those not benefitting from the high oil prices, but faces stiff opposition from the Alberta government.


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Alberta Elections: 1979 Alberta Heritage Trust Fund

The Alberta Progressive Conservatives create the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund to reinvest the province's extra money. A feud between Peter Lougheed and Pierre Trudeau over control of the province's natural resources contributes to the Premier's reelection and the Prime Minister's defeat in 1979.


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Alberta Elections: 1979 Lougheed Wins Again

The Fort McMurray oil-sands mega-project and the skylines of Calgary and Edmonton reflect the period of economic prosperity in Alberta during the late 1970's. The National Energy Program, introduced in 1980, and declining international oil prices discourage new oil developments in Alberta and lead to economic recession.


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Rutherford House: Building an Official Premier?s Residence

Alexander Rutherford commissions the building of an official Premier's residence in 1909. The house is designed to host dignitaries visiting Edmonton. Rutherford resigns as Premier before he moves into his new home in 1911, and it becomes his family's private residence.


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Rutherford House: Construction

Rutherford House is designed to impress people, as well as to host large groups. It is fitted with modern utilities.


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Allan Merick Jeffers Designs Alberta Legislative Building

Allan Merrick Jeffers replaces Edward Hopkins as Alberta's provincial architect. He redesigns Alberta's Legislature in the Ecole de Beaux Arts style.


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Rutherford House: Mrs. Rutherford?s ?at Homes? on the Tea Party Circuit

Alexander Rutherford's wife Mattie hosts prestigous tea parties at their house, called "at homes". These important social occasions are governed by unspoken rules of etiquette.


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Rutherford House: Moving Up the Social Ladder, Circa 1915

"At homes", such as those hosted by Mattie Rutherford, are opportunities for women to move up the social ladder. Informative conversations take place and acquaintances are formed at these tea parties.


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Rutherford House: Christmas Teas, Church and Hockey in 1915

Alexander and Mattie Rutherford celebrate Christmas in their traditional Protestant fashion, and they contribute much to charities at this time of year. Popular activities at Christmastime include skating and hockey, and many greeting cards are exchanged.


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Rutherford House: Children Cecil and Hazel

Cecil and Hazel Rutherford introduce their parents to modern music and dancing in their teenage years and at the University of Alberta. Hazel also participates in the Founder?s Day Party for university graduates.


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Rutherford House: Life of Hazel and Husband

After a long courtship, Hazel Rutherford marries her father's associate, Stanley McCuaig. Together, they contribute to various social and professional groups in Edmonton.


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Rutherford House: Selling Rutherford House

Following the death of his wife Mattie in 1939, Alexander Rutherford sells their house to the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. The fraternity live here until the late 1960's, when the house becomes threatened by the expanding University of Alberta.


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Rutherford House: Demolition or Resoration

The University of Alberta Women's Club and others organize to save Rutherford House from demolition. A partnership is signed between the university and the provincial government to operate the building as a museum.


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