Cold War

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Frequently Asked Questions...

How did the cold war affect people in Canada and the USA?

-How did the cold war affect people in Canada and the USA?
-Why did it last so long?

Best Answer...


Our militarys were directed mostly for defence against the "Soviet Threat." Other areas of the world were almost ignored, and the Canadian military, at least, was ill equipped to handle a threat in another area. We did do some peacekeeping during this time, but our main effort was against the Soviets.

People's movements were somewhat restricted. This was more of a US thing (e.g., being banned from going to Cuba). This worked out in Canada's favour, as we could visit Cuba, and not find the beaches full of American tourists. We still can, and it is a popular place for Canadians to go.

In school, we had the "duck and cover" drills, at least in the mid-late 1960's. They did not continue after that, at least in my area.

There was a Civil Defence system, with air raid sirens, and shelters.

For many, it was kind of an underlying fear that you lived with every day. There was the Domesday Clock, which was so many minutes to midnight, midnight being a war. A crisis would move things closer. You just never knew when the bombs were going to fall, and seeing strange things in the sky could be scary. I lived about a 4-hour drive from a big US bomber base. When they practiced, you could see the contrails high in the sky - but too far away to see if they were US or Russian bombers.

There was a lot of ignorance about the other side (going both ways). People did not hate Russians - there are lots of Russians and Ukrainians etc., living in Canada. But, we did not trust their government, and vice versa.

The "war" basically ended when communism crumbled in the Soviet Union. There was no longer so much of a threat there, and many of the old Soviet Bloc countries actively sought out peaceful relationships with Western countries.