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Lecture

Canada and the Cold War


Department
History
Course Code
HIS263Y1
Professor
Heidi Bohaker

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HIS263 March 15
Cold War Canada
The Cold Canada: A (Very) Brief History
A term that is applied to relations between liberal countries of north America and
western Europe and communist countries of western Europe and Asia
North America competed with communist China on several levels
1945-1948, Soviets imposed dominance in several areas in eastern Europe and local
communists take over China in 1949
The US and other liberal democracies forged alliances to fight communism
Both sides said that the other was bent on world domination
The US called for the mobilization of all wills and resources against the global
communist threat
Both sides possessed nuclear weapons, so a direct confrontation would have been
catastrophic
Both focused on ideological competition and local and regional struggles
For the US, it meant that credibility was important
The US threat had to be credible in the Soviet Union
Another key principle was deterrence
Both sides aimed to keep up with the others technological advancements and the
number of weapons, particularly nuclear
Critics called this the arms race
Canada was an enthusiastic cold warrior
Canadians agreed ideologically with the United States
Most Canadians saw the war as a battle for liberal ideas
They were drawing on the experiences of 1930
Policy of appeasement
Growing US power was also a cause and consequence of Canadas participation in
the Cold War
Existing in an American sphere of influence
Canadas Cold War Consensus
Domestic events helped to solidify the Cold War approach in Canada
They helped forge the Cold War consensus a set of beliefs and practices to fight in
the Cold War
Igor Gouzenko a clerk in the Soviet embassy of Ottawa defects in the fall of 1945
Decides not to go back to the Soviet and live in Canada
He takes a whole briefcase showing a whole Soviet spy network working in Canada
and integrating into many Canadian government agencies
Probably had little effect globally
It helped to create and solidify a institutional and ideological structure of Canadas
Cold War
The story becomes public in 1946
The story sets off a Canadian red scare fear of communist infiltration
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