Naval crisis

Chronology of Significant External Events - 1945 - 1990

  • 1945

    Second World War ends with the defeat of Germany and Japan. U.S. uses atomic bombs to end the war with Japan. The atomic bomb was developed through the work of Canadian, British and American scientists. Following the war, the Americans indicate that they will not share the atomic technology with the Soviet Union
  • United Nations

    United Nations
    In May of 1945, the allied nations met in San Francisco and ratified the charter of a new United Nations. Canada was one of the founding members and served as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. The goals of the new organization was to promote peace, and address economic and social problems through international cooperation. The Security Council was given the power to maintain the world peace through the imposition of economic and military sanctions.
  • 1946

    The Soviet Union imposes Communist governments throughout the nations of Eastern Europe. Anti-communist parties are outlawed.
    Winston Churchill gives his "Iron Curtain" speech which signalled the beginning of the Cold War in which pitted the western democracies against the Soviet Union and the expansion of communism in various regions of the world.
  • Gouzenko Affair

    Gouzenko Affair
    Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk in the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa defected and revealed that a Soviet spy network had been operating in Canada, Britain and the United States. Canadian public increasingly views the Soviet Union as a "real" threat to North America.
  • "Red Scare:

    "Red Scare:
    During the latter 1940s, both the American and Canadian governments launched intensive public inquires into communist-influence in government, military, and attempted to identify communist sympathizers in the trade union movement, universities, and entertainment industry.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    The Truman Doctrine extended American military protection to western Europe. The goal was to prevent the further extension of Communism into Western Europe. Both France and Italy had large communist parties and there were fears that those parties would win upcoming elections. The policy stated that the United States would intervene in countries where it believed the freedom of the people was threatened. The aim of the policy was to "contain communism."
  • Marshall Plan

    Marshall Plan
    : The United States provided $5 billion for the nations of Europe to recover from the war damage. The economic assistance was given to the nations of Western Europe. The nations of Eastern Europe, now under Soviet domination, did not receive assistance under the Marshall Plan. Canada also provided economic assistance to the nations of Western Europe.
  • N.A.T.O

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (N.A.T.O.) was established as a mutual defense organization. Any attack on one member would be considered an attack on all members. The original members of N.A.T.O. included Canada, the United States, Britain, France and most of the nations of Western Europe. Canadian forces were based in Europe as part of Canada's contribution to N.A.T.O.
  • Korean War 1950-53

    Korean War 1950-53
    Communist North Korea invades South Korea. The United Nations sends military forces to defend South Korea. The great majority of troops were Americans and the U.N. force was commanded by American generals. Canada provided over 22,000 troops to the U.N. force.
  • Hungarian Revolution

    Hungarian Revolution
    Hungarians unsuccessfully revolt against Soviet domination of their nation. Many Hungarians flee to Canada after the revolt. The revolt increased anti-Soviet feelings throughout the western democracies
  • Suez Crisis

    Suez Crisis
    : The Egyptian Government seized the Suez Canada and removed it from Britain and French Control. In response, Britain and France joined Israel in an attack on Egypt. The Soviet Union threatened to attack Britain and France. Lester Pearson, the Canadian external affairs minister, suggested the creation of an United Nations Emergency Force to keep the peace between the opposing forces until a political settlement could be achieved.
    Pearson won the 1957 Nobel Pace Prize for his efforts at creating
  • N.O.R.A.D

    .: The fear of a Soviet nuclear attack against North America led Canada and the United States sign the North American Air Defense Agreement (N.O.R.A.D.) which established a unified air defense system for the continent. The Agreement led to the construction of several lines of radar stations across Canada to detect a possible Soviet air attack. A U.S. general would command N.O.R.A.D. forces, and a Canadian officer would act as Deputy Commander.
    The Diefenbaker government agreed to have Bomarc-B
  • Vietnam (1960s)

    Vietnam (1960s)
    Increasing American military involvement in Vietnam led to large-scale protests in both Canada and the United States. As the war continued, anti-American sentiment increased in Canada and throughout the western democracies.
    Canadian government officials made several attempts at promoting a peaceful settlement of the Vietnam War. Prime Minister Pearson angered U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, when the former suggested that the U.S. suspend its massive bombing campaign of North Vietnam as a first s
  • Apartheid

    Canada led the move to expel South Africa from the Commonwealth because of its apartheid system. Canada led the international community in instituting sanctions against the apartheid government of South Africa
  • Cuban Missile Crisis

    Cuban Missile Crisis
    American spy planes observed the construction of missile sites on the island of Cuba. Cuba was ruled by Fidel Castro who was supported by the Soviet Union. The U.S. insisted that the Soviet Union remove its missiles or the U.S. would take military action. The U.S. navy blockaded the island of Cuba. The Soviet's agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba. During the Crisis, the Diefenbaker government refused to place its forces on full alert, and refused to allow American authorities to deploy nucle
  • White Paper

    White Paper
    The 1970 White Paper on Canadian Foreign Policy stated new goals for Canadian foreign policy. Canada's N.A.T.O. commitment would be reduced, and its nuclear weaponry would be phased out. Trudeau's government wanted to develop a more independent foreign policy in dealing with other nations of the world. the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was created and allocations for foreign aid increased from 15 to 20 percent a year up to 1975.
  • 1979

    Soviet Union places 350 new missiles in Eastern Europe. In response, the U.S. announced plan to place Cruise missiles in Western Europe.
  • Reagan

    The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 led to a new era of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. Reagan was determined to modernize the American military and increased military spending to modernize its nuclear weapons and launch the Strategic Defense Initiative. The initiative was designed to construct a defensive space shield against a Soviet missile attack.
    Canadian industries were involved in the development, building and testing of the Cruise missile.
  • Afghanistan

    The Soviet Union invaded neighboring Afghanistan. In response, the western democracies, including Canada, boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games
  • 1983

    Canada agrees to allow the U.S. to test unarmed Cruise missiles over Canadian soil. There was considerable opposition within the Canadian population to the testing.
  • Mulroney Government

    Mulroney Government
    The Mulroney government was inclined to seek closer military and economic relationship with the United States. In early 1985, Mulroney accepted the U.S. request to overhaul the continent's air defense system. The government also promised to rebuild and re-equip the Canadian military.
  • Berlin Wall

    Berlin Wall
    As part of his reform, Gorbachev announced that the Soviet Union would no longer impose its will on the peoples of Eastern Europe. The communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe collapse. The Berlin Wall, which divided the city of Berlin and symbolized the "iron curtain," was torn down
  • Gorbachev

    Mikhail Gorbachev, realizing the economic crisis facing the Soviet Union attempted to launch both economic and political reforms in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe. He also attempted to conclude arms reduction agreements with the United States.
  • End of Soviet Union

    End of Soviet Union
    In December of 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved into fifteen smaller states, including Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Ethnic strife occurred in many of these new nations.