The cold war describes the persisting conditions of military tension, economic competition and the political conflict that existed between the western world powers led by the Americans and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U. S. S. R) together with its satellite states. The states did not clash directly but rather they expressed their conflict through proxy wars, technological competition, military coalitions, nuclear arms race just to mention a few . Canada is said to have played a critical role in the war as a middle power.
Any attacks from the United States or the U. S. S. R were made via Canada because of the middle position it held. The Cold War is said to have played an important role in defining both American foreign and domestic policies for decades. With the Soviets union being seen as a threat to the entire world, the Western world and the U. S needed to stop them from rolling over the world the way they did after World War II. The American domestic and foreign policies therefore starting the late 1940’s to the 1960 were largely influenced by the Cold war.
For example in the 1950’s the United States adopted the policy of containment. This policy was a creation of George Kennan and was meant to ensure that the United States would be able to assist any country threatened by the communist aggressors . As much as the policy was intended at stopping the expansion of the Soviet in the Eastern Europe, it was not meant to be used in Asia. However during the same period this policy got the country into trouble with the Vietnam and Korea. To contain communism domestic economic policies were also bent to suit the cause of action.
For example the Marshall plan meant for Western Europe was put in place. The plan gave these countries technical and economic assistance to also help them recover from World War II. The American policies also at this time supported the rebuilding of Japan as a power in its region in the Far East. From the containment ideas rose the Truman doctrine. This doctrine was meant to help countries such as Turkey and Greece from falling to communism and offered such countries both military and economic support to assist them. McCarthyism was also happening domestically leading to the Red Scare.
This was the period when people were tried and even executed on the grounds of being communists and yet in the government. The policies of international activities and national security were moreover given priority during this period with significant budget sums being channeled towards this cause. The policies also aimed at putting nuclear arms limitations. Additionally within the same period the Americans formulated policies that would allow them to play an important role in the United Nations and assist them in their quest to dominate as a super power.
While the international and domestic policies of the Americans seemed to support the use of arms and force, the Canadian policies during this period promoted multilateralism, negotiation, diplomacy and liberal democracy. The country transitioned from isolationism to become a refugee haven after the change of its immigration policies and also played the role of a peacekeeper. Generally its policies were meant to spearhead disarmament. The policies sort for the country to play a leading role in peace keeping efforts.
In fact on the same note the country’s former Prime Minister Pearson is considered as a father or key figure in modern peacekeeping . Basically, Canada sort to promote itself as a middle power during this period. In conclusion it is notable that the cold war during this phase had very different effects on the policies of the two countries, with Canada playing a middle power role and the United States seeking to dominate and affirm its position as a super power globally.