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The Era of Appeasement - Canada in the Dirty Thirties

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University of Toronto St. George
Chris Pennington

Thursday, November 24, 2011 The Era of Appeasement – Canada in the Dirty Thirties • King and Bennett demonstrated a lack of courage to mobilize against aggression occurring at the time • Canada supported Appeasement of Britain and France – isolationism – to prevent war Growth of DEA and Canadian representative board • Skelton responsible for the growth of the department • Hume Wrong, Norman Robertson – succeeded Skelton, Lester B. Pearson • In 1909, it was regarded as a post office but by the 1920s, it was changing • Canada established its own representation outside of Britain o 1927 – Vincent Massey – minister to the US – believed he deserved a foreign posting o 1928 – France – Philippe Roy – relations between Canada and France was not of significance but it was good politics for French Canadians o Japan – 1929 – Herbert Marler – done in recognition of Japan’s rising power and because Canada was a pacific country as well • Tone of foreign policy was isolationism, best seen in participation in League of Nations Fireproof House of the 1920s • Canada was not an active member of the league • King emphasized good relations with neighbours in Europe like Canada and the US and his speeches were known as the “Canada Speech” • In 1928, Canada signed the Briand-Kellogs Pact – it was originally between France and the US and outlawed the use of war in international diplomacy. Many others signed as well, but it was just paper. There was no power of enforcement. Canada signed, displaying naïve attitude about keeping the peace Global Impact of Depression • Began in 1928 and lasted a decade, relived by the advent of WWII • GNP dropped 40%, unemployment reached 20%, 1.4 million government relief • Resulted in contraction of 1/3 in global trade • Countries imposed high tariffs on others to protect domestic economy; this resulted in an increase in isolationism. Governments were facing bankruptcy due to the need of social assistance • Undermined structures of democracies – it was so bad that they actually collapsed, such as the German republic, which made way for the rise of the Nazis • This overshadowed everything in int’l relations – it helped the rise of Hitler and made it impossible for countries to intervene Specter of Communism • The fear of overthrow of established order – ie. what happened in Russia might happen in other places – Bolshevik Revolution – 1917 • Joseph Stalin was a terrifying figure for western democracies. He was responsible for suffering in the Soviet Union. The fear of communism was spreading to western democracies and this led them to think that Hitler was good because he was anti-communist. • Soviet Union international communist group – Comintern – tried to control communist parties in other countries and tried to export their ideas as well Nazi Germany 1933-1945 • Hitler and the Nazis rose to power in 1933. • He advocated fascism – extreme nationalism with xenophobia, which is the fear of outsiders and extreme racial ideology. He dehumanized everyone but the Germans and perfected this ideology • Desire for “lebsensraum” – living space – wanted to expand Germany to accommodate the growing population and because they were superior • Germans adored Hitler - he didn’t advocate a war like approach to policy that he would eventually adopt Depression and D
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