History of Canadian International Relations

3282 words (13 pages) Essay in International Relations

18/05/20 International Relations Reference this

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Throughout the history of Canada, one is able to observe the gradual yet

profound shift of Canada’s role and status in the world as Canada was transformed from

a colony of Britain into a sovereign economic and military powerhouse it is today. There

are a multitude of events in Canadian history relating to its international relationships

that contributed to Canada’s achievements today. Firstly, the key role Canada played

during the battle of Ortona demonstrated its military prowess and elevated its status in

the World, secondly, Canada’s effort to de-escalate the Suez Crisis gave it the

reputation of a peacekeeper while lastly, the positive relationship between Canada and

America played a profound role in various aspects of lives in Canada.

 Firstly, Canada’s contribution to WW2, particularly pertaining to the pivotal role it

played in the battle of Ortona during the Italian campaign, had a profound impact in

shaping the Canadian identity and Canada’s position on the international stage. During the battle of Ortona, the Canadian troops were confronted with something they had not been trained for, urban warfare, which refers to battle fought in urbanized areas such as cities.[1] In such a  dense, urbanized area, the Canadian forces decided to employ the mouseholing tactic by “combining the ideas from the engineers and Infantry Assault Pioneers”.[2] The use of this tactic had a prominent impact not only on the Canadian military strategies, but also on the international identity of Canada. The Canadian generals had never learnt the Mouseholing tactic before and the soldiers had never been trained for urban warfare[3]. Hence, by employing the Mouseholing tactic, the Canadian army demonstrated its ability to adapt to unexpected situations and come up with innovative approaches towards adversity. The Mouseholing Tactic illustrated the competence of Canadian Commanders and also emphasised the pivotal role Canada played in the Italy campaigns and in freeing the people of Italy from Fascism, thus positively impacting Canada’s international identity. The city of Ortona was defended by the 1st parachute division, an elite German division that consisted of veterans who are trained and experienced in various forms of warfare. [4] “The enemy is well-disciplined and cunning, and he knows all of the tricks […]”[5] This statement highlighted on the tenacity of the German troops stationed in Ortona, who the Canadian troops will be facing. In addition, the Germans also heavily fortified Ortona and mines were scattered all around the town .[6] Despite the odds stacked against Canada, after 8 days of bloody conflicts, the battle of Ortona ended with the victory of Canada and two elite German divisions were badly damaged during combat.[7]Thus, the battle of Ortona impacted Canada’s position on the international stage as once again, the Canadian troops proved themselves capable of defeating the most elite of enemies. Lastly, the battle of Ortona was one of the bloodiest conflicts during the Italian campaign. It had been estimated that Canada sustained around 2300 casualties in total.[8] However, the fact that Canadian troops still managed to come out on top perfectly showcased the tenacity of Canadian troops. The casualties endured by the Canadian troops had an impact on the Canadian identity as it enabled Canadians in the homefront to understand the sacrifices made by those in the frontline, how precious each of their victories are and thus, they would have a greater sense of national pride and become more willing to embrace their Canadian identity. Thus, the battle of Ortona had a positive impact on Canada’s position in the international stage and it also helped shape the Canadian identity. The mouseholing tactic that was employed by Canadian troops emphasised on the creativity of Canadian commanders while the fact that despite facing an elite German division and sustaining heavy casualties, the Canadian troops still managed to emerge victorious had certainly elevated Canada’s position on the global stage and also allowed Canadians to truly take pride in their national identity.

 Ensuing the chaos and mayhem of World War two, Canada had been an

advocate of peace around the globe. It played a pivotal and imperative role in

preventing and de-escalating various conflicts all around the globe. One prime example

of this was the Suez crisis. Canada’s effort to resolve this conflict not only impacted

its status in the world, it also prevented a potentially devastating military confrontation.

The Suez Canal is a vital shipping route that connects the Mediterranean sea and the

Indian ocean and without it, a ship’s voyage from Europe to Asia would be significantly

longer [9] . It is located in Egypt but owned by French and British investors. [10]On 26 July,

1956 however, the Suez canal was seized by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

 

[11]Britain was immediately alarmed by this as the canal provides a vital route for the

British oil import and Israel, under British and French support, launched an invasion at

Egypt.[12] This regional military conflict soon escalated into a World event that threatened

to jeopardize the peace of the entire globe as two of the World’s superpower at the time,

the US and the USSR became involved [13]. Fortunately, Canada and the United Nations

were able to prevent a warfare with the potential to result in another global conflict [14].

Thus, Canada’s involvement and intervention in the Suez crisis had a positive impact

on not only its status in the World, but also the peace around the globe. In addition, the

mayhem Suez Crisis had the potential to unleash only emphasised on Canada’s

contributions as the peacekeeper in the World. Secondly, during the Suez crisis, Prime

Minister Lester B Pearson was the Foreign Affairs Minister at the time[15]. He proposed

the establishment of a United Nations emergency response force which was deployed

during the Suez crisis to separate the rival troops [16]. This led to the creation of a

modernized UN peacekeeping force which would have a long-lasting positive impact

around the World [17]. Throughout the years, the UN peacekeeping force played a vital

role in maintaining the peace around the World and protected many from the bloodshed

of war[18]. Lastly, through its involvement in the Suez crisis, Canada was able to gain the

reputation as an advocate of peace, a nation dedicated to peace, a nation willing to

dispatch her troops to protect the people living in the tumultuous regions of the World.[19]

Thus, other countries would perceive Canada not as an aggressor, but rather a

peacekeeper. In conclusion, the pivotal role Canada played in the Suez crisis has a

profound impact on Canada’s status in the World as well as her international

relationship. The devastation the Suez crisis could potentially unleashed highlighted on

Canada’s major role in maintaining the peace of the World. Also, the establishment of

an UN peacekeeping force which was suggested by Lester B Pearson would also have

a long-lasting positive impact on the world. Lastly, Canada was  able to gain a

reputation of a peace loving nation which strengthened Canada’s ties with other nations

and allowed Canadians to truly take pride in their national identity.

 The connection between Canada and America always had a profound impact on

Canada. America is Canada’s closest ally, largest trading partner as well as its next door neighbour. [20] Both are gargantuan economic and military powerhouses that occupies the majority of North America. [21] Throughout the years, Canada is able to foster a close and positive trading relationship with the US and the Canadian-US relationship continued to flourish despite being fluctuated with tensions. Firstly, the energy market is a prominent cause of friction between Canada and America due to the American domination of the Canadian oil market. [22] In addition, the introduction of the National Energy Programme (NEP) significantly strained the relationship between Canada and the US [23]. Not only did it contribute to the tension and resentment between Canadians and Americans, it is also viewed with hostility by American oil companies. [24] Therefore, the American dominance of the Canadian oil market had a profound impact on Canada’s international relationship and put a strain on Canadian American relations. In addition, the tension between Canada and America escalated even further during

Bush’s presidency in the US [25]. The early 2000s was a tumultuous time period for the

world and terrorist attacks were rampant and common. [26] One of the most prominent

examples of those terrorist attacks is the 9/11 attacks with almost 3,000 people killed,

triggering tremendous initiatives from the United States to combat terrorism. [27] Thus,

Anti-terrorism campaigns is something that defined the Bush presidency. [28] However,

Canada’s refusal participate in America’s anti-terrorism campaign in Iraq placed a

significant strain on the Canadian-American relationship.[29] In addition, the situation

escalated even further when Canada announced that it would not take part in the US

ballistic missile programme.[30] Lastly, during the 70s and 80s, many Canadians were

beginning to realize the importance of free trade in order for the Canadian economy to

improve.[31]  The campaign slogan of former Prime Minister Joe Clark was “Let’s Get

Canada Working Again” which appealed to many Canadians. [32] Hence, after numerous

negotiations, a tentative trade agreement was formed between Canada and the United

States and in 1994, it was extended to Mexico and became known as the North

American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA).[33]  The NAFTA had a positive impact on

the Canadian economy and also improved the Canadian American relationship. In

conclusion, the United States is a profound and vital component in Canadian

international relations and America had a profound impact on both the Canadian

economy and the Canadian politics. Firstly, the American domination of the Canadian oil

market as well as America’s aggression during the Bush presidency placed a significant

strain on Canadian American relationship. However, the establishment of NAFTA not

only promoted free trade in the North America continent, it also have a positive impact

on the Canadian economy and improved Canada’s relationship with the US. Thus,

Canada and America are two closely connected nations, throughout history and

even today, America always had a profound impact on Canada and will continue to

impact Canada in the future.

 In conclusion, the battle of Ortona, the Suez Crisis are both significant and

defining events during the 20th century that had a major and profound impact on

Canada’s diplomatic relationships with other countries while the American influence on

Canada gradually becomes more prominent as Canada and America became closer

and more connected.

Bibliography


[1] Zuehlke, Mark “Battle of Ortona”. In the Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published February 7, 2006; last modified August 9, 2017. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/battle-of-ortona

[2]The Canadian Engineering Association, “Mouseholing at Ortona”. Cmea-agmc.ca. https://cmea-agmc.ca/heritage-moment/mouse-holing-ortona

[3]Zuehlke,Mark, “Battle of Ortona”. In the Canadian Encyclopedia

[4]Zuehlke, Mark, “Battle of Ortona”. In the Canadian Encyclopedia

[5]Colin M. Bain et al., Making History: The story of Canada in the Twentieth century (Toronto: Prentice Hall, 2000), 184

[6]Zuehlke, Mark, “Battle of Ortona”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia.

[7]Zuehlke, Mark, “Battle of Ortona”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia.

[8]Zuehlke, Mark, “Battle of Ortona”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia.

[9]Colin M. Bain et al., Making : The Story of Canada in The Twentieth Century(Toronto: Prentice Hall,2000),269.

[10]Bain et al., Making History, 269

[11]Bain et al., Making History, 269

[12]Bain et al., Making History, 269

[13]Bain et al., Making History, 269

[14] Tattrie, Jon ,  “Suez Crisis”.  In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published February 07, 2006; Last Edited May 15, 2019. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/suez-crisis

[15] Tattrie, Jon. “Suez Crisis”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia.

[16]Bain et al., Making History, 270

[17]Tattrie, Jon. “Suez Crisis”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia.

[18] Tattrie, Jon. “Suez Crisis”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia.

[19]Bain et al., Making History, 270

[20]Workman, Daniel.  “Canada’s Top Trading Partners – World’s Top Exports.” Accessed June 9, 2019. http://www.worldstopexports.com/canadas-top-import-partners/.

[21] C.p., Stacey, “Canadian Foreign Relations”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published February 07, 2006; last modified March 21, 2017. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/external-relations

[22]C.p., Stacey, “Canadian Foreign Relations”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia

[23]C.p., Stacy. “Canadian Foreign Relations”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia

[24]C.p.,Stacy. “Canadian Foreign Relations”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia

[25]English, John R.,  “Canadian-American Relations”.  In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published March 09, 2009; last modified May 22, 2019.  https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadian-american-relations

[26]English, John R., “Canadian-American Relations”. In the Canadian Encyclopedia

[27]History.com Editors. “9/11 attacks”. History. Article updated on May 10th,2019. https://www.history.com/topics/21st-century/9-11-attacks

[28]History.com Editors. “9/11 attacks”. History

[29]  English, John R., “Canadian-American Relations”. In the Canadian Encyclopedia

[30]English, John R., “Canadian-American Relations”. In the Canadian Encyclopedia

[31] English, John R., “Canadian-American Relations”. In the Canadian Encyclopedia

[32]Quinlan, Don. Baldwin, Doug. Mahoney, Rick. Reed, Kevin. The Canadian Challenge. Oxford University Press. 276

[33]English, John R., “Canadian-American Relations”. In the Canadian Encyclopedia

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