From Cold War to Present Day

Post-World War II

Canada was transformed by the Second World War. It was a much more centralized country in 1945 than in 1939, and all levels of government were more interventionist. Canada had developed, albeit awkwardly, a better knowledge of its various minorities, which, according to the 1941 census, accounted for some 20 percent of the population.

After 1945 the treatment of minorities would be greatly improved. Canada was also more industrialized and more Americanized, and this trend would intensify throughout the second half of the 20th century. Finally, Canada was more aware of its international and continental responsibilities.

The government of 1945 was better prepared than that of 1918 to demobilize its soldiers and secure the future of its military. From the First World War the politicians had learned how to politically manage a conflict in which Canadians participated far from home. From the Second World War they seemed to have learned that good peacetime military organization is essential for a country that expects to be involved militarily abroad, which would be the case from 1945 to the end of the century.