CHC2D Grade 10 Academic History – Post World War 2

Chapter 5: Challenges in the Post-war World

The Cold War

  • in 1945, the war emerged from 6 long years of WWII to find itself faced with a new conflict—the Cold War
  • the world was divided into 2 after WWII:
    • communism: led by Soviet Union (east)
    • democracy: let by USA (west)
  • unlike the other wars, the Cold War didn’t lead to active aggression between the two new superpowers (USA and Soviet Union)
    • superpower is a country with great political influence and a powerful military
  • the Cold War began with a tense arms race (a competition between 2 countries where the goal is to develop and accumulate the most weapons and the newest military technology) that threatened world peace
  • USA and USSR tried to prove which system of government was better

 

Origins of the Cold War

  • Cold War was born in Europe at the closing days of WWII
    • the Western Allies (USA, Canada, Britain) liberated the countries of Western Europe while the Soviet Union liberated countries of Eastern Europe
      • the countries of Western Europe adopted democratic governments, and set about rebuilding their war-torn country
      • the Soviet Union maintained control over Eastern Europe, installing poppet communist governments that would follow Moscow’s directives
  • the division between East and West Europe prompted former UK PM Winston Churchill to declare an “iron curtain” (the boundary between communist states of Eastern Europe and democratic states of Western Europe)had fallen across Europe

 

The Spread of Communism

  • 2 vastly different economic and political systems were at the centre of the Cold War
    • communism: government controlled most of the property and businesses—it restricted individual freedom, including where people lived, worked and travelled
    • democratic: private individuals and companies owned most of the property and businesses—people had the right to live, work, and travel where they chose
  • as Soviet Union extended its power and influence throughout Eastern Europe, people in the West grew increasingly concerned about the Soviets’ intentions and alarmed that their democratic way of life may be threatened
  • the atmosphere of fear and suspicion created growing concern that communists were around every corner in Canada
    • in Canada in 1945, a worker for the Soviet Embassy (Igor Gouzenko) in Ottawa defected (abandon one’s country/cause in favour of another), taking the secrets of a Soviet spy ring with him

 

Igor Gouzenko: The Man in the Mask

  • in Canada, one of the most powerful symbols of the Cold War was a Russian defector named Igor Gouzenko
  • in 1943, Gouzenko came to Canada to work as a cipher clerk (coded and decoded secret messages) in the Soviet Embassy (at Ottawa)
  • in 1945, Gouzenko chose to defect rather than return to Moscow
    • didn’t like Soviet Union, as Stalin was killing people, and after the overseas mission, Igor would be thrown into jail to prevent him from talking about Western freedom
  • Gouzenko gathered over 100 documents detailing the secrets of a Soviet spy ring that had infiltrated the highest levels of intelligence, including the Canadian Department of Defence
    • a Canadian MP, Fred Rose, the first and only communist ever elected to Parliament, was on the Soviet payroll
    • Gouzenko planned to use this info as a bargaining chip as he sought asylum (protection for refugees) in Canada
  • tells the Canadian government the Soviets have been stealing top secret info from Canadian government; also tells Canada the top secret info Soviets had on Canada
  • at first, Gouzenko had trouble finding people willing to listen to his story
  • on the day he defected, the Justice Department was closed—he spent the day in hiding from Soviet agents
    • that night, 4 Soviet agents from the Embassy tried to abduct Gouzenko and his family; the police prevented their attempt
      • the abduction made Canadian authorities take Gouzenko seriously
  • the leaders of Canada, UK, France, USA, China and Soviet Union were about to meet to negotiate post-war peace
    • King was concerned that the spy scandal would hurt the talks, so he was reluctant to act on Gouzenko’s information
      • UK intelligence officers persuaded him to change his mind, and offer Gouzenko asylum
  • after defecting, Gouzenko and his family went into hiding—when he appeared in public, he hid his identity by wearing a cloth sack over his head
    • the press called him “the Man in the Mask”
  • Gouzenko convinced he was a target for assassination by Soviet agents, so he lived the rest of his life under the assumed name of George Brown
  • Canadian government had to be careful about warning the Canadian population as during WWII, Russians were praised in Canadian War propaganda

 

Communist Paranoia

  • in the aftermath of Gouzenko’s spy revelations, 19 Canadians were arrested and charged with treason
    • of those 19, only 11 were found guilty and sentenced to prison
  • the exposure of the Soviet spy ring fuelled fears of communism
    • in the USA there was paranoia that communist sympathisers were infiltrating American society
    • USA Senator Joseph McCarthy led a congressional committee in charge of investigating “un-American” activities—they targeted actors, writers, journalists, labour leaders
      • many were brought in front of the committee to answer questions about their politics—many chose not to answer or implicate their friends/colleagues; these people were branded as communists
      • most of the branded communists were barred from their jobs, and their careers ruined
  • McCarthy’s accusations involved a Canadian diplomat, Herbert Norman in 1951
    • when he was a university student at Harvard and Cambridge, Norman associated with a group of left-wing students
      • now that he was a diplomat, his former friendships cast doubts about his political beliefs
    • the American accusations led to an RCMP investigation’; Norman’s name was cleared
    • however, in 1956 during the Suez crisis, Norman was sent to Cairo as Canada’s ambassador to Egypt, and American suspicions surfaced again
      • in March 1957, the US House of Un-American Activities Committee again accused Norman of being a communist
      • after years of suspicion, Norman had enough, and committed suicide in April 1957

 

Nuclear Threats

  • in the immediate aftermath of WWII, the USA believed it had a monopoly on atomic technology
    • they were surprised and concerned when the Soviets tested their first atomic bomb in 1949; but at that time, the Americans had already been working on a more powerful bomb that the ones used in Japan
  • in November 1952, the US tested the world’s first hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean—it was a thousand times more powerful than the blasts that had been used on Japan
    • in September 1954, the Soviets tested their own hydrogen bomb
  • the world feared a nuclear war, as they realized the potential of total destruction on the planet
  • throughout the Cold War, the two sides began stockpiling their nuclear arms
  • some military strategists believe the strongest deterrent (military action that is intended to discourage an aggressor from attacking) against a military attack by one side, was the ability of the other side to retaliate
    • USA and USSR didn’t fight each other because atomic war at risk with nuclear weapons
  • many Canadians opposed the building of nuclear arms, and protested against having nuclear weapons on Canadian soil
  • a poll in 1951 showed 36% of Canadians believed a Soviet attack could happen at any time—to prepare for such an event, the Canadian government set up a national civil defence program and developed plans for mass evacuations; air-raid sirens and fallout shelters appeared in cities across the country
    • people built underground shelters in their backyards

 

Canada Becomes a Middle Power

  • a middle power is a state with limited military power, but some international political influence
  • despite Canada’s impressive contributions to the war, the USA and UK dominated post-war politics and power in the West
    • Canada had historic ties to UK, France and now USA
    • King, and later St. Laurent wanted to use these connections to influence world affairs

 

The United Nations

  • even before WWII, plans were underway to create a new international organization to secure world peace (replace League of Nations)
    • Allies agreed League of Nations had been a failure—using political and economic sanctions to avoid conflicts had been ineffective
      • the organization that replaced it had to have real power to intervene and settle disputes before events escalated to war
      • the new organization needed its own armed forces that could keep enemies apart—UN didn’t have its own army, but members of UN contributed troops
  • between April and June 1945, representatives of 51 countries (including Canada) met in San Francisco to define the principles of the new organization, and these principles (MAIN OBJECTIVES) included:
    • ensure collective security (an agreement among a group of nations to protect other nations from aggressors—IF ONE COUNTRY ATTACKED, ALL COUNTRIES ATTACKED) by working together to avoid war (another Hitler)
    • encourage co-operation among countries (cooperation to protect refugees; UNICEF)
    • defend human rights (avoid Holocaust); however UN was filled with countries who violate rights (S. Africa, Syria, Iran)
    • improve living conditions for people around the world (people live longer; lets developing world become better place)
  • the charter that created the UN was signed in June 1945

 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  • one of the first objectives of the UN was to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • in 1946, John Humphrey, a Canadian law professor from New Brunswick, became the head of the UN division for Human Rights
  • in 1947, Humphrey wrote the original 400-page draft of what is today`s most important human rights document
    • it contained the most basic rights humans should receive
  • after many consultations and revisions, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the declaration on December 10, 1948

 

The UN and War Refugees

  • WWII left Europe physically, economically, and emotionally devastated
  • during WWII, many fled their homes to escape the Nazis and the Nazi`s allies
    • some fled to escape the fighting, others because they lost their homes

 

REFUGEES

  • when the war ended, many people in Eastern Europe fled to escape communism
  • almost 20M people in Europe were homeless after WWII, living on the streets, carrying very few possessions, and the cities were filled with diseases
  • one of the first challenges facing the UN was providing aid for the war refugees (a person who is forced to flee their homeland because of a threat of violence/political/religious persecution)
  • in 1946,m the UN established the International Refugee Organization (IRO)
    • worked with Red Cross to take over abandoned military bases and POW camps, and turned them into refugee shelters

 

The UN and Human Rights

  • the discovery of the horrors of Nazi concentration camps focused attention on human rights
  • the refusal of many countries to offer asylum to Jew refugees was a factor in the massive death toll
    • the UN was determined in this event not happening again
  • its first priority was to guarantee all people everywhere the right to seek asylum in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Canada was one of the worst offenders in WWII in denying Jew refugees
    • as a result, King’s government was pressured by humanitarian groups to lift the country’s immigration restrictions
      • Canada eventually dropped some of the discriminatory immigration policies
    • since WWII, Canada has accepted thousands of refugees from all countries around the world—it has received the Nansen Refugee Award (the highest honour awarded for protecting refugees); Canada is the only country to have received it so far

 

Military Alliances

  • NATO and NORAD were greatly represented by the Western world
  • as the countries of Europe attempted to rebuild after WWII, it appeared the “iron curtain” that divided Europe (based on communism and democracy) was shifting
    • in response, the Allies wanted a peacetime military alliance to defend against potential Soviet aggression

 

NATO

  • before WWII, most countries (including Canada) practiced isolationism (a country’s policy to not get involved with the actions of other countries, often to avoid participating in international conflicts)
    • they preferred not to get involved in conflicts that didn’t concern them
  • global power structure changed dramatically after the war, and all countries now had to re-evaluate their international commitments
    • in April 1949, the Allies joined in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    • the alliance represented a milestone in international relations
  • the members of NATO pledged to defend one another in the event of an attack by an enemy nation (an attack on one country, is an attack on all countries)
    • under NATO agreement, each member had to contribute troops and equipment to NATO defence forces
      • Canada agreed to station troops at NATO bases in Europe—the first time Canadian troops had served overseas in peacetime
      • ex: after 9/11, NATO forced Canada to war because USA was in war
    • Canada`s NATO commitment also led to a significant increase in military spending
  • NATO strengthened Canada`s emerging role as a middle power—through the alliance, Canada had the opportunity to exert its influence in world affairs
    • its long-standing relationship with Britain and the USA placed it in an ideal position to act as a mediator in any disagreements over defence policies
  • NATO`s primary goal was to stop further Soviet expansion in Europe
  • the original members of NATO were Canada, USA, Britain, France , Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Portugal and Italy
    • Greece and Turkey joined in 1952; West Germany joined in 1955 (as a precaution, German forces were placed under USA control)
  • in 1955, the Soviet Union responded to the formation of NATO by forming an alliance of its own—the Warsaw Pact
    • included Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Soviet Union and Yugoslavia
    • when the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the Warsaw Pact was disbanded; this caused most countries to want to join NATO
  • throughout the Cold War, NATO and the Warsaw Pact were always threatening each other, but never engaged in combat

 

Defending North America

  • Canada and the USA knew the next international conflict (should it happen) would take place in North America
    • any Soviet invasion would likely come from the north (across the Arctic), or the west (Pacific)
      • therefore, defending Canada’s vast northern territory was a top priority of both countries

 

NORAD

  • USA wanted a unified air defence system for North America
    • Canada wasn’t safe from Soviets on North and West side
  • in 1956, the US persuaded Canada to form the North American Air Defence Agreement (later changed to North American Aerospace Defence Command)
  • created radar stations in North to detect Soviet jets
  • under the NORAD agreement, each country maintained its own independent air force—in the event of an attack, both air forces would be under joint control with an American commander, and a Canadian second-in-command
  • both countries needed time to integrate their air forces, so the agreement wasn’t formally signed until 1958
  • NORAD had many implications for Canada’s military autonomy:
    • for the first time, Canada was squarely under the American defence umbrella
    • Canada was committed to participating in USA conflicts even it didn’t want to get involved
    • Canada had to rely on USA defence industry for its military hardware—all Canada’s existing equipment was replaced with American produced technology
    • CANADA LOST ITS SOVERIGNTY
      • as Canada was building missile, US stopped Canada and took all employees to work for them in USA

 

Cold War Hot Spots

  • at first, the Cold War was a war of words as the USA and the Soviet Union tried to persuade or pressure countries into their sphere of influence
  • by 1950, the Cold War tensions were about to spill over into armed conflicts in various parts of the world

 

Korean War

  • 1950-1953
  • the first active combat between the two superpowers took place in Korea in the early 1950s
  • during WWII, Japanese forces occupied Korea—after the war, the Allies divided the Korean peninsula at the 38th parallel
    • Soviets controlled a communist regime in North Korea; Americans supported a democratic republic in South Korea
  • for a few years, the two sides maintained an uneasy truce
  • on June 25, 1950, North Korea launched a massive invasion on South Korea—they had Stalin’s support and an arsenal of Soviet weapons at their disposal
  • the USA immediately asked the UN to condemn North Korea for its aggression—the Americans began gathering support for a multinational “police action” against the North
    • the Soviet ambassador could’ve vetoed the condemnation, but the Soviets were boycotting the UN at the time, because the UN didn’t recognize China as a communist regime
  • the UN Security Council demanded that North Korea withdraw its troops; when the North failed to comply, the UN authorized an international force to drive the North out
  • Canada’s involvement: Canada was among 16 countries that agreed to take part in the Korean War—even though officially the military response was a UN initiative, it was led by the USA (first time Canada served under US commanders)
    • Canada agreed to supply 3 battleships and a squadron from the Royal Canadian Air Force
    • King was reluctant to send troops, but after a 3 day Cabinet meeting, he agreed to call for a voluntary force to go to Korea
      • thousands of Canadians responded, and headed for Korea in November of 1950
  • China eventually joined the war on the North Korean side—the addition of hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops began to favour the war on the North Korean side (Canada, Australia, USA, sent lots of troops in response)
  • in a massive offensive in April 1951, Chinese forces surrounded Canadian and Australian units at Kapyong—the UN managed to maintain their positions, preventing the Chinese offensive from gaining further ground
  • for months, the battle lines shifted back and forth
    • while the two sides locked in a stalemate, US commander Douglas MacArthur urged all-out war, using nuclear weapons; American president Harry Truman refused to do so, and so the stalemate continued
  • peace talks began in July 1951, but outbursts of fighting continued for 2 more years
    • the 2 sides eventually declared a ceasefire (truce/suspension of fighting) in July 1953—the war ended where it began, at the 38th parallel; the North remained communist, and the South democratic
  • timeline of the war:
    • in September 1950, North Korea pushed the UN back to the southern tip of the peninsula
    • by October 1950, UN pushed North Korea and China considerably back behind the 38th parallel
    • the see-saw battle continued as the two sides pushed one another up and down the peninsula
      • by January 1951, North Koreans pushed the UN forces back to the southern part of the peninsula
    • when war finally ended in July 1953, both sides ended up where they had started
  • Korean War was fought like trench warfare (because of the mountains)
  • the Korean war was the first major test of the commitment of the UN to respond forcefully to international aggression and keep peace
    • first peacemaking mission
  • the USA showed its military strength to be greater than UK, and that USA took over as the world’s greatest military
  • for Canada, the war marked a turning point in foreign policy—traditionally Canada’s military commitments had been to UK, but now Canada’s greatest ally is the USA
    • in the future, Canada would use its position as a trusted ally to attempt to moderate what was often aggressive US foreign policy
      • ex: Canada was on the same side as USA during Cold War, but Canada didn’t always agree with them

 

Suez Crisis

  • in 1948, the Allies partitioned the Arab state of Palestine to create a Jewish homeland for Holocaust survivors; as a result the Middle East became a hotbed of political tension between Arabs and Israelis (USA and USSR both support Israel)
    • by 1956, a crisis in the region threatened to lead to a major confrontation between the 2 sides
  • at the time, UK and France controlled the Suez Canal in Egypt—it joined the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean
    • it was also the key supply route for the Middle East’s most valuable resource—oil
  • the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser wanted to free his country from colonial rule, and to destroy the newly created state of Israel
    • to do both, he needed money, so he nationalized (transferred it from private to government owned) the Suez Canal
  • in response, UK and France threatened to attack Egypt; they asked the USA and Canada to join them, but Canada and USA refused
  • France and UK then negotiated a secret agreement with Isreal—Isreal would invade Egypt, then UK and France would issue an ultimatum demanding that Israeli and Egyptian forces leave the region
    • the Israelis would agree, but Egypt was believed it wouldn’t; this would allow UK and France to launch an intense bombing campaign around the Canal Zone, causing  Nasser’s government to fall and UK and French to regain control of Suez
  • the plan went into action on October 29, 1956, when Israel attacked; the Soviets threatened to launch a nuclear attack against London and Paris if France and UK didn’t withdraw
    • Canada and USA demanded that UK and France withdraw as well; the world appeared to be teetering on the brink of WWIII
  • international tensions were high as the UN desperately looked for a solution to the crisis; at the time, future PM Pearson was secretary of state for External Affairs
    • after persistent and endless rounds of lobbying, Pearson persuaded the UN General Assembly to organize the world’s first international peacekeeping mission (only shoot if shot at)
      • the UN ordered all foreign troops out of Egypt; then it sent in the first UN peacekeeping force to keep the warring sides apart and maintain peace in the region
    • Pearson awarded Nobel peace prize for his solution of peacekeeping
  • Canadian General E.L.M. Burns commanded the UN Emergency Force
    • however, Egypt rejected the inclusion of Canadian soldiers because of their uniforms which bore resemblance to UK forces ; instead Canadian troops supplied logistical support and aerial reconnaissance personnel
  • after the Suez crisis, the UN deployed several peacekeeping missions to hot spots around the world—between 1956 and the late 1980s, Canada took part in every UN peacekeeping mission
    • for Canada, peacekeeping was a means of meeting some of its objectives as a middle power; no longer known as killer from WWI and WWII
  • Hungary suffered because of Suez crisis, as the West betrayed them

 

Handout: After WWII

  • Germany divided into West (democratic) and East (communist)
  • Poland (who hates Soviets) became part of USSR because Russians liberated Poland and Hungary (another country)
  • Canadian soldiers were left in Western Europe to defend against Soviet aggression
  • in 1969, Cuba becomes communist due to Soviets; in 1971, Chile becomes communist due to soviets
  • in 1947, Marshall Plan—took money from North America to rebuild Europe (rebuilt economy of Western Europe to prevent Soviets from extending influence beyond Eastern Europe)

 

Handout: The Cold War

  • USSR and USA fuelled other countries to fight for them (proxy war)—Korea, Afghan
  • Cold War fuelled space race
    • Soviets sent up satellite, USA did also
    • Soviets sent up dog, USA sent up chimp
    • Soviets sent a man into space; USA followed
    • Soviets sent car to the moon; USA sent man to the moon
    • after WWII, Germany was divided, and both Soviets and USA had their share of Nazis which fuelled the space race
  • USSR and USA competed against each other in sports (Olympics)—when USA used steroids, USSR did also
  • USSR would infiltrate media (like Hollywood) and culture promoting communism
    • USA used radio and sent Beatles music into USSR
  • arms race included atom bomb and hydrogen bomb, and intercontinental space weapons (didn’t need to see enemy to kill it; launched it in one country, travelled to the destined country, to blow things up)
  • USA and USSR donated foreign aid to see who’s economy was better
  • communist propaganda was high—Canadians were told to hate Soviets (however, Rocky 4 contradicted it)
  • there were many Russian spies infiltrated in USA, UK, Canada—in some cases, those who were catching spies were Russian spies themselves
  • in 1948, USSR cut of West and East Berlin access roads to block the East Germans from escaping
    • people were killed trying to escape

 

Handout: Parts of the UN

  • General Assembly—all nations; vote on “stuff” and make resolutions
  • Secretariat—figurehead of UN (today it is Ban Ki-moon)
  • Security Council has 5 permanent members (USA, UK, France, China, Russia) and 10 non-permanent members who serve 2 year terms
    • each member has veto power—stop certain actions of UN
    • anything General Assembly want, Security Council can reject
  • International Court of Justice—where people are put on trial for unjust crimes (embarrassing for country)
    • some criminals aren’t put on trial because big powers don’t want the possibility of their secrets leaked
  • Trustee Council (no longer exists)—decolonizes colonies
  • Economic and Social Council—coordinates economic, social and related works of the UN’s 14 specialized agencies
    • discusses world’s economic and social issues