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1945-1991

The End of World War II (1945)


Following World War II, world leaders began
making plans for an international agency that
would prevent another global war

The United Nations, an agency based on the
principle of collective security like the League of
Nations that came resulted from World War I, was
embraced by the nations of the world
United Nations
The United Nations currently holds three powers it
could use against aggressor nations:

condemn the aggressor through speeches and
resolutions
use economic sanctions, urging members not to
trade with the aggressor nation
respond militarily by sending in an armed force
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is charged
with maintaining peace and security among
nations and has the power to make decisions that
member governments must carry out under the
United Nations Charter

Permanent members include:
- Britain - China
- France - U.S.S.R.
- United States
Canada and the United Nations
Canada is not a permanent member of the UN
Security Council, though they have played a
significant role within the United Nations:

Canada has played a leading role in the UN-led
peacekeeping operations (Suez Crisis)
Canadian John Peters Humphrey established the
Division for Human Rights in the UN Secretariat
and produced first draft of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

The Cold War Begins
The Cold War Begins
During World War II, the United States and Union
of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) had been
aligned against the Axis powers of Germany and
Japan

Tension between the USA and USSR still remained
following World War I, but both were committed
to defeating Nazi Germany

Once the Axis powers were defeated, these two
countries began to look at each other as future
enemies
The Cold War Begins
The USA and USSR, the worlds two economic and
military superpowers, were threatened by each
other for a number of reasons
Capitalism vs. Communism
1. USSRs Communist Ideology
The Soviet government controlled all industry
and trade
No political opposition allowed
USSR set up Communist governments in
liberated Eastern European countries like
Poland, Hungary, and East Germany
Communism would later spread to places like
China, Cuba and Angola
American Fears
American Fears (cont.)
2. Soviet Military Strength
USSR had the largest armed force in the world
following the end of World War II
While most nations reduced their armed forces
to peace-time levels, the USSR maintained a
large military
Soviet Red Army troops could easily invade
Western Europe through Germany if they so
desired
Soviet Fears
1. Invasion
Russia / USSR had been invaded in both
World War I and World War II by European
forces
These invasions contributed to heavy Soviet
casualties in both wars
Soviet leaders sought to control Eastern
Europe so it could serve as a buffer zone to
prevent future wars on Soviet soil
Soviet Fears (cont.)
2. Nuclear War
The USA had dropped nuclear bombs on Japan
as a show of strength to the world
Soviet leaders knew the Americans had a major
advantage because they were the only country to
possess atomic bombs at this point in time
The USSR would eventually detonate its first
nuclear bomb in 1949
Soon, a nuclear arms race began between the
two countries
The Arms Race!?!