How did Canada respond to world issues from 1960-1988?

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If I were to write an essay about Canada's postwar foreign policy, I would probably compare Canada to a younger brother. This would not be an insult to Canadians because everybody loves their younger brother, especially when the younger brother is less aggressive. The reason that I would make this analogy is because Canada was a relatively new player on the international stage after World War II. It was a colony of England before the 1930's and could not conduct foreign policy. Because of its close proximity to the United States and its imperial ties with Great Britain (the older brothers), Canada's foreign policy identity during the Cold War closely mirrored those countries. Canada made it a point to always fight against tyranny and to protect democracy and freedoms around the world. They were charter members of the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and were valued members who honored their alliances. As members of these organizations, they defended capitalism and democracy during the Cold War.

Like most younger brothers, Canada wanted to get out of the considerable shadows that were cast by their more established older brothers. Canada has deliberately attempted to secure a reputation for being a pragmatic, peacekeeping presence on the international stage. In an effort to project this image, Canada has not always agreed with some of the actions of the United States. As an example, Canada maintained cordial economic and diplomatic ties with Cuba after Fidel Castro's communist regime took power. This ran counter to the policy of the United States towards Cuba. While Canada did assist the United States in its fight against communism in Vietnam, they were vocal in their opposition to the war at many junctures. In fact, Canada's role in the war was mostly as a mediator and humanitarian.

Canada was very active in the United Nations in the decades of the 1960's and 1970's. Their role with the United Nations in Congo, Syria, and Cyprus was less combative and more peacekeeping. Canada attempted to moderate resolutions between the warring factions. For this reason, Canada is viewed as a country of peace, which is different than how many in the world viewed the United States. This reputation is a source of pride to Canadians and an obvious difference in how most of the world views Canada's "older brothers."

Despite these differences, Canada remains a vital member of the family of the West. Many of the economic and political interests of the United States are closely tied to those of Canada. While Canada is important to its Allies, it has managed to forge its own reputation in the world.

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