Canada was a vast empire before the First World War



Editor’s Note — This is part of an in-depth video series produced by CNN to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Editor’s Note — This is part of an in-depth video series produced by CNN to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

CNN shows you around the countries where the world’s volunteers took sides during World War I. In the second installment, they visit one of the largest empires in Africa, Canada

Canada’s influence on the course of African history would surpass any empire seen by the British or the Dutch, as well as its imperial adversary the United States.

Canada was the first European country to send troops to Africa when it sent troops to help the Abyssinian monarchy expel Ethiopian Emperor Menem II from the African Union capital of Juba in 1904.

By 1905, when the Eritrean War of Independence broke out, both Canada and the United States had sold $2 million worth of war bonds — an impressive sum by today’s standards. More than 1,000 Canadian servicemen and seamen served in the Africa campaign, and Canadian service men and women continue to serve in countries such as Somalia and Ghana, where Canada currently has a peacekeeping presence.

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