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Canada at the Cold War.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George

CANADA AT THE COLD WAR 1945-1957 INTRODUCTION •This era is known as the Golden Age of Canadian foreign policy -- striding on the world stage with much more of a presence • The government in power had a mentality of internationalism •The is an era in which Canada itself was doing really well -- whereas in the 19 century there was a lot of debate about the country’s future •A forward-thinking, very positive period for most Canadians •Overshadowing all of this is the Cold War, 1945-1991 • The prospect of nuclear war feared many -- atomic bombs dropped in Japan in August ushered in the nuclear age •There was a growing threat of communism and nuclear war Martin, Pearson, and St. Laurent THE C OLD W AR B EGINS , 1945-1947 •The United States of America and the Soviet Union were not on an equal footing at the beginning of the Cold War CANADA AT THE COLD WAR 1945-1957 •At the end of the second world War, United States of America was responsible for about half of all the world’s manufactured goods •The Soviets had lost 25 million people -- had to uproot entire cities during the German invasion •Thought they had the largest army, the country was still in shambles •FDR believed that the United States of America and the Soviet Union could get along with each other -- this all changed when Truman succeeded him •After Truman took over, he took a harder line with the Soviets •Truman was accused of practicing Atomic Diplomacy -- a means of threatening the Soviet Union This is where Soviet suspicion begins • •Winston Churchill in the United States of America in which he said that an Iron Curtain had descended over Europe, separating East from West •The United States of America took up the Truman Doctrine of 1947 -- an announcement that America would do whatever was necessary to support free peoples everywhere who might be subjected to Communism •Stalin did not have uniformed control over all Communist territories •The premise of the Truman doctrine was that the United States of America would supply material and economic aid in areas that were more susceptible to communism P OSTWAR C ANADA •Canada ended the war with a population of 12 million people -- by the 1950s the population reached 18 million •Growing 30% every 10 years •This growth in population is mostly natural increase, not from immigration -- the baby boom •Unemployment was very low •The country was in relatively good shape •A million new housing united had been created during this period •Many canadians were living the dream of financial independence •Great deal of social pressure to fit in -- the suburbs seemed to reinforce that •Social values were very conservative •If you were apart from the mainstream, you would have been suspect C ANADIAN D IPLOMACY IN 1945 •This is period that adheres to the Functional Principle •The canadian position was that things ought to be functional and proportional •Second principle, Helpful Fixing, went along with the Functional Principle During the liberal era, helpful fixing applied to what the government was trying to • do -- diffusing conflict, doing good •This was a part of Canada’s global identity •The DEA continued to expand -- it had representation in most of the world capitals CANADA AT THE COLD WAR 1945-1957 •Canada also assumed membership in the United Nations •The UN was the best hope for peace •Canada went all in with the UN, unlike the League of Nations THE G OUZENKO A FFAIR, EPTEMBER 1945 Igor Gouzenko was a clerk at the soviet embassy in Ottawa • •He defected to Canada -- he revealed of Soviet spy rings •Gouzenko was going to be sent back to Russia -- afraid of going back home and “disappear” •September 5, 1945 -- he left the embassy at the end of the work day with documents that revealed documents that dealt with Soviet spying -- he tried to give these documents to anybody who would listen •The next morning, Prime Minster King got word of this and suggested giving Gouzenko back to the Soviets for fear of offending the Soviet Union •In the end he remained under RCMP custody •The documents revealed that there were soviet operatives in Canadian, British, and American governments •The documents were given to a Canadian government official -- known as the Corby Case Igor Gouzenko •After this a wave of suspicion against people for being either communist or Russian •Kellock-Tashereau Commission in 1946 resulted in a dozen convictions for spying •Known as the opening blow for the Cold War •The extent of the spy rings were very large •It casted a chill over western relations with the Soviet Union K ING’SL AST YEARS , 1945-1948 •After the War, King felt that Canada should have a greater distance from the British than before •There were still important ties of sentimentality •One such relic was Canadian citizenship, before this all peoples in Canada were British subjects •In 1946, King made another move -- he gave up the position of Minster of Foreign Affairs •St. Laurent took over this role -- the first time anyone but a Prime Minster held the office, it was an indication that he wanted St. Laurent to succeed him •St. Laurent wanted to take on more commitments, though •St. Laurent gave a lecture, Gray Lecture, at Hart House •It illustrated five points for how Canada was going to deal with foreign affairs and what most concern foreign policy makers CANADA AT THE COLD WAR 1945-1957 1. National unity 2. Canada most support the cause of political liberty 3. The rule of law -- canada would stand for legal structures 4. Canada would uphold the value of christian civilization 5. The acceptance of international responsibility -- canada would accept new commitments •This made King very uncomfortable Truman administration and the King Government were in talks about Free Trade • between them between 1947-8 •King began to fear that this was another step in America annexing Canada -- he cancelled the deal •This symbolized that King was not comfortable in this new era •1947 -- UN called Canada and asked Canada to take on the temporary commission of Korea •Had been colonized by Japan in 1910 •With Japan, it had been occupied by the Allies Canada was asked to contribute a member to participate in the UNTCOK • •King was so outraged, that St. Laurent almost resigned •King realized that the tide was shifting and decided to let this happen, rather than lose St. Laurent U NCLE LOUIS ’ MIDDLE POWER F OREIGN P OLICIES •His government projected the image of stability and confidence •The liberal party was synonymous with the government -- their campaign slogan: “you never had it so good” •St. Laurent’s approach was pragmatic •Very friendly toward the United States of America •Seemed to be on top of things •Canada cooperated America of on Nuclear Energy -- they would provide United States of America with a nuclear umbrella (protect United States of America from nuclear attacks) in exchange for uranium from the prairies Agreed to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) -- a defensive alliance that • would inhibit further Soviet expansion into Europe •It was a guarantee of the United States of America that they will help western Europe •Canada from an early stage was very supportive, but also time passed Canadians feared that it would offend the USSR, that they would create their own pact (the Warsaw Pact of 1953) •Article 2, or the Canadian Article, made the canadians feel better N EWFOUNDLAND S E NTRY INTO CONFEDERATION , 31 MARCH 1949 •Newfoundland was a very different place from Canada, it has faced more outward toward Britain than to Canada CANADA AT THE COLD WAR 1945-1957 •The Newfoundland government voluntarily agreed to become part of Canada because of economics •The economic conditions in Newfoundland were bleak •In Newfoundland the GDP was ⅓ of what it was in Canada -- it was a very primitive, isolated place •Membership in Canada went that Newfoundland would get the same benefits as the rest of Canada •People were just suffering so much in Newfoundland •Newfoundland was a very important piece of territory and valuable resources •A fear that if Canada didn’t bring Newfoundland into confederation, it would go to the Americans •The leading figure in the push for confederation was Joey Smallwood •Two separate referendums •June, 1948 -- the first referendum was inconclusive •July, 1948 -- confederation with Canada won Canada as we know it is formed! • K OREAN W AR •The Korean peninsula had been divided in 1945 into the North (occupied the Soviet Union, Kim Il-Sung) and the South (the Allies, Syngman Rhee) The split between the two became more permeant, though there is little cultural • distinction th •The dividing line was the 38 parallel •The foreign powers retreated in 1950 -- allowing North Korea to invaded the South •When it looked like the North was going to win, Truman fought in support of the South S TALEMATE IN K OREA , 1950-1953 •Truman doctrine swiftly turned into an all out American commitment •The situation was quite dire, the Soviets were able to capture Seoul •MacArthur proposed a landing at Inchon -- this caught the North by surprise •MacArthur got greedy -- rather than just pushing them behind the 38 parallel, he pushed them to border with China •This would bring the Chinese into the war -- this is exactly what happened; China intervened •The Chinese army was technologically inferior, but it was superior in number •When the Chinese intervened in 1950, the UN forces were in dead retreat •April 1951 -- Truman fired MacArthur for insubordination •It was an unexpected conflict •In June of 1950, it was well known that there were hostilities between north and south •Not a very likely for the next great war to commence -- not on the scale of the world wars CANADA AT THE COLD WAR 194
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