Hiya and welcome to the Blog. As I’m sure you gleaned from my recent post titles we’ve been talking about Canadian life post WW2 and 50s in school. However this week I wanted to talk about a more indirect change to Canadian life. And that would be the post WW2 power shift.

The devastation of Poland post WW2


In another post I talked about the fall of the great British Empire. But in the post-World War II years the fall of the empire lead to a rise of two other countries, The Soviet and America. For many years before World War II The American dollar has been rising in value as a currency, but never being able to best the British pound, after the war, this changed. In the 1950s and beyond the American economy was the strongest in the world. They had incredibly low unemployment rates, and began to invest in other countries. One of these investment plans was called the Marshall plan. This invested $13 billion in rebuilding devastated western European countries. It was meant to help relationships, and try to bring the influence of capitalism to the countries close to the Soviet Union. However after the second world war the Soviet union was also flourishing. Despite having suffered the most casualties of any country in WW2. The Soviet union left World War II, with many new territories, and a strong political philosophy of communism. This philosophy of communism spread all over Eastern Europe (along with Soviet control), but also to Asia.

President Truman and company

This was essentially an overhaul to the entire globe. With the falling of many empires, entire countries boundaries had to be re-drawn (we see evidence of problems caused by this in conflicts like Palestine and Israel today). And the shift of global power to countries like the Soviet union and America. And the shift of these powers lead to events like the Cold War, Vietnam war, and Korean War to name just a few. In terms of Canada. it’s closest trade partner and geographically closest country all of a sudden became the worlds powerhouse. This was a huge stimulation to Canadian economy, and affected Canadian culture immensely, even today a large majority of our news and entertainment comes from the US. 

It is without a doubt that the power shift post World War II affects us today. Although the Soviet union is no longer considered a global power, the power of the US still greatly affects the globe, and Canada. The US is still the worlds biggest economy and globally it holds a lot of power in both a weaponry and army sense, but also in decisions in things like global environmental talks, and the UN (which was a US idea, and they are the biggest funder of). However if World War II has taught us anything global power is not a sure thing. The once greatest empires of the world, managed to fall, and the power of the Soviet union fell around the 90s as well. If history has taught us anything, nothing remains the same forever, and power is always changing. With events like Covid, we have yet to see where the world will go. I think history like this is some of the most important to learn, as it very directly affects us today. I’m super excited to learn about the Cold War, Vietnam War, and Korean War next year, and learn some more global history!

Thanks 4 reading,