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The twentieth century was a time for bloody warfare, advances in technology, and trends that

revolutionized the world. It was also an era in which new political ideologies rose and fell. Of the new
types of political philosophies, the two that were most opposite to each other were democracy and
communism. From 1945-1990 these two philosophies shaped and changed the world, and was the driving
force behind the Cold War. Though the two main superpowers of the Cold War were the Soviet Union and
the United States, Canada was inevitably drawn into the Cold War. This essay will examine the actions
that Canada took, including the ones that helped fuel the Cold War and the ones that implied they did not
support the policies of their allies.
One such way that Canada tried to protect itself from the Russian bear was make alliances. By the end
of World War II, United Nations (UN) was formed, with Canada as one of its founding countries. Canada
had hoped that his would solve the problem of the Cold War. But the UN, with no military force of its
own, could not enforce its rulings on the USSR (Soviet Union) and the problem worsened as the Soviets
were given the power to veto important rulings against them. Therefore, in 1949, Canada joined NATO
(North Atlantic Treaty Organization), an organization based on the principal of collective security and
would grant them protection and support from other countries if they were ever invaded. Years after, with
the threat of nuclear war still very real, a bilateral alliance was formed among the Canadians and
Americans, NORAD (North American .
Along with treaties, Canada also made significant contributions to the Cold War. From 1950-1953,
Canadian troops participated in the UNs first ever large-scale peacekeeping mission: the Korean War.
Around 30,000 Canadian troops were sent to suppress the communist North Korea. Then three years later,
Canada played a significant peacekeeping role during the Suez Canal Crisis. The future Prime Minister of
Canada, Lester Pearson, deployed his diplomatic skills during this crisis and helped to prevent conflict.
He was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Pearson also was the mind behind creating a
UN peacekeeping force, one that we still use today.
However, not everything Canada did support their democratic allies. Throughout the Cold War, there was
the question of American influence on Canada and Canadian sovereignty. Several prime ministers tried to
anchor Canadian authority during the Cold War. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, PM John Diefenbaker
had originally refused to put the Canadian NORAD bases on alert and he even implied that he did not
believe the American President JFK. Pierre Trudeau was another PM that wanted to chart an independent
foreign policy. He began to slowly pull Canada out of the Cold War by cutting the national defence
budget year by year. Then he began the removal of nuclear warheads from Canadian soil. And, in an
action that was greatly frowned upon by the democratic world, Pierre Trudeau formally recognized
Communist China as a country, as well as, developed a close personal relationship with the communist
leader of Cuba, Castro.
As communism rose and fell and the Cold War drew to a close, two things were clear: Canada had made
major and significant contributions to the Cold war events and Canada did not always support is allies.
But regardless, Canada was a main component in Cold War events. So as the world moves on and time
passes, let it not be forgotten that Canada played a significant role in the Cold War.