The war against Japan (years 1941-1945) started with, the well known, and shocking Pearl Harbor bombing. This is when Japan used Imperial Japanese aircrafts (such as fighters, level and dive bombers, and torpedo bombers) to bomb an island of Hawaii, mainly as a preventative measure to avoid the States from running interference on their attacks in Southeast Asia against overseas territories (mainly places such as UK, Netherlands, and the US). This happened on December 7th 1941, practically forcing the States to join ww2, officially declaring war on Japan just a day later.
This event specifically shows the relationship between Canada and the States. This bombing clearly happened in the States, not Canada; however, Canada still sent troops (even untrained troops) to China to fight against Japan, as China and Japan were having ongoing territory battles. This showed that Canada’s identity and social values sided with loyalty, rather than the preparation of troops to fight in the war. This can be seen after the Pearl Harbor bombing. In response, Canada had sent 1975 men to China to fight with them against Japan. However, most of them were ill-equipped for war because of their lack of training. Although the sole purpose of fighting in the war was not for the States, and not for Britain but as well to create a name for Canada in that we will fight and defend our country’s freedom, because as a united country (although new) we can be strong. Canada’s decision of sending troops to China only strengthened their world stance as a strong competitor and loyal ally. Not only did Canada’s and the State’s trade policies continue to thrive and depend on each other, but so did China’s. Canada became much more of a noticed political leader.
Even nowadays, when we discuss Canadian identity and values, although we have a hard time directly placing fingers, the main ideas seem to revolve around diversity and peacekeeping. Similar to before, Canada still sends troops to countries to help fight wars in order to keep peace, and I would say that this is an important part of our identity. Although, I do think that if we dig a little deeper into our history we can see that Canada was not JUST peacekeepers. I definitely feel as though one of the main reasons why studying history is so important is to learn from our mistakes so sometimes I think it’s dangerous to just consider Canada as the “nice guys” of history. Although, we did help Britain and America fight and mainly remained trying to do the ‘right’ thing, we also took part in acts of anti semitism. I think that here is where Canada has actually done a lot less improvement than we think. Even if our country is more accepting of different minorities than most countries, we still have so much work to do. Even cases like missing and murdered Indigenous women still not being focused on as much as other cases even though these are such important events. Our class has done a fairly good job of thinking of Canada as not just the hero in history, but a continually developing country; always in motion, and by our standards nowadays, I would say that Canada is doing good, but there is always room for improvement!
During the War against Japan time period, it was very clear that Canada was making decisions and trades on their own, independent from Britain. Canada was still a very new country at this point, but considerably they were a force to be reckoned with. The outcomes of Canada’s battles caused the identity of Canada to become more well-known and feared as an enemy but wanted as an alliance.