SS 11: Cold War


United Nations formed

June 1945 - Present

Created in San Francisco.
- Canada is one of the original members to sign the Charter.

- Based on the idea of collective security.
- Member nations can debate issues of concern. (provided by the General Assembly)
- The original goal of was to prevent another global conflict, abolish disease and famine & protect human rights.
- Three powers against aggressor: Condemn, Economic sanctions & Military intervention
- "Big Fives" - Britain, France, China, U,S & Russia
- Decisions need support from nine members while the Big Fives have the power of veto.

Russian spy ring exposed

September 1945

Soviet spy Igor Gouzenko defects to Canada and exposes a Russian spy ring in Canada.
- The aim is to discover the secrets of the atomic bomb.
- Canada felt it was involved in the Cold War since then.

Gouzenko with his white hood for anonymity

NATO formed

April 1949 - Present

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- A military defense alliance included Canada, the United States, Great Britain and other Western European nations
- Due to fears created by the Cold War with Russia and its allies.

Korean Conflict

June 1950 - July 1953
  • North Communist, supported by Russia/China
  • South Democratic, supported by U.S (including Canada)
  • North invades South in 1950
  • Canada sends 27, 000 troops to the Korean War in a United Nations-supported military action. This was peacemaking.
  • A ceasefire was reached in 1953.
  • Increased tensions between the West and the Communist nations.

Lester B. Pearson


Lester Pearson becomes Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations.
- Canada's Minister of External Affairs

Warsaw Pact

1955 - Present

Soviet Union and Eastern European nations to work as an alliance in case of an attack.

Suez Crisis

October 1956 - November 1956
  • Egypt takes over Suez Canal from Britain/France investors in 1956
  • Israel sees it as Egyptian aggression and invades. Supported by Britain, France and U.S.
  • Russia supports Egypt.
  • First U.N. peacekeeping troops, negotiated by Lester Pearson, prevents war.

Lester B. Pearson


Lester Pearson wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Succeeded in preventing open wars in the Korean Conflict and the Suez Crisis.

Cancellation of the Avro Arrow project


Diefenbaker’s Conservatives cancel the Avro Arrow project.
- a state-of-the-art supersonic jet aircraft.

"The Berlin Wall"


In 1961, East Germany (communist-controlled) built a wall around West Berlin to keep East Berliners out.

Cuban Missile Crisis

16 October 1963 - October 28, 1963
  • In 1959, Cuban rebels and overthrows Cuba's pro-U.S leader in a revolution
  • U.S imposes economic sanctions and launches an attack. (Bay of Pigs) in 1961
  • Russia helped Cuba and built missiles in Cuba.
  • U.S asked the Soviet Union to remove them
  • Khrushchev sends ships instead of removing. U.S uses a naval blockade in response.
  • Cuba agreed to dismantle them in the last minute.
  • Canada's PM Diefenbaker didn't believe U.S and was unwilling to help.

Cyprus mission


Canada participates in a U.N. peacekeeping mission to Cyprus.
- An island in the Eastern Mediterranean.
- South of Turkey, West of Syria and Lebanon, Northwest of Israel and Palestine, North of Egypt, and Southeast of Greece.

Vietnam War

1965 - 1973

Vietnam was divided into south and north.
- North - Communist, South - Capitalist
- Since 1965, U.S has started to send troops and weapons and authorized the bombing of North Vietnam.
- Russia/China began supporting the north by supplying weapons
- U.S lost the war and the new president pulled U.S soldiers out of the war.
- Canada sold boats, airplanes engines, and explosives to U.S.
- PM Pearson criticized Operation Rolling Thunder publicly in U.S.
- He thought it was not a wise move.

Communist China

1970 - Present

Trudeau’s government officially recognizes Communist China (rather than Taiwan).

Visit China


Pierre Trudeau visits Communist China on a peace mission.

Visit Cuba


The demolishing of the Wall


Berlin Wall comes down, symbolizing the end of the Cold War.

Collapse of the Soviet Union


Iraq mission

  • August 1990, Iraqi troops invades Kuwait.
  • January 1991, U.S and coalition forces began bombarding targets from the sea and air.
  • Canada sends troops to support the U.S. in the Gulf War against Iraq.
  • This action was Peacekeeping.

Bosnia and Croatia

1992 - 1995
  • Leader of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia wanted to establish a greater Serbia by uniting all the population from surrounding states.
  • By 1992, fighting had spread to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • U.N. peacekeeping missions were sent in to try to prevent fighting. (FAILED)
  • In 1995, NATO forces launched a series of air strikes against the mainly Serbian forces of the Yugoslav army.
  • Ended with a ceasefire.



In 1992, the U.N. launched "Operation Restore Hope" in Somalia.
- Canada joined in distributing food and other essential supplies to desperate local population
- Members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment arrested and tortured a Somali
teenager found wandering in the Canadian base camp (beaten to death due to racism).
- This tarnished Canada's Peacekeeping reputation

Chaos in Haiti

1993 - 1997

Disaster in Rwanda

1994 - 1995
  • Torn apart by ethnic rivalries.
  • France, Belgium and a small detachment of U.N. peacekeepers sent troops to try to control the slaughter.
  • Due to the lack of speed and support from U.S, within a few weeks, close to a million people had died, including many women, old people, and babies. (April 1994)
  • U.N. failed to keep the peace