Presentation on theme: "Changes in Western Europe, the US and the Soviet Union: A Post-WWII Analysis EQ: What are the major changes and continuities in the US, Western Europe."— Presentation transcript:
1 Changes in Western Europe, the US and the Soviet Union: A Post-WWII Analysis EQ: What are the major changes and continuities in the US, Western Europe and the Soviet Union in the Post-War era?
2 Political Changes – Western Europe DecolonizationCold War – Russia is now our enemy! Germany becomes focal point of so-called Cold War as Allies and USSR “fight” to spread their ideology in this divided territoryEurope becomes more comfortable upon relying on the US for protectionLiberal Democracy and democratic constitutions with universal (including female) suffrageChristian Democrats come to power seeking democracy for all and moderate (NOT RADICAL) reformThe Welfare state emerges thanks to a shift to the left (ugh), though the improving of economic inequality was minimal at best (still large divisions in class)
3 Political Continuity – Western Europe Alliances – between western nations, just like in WWI and WWII – NATO. Forming alliances with the US to uphold the containment of Communism “behind the Iron Curtain”NO SINGLE GOVERNMENT in Europe, continued political allegiances to the nationalist state (ie. no complete European unity politically or “they still don’t really like each other”)
4 Economic Changes – Western Europe Welfare stateCommon Market/European Union – unify economic policies across European boundaries (one currency, reduced tariffs, free labor movement) (minus Great Britain)Increased agricultural productivity, retooled industryRapid GDP growth in 50s and 60s, greater than USShift to technology productionVERY low unemployment, little labor unrestIncrease in “guest workers” from foreign, decolonized nations and the Middle East
5 Economic Continuity – Western Europe and the US Inflation, as it was pre-war, was still a problem (increased value of goods, higher fuel prices, etc.)Continued economic inequalities (poverty, low wages)
6 Political/Economic Changes in the US Switch from isolationist policies to containment/engagement policiesThe “spread of liberty and democracy” approach to diplomacy. As quoted by Truman, “free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”A definite anti-communist climate emerged in the US (McCarthy/HUAC)( ) Massive increases in per capita DI in the US (117%) and purchases of consumer goods (shopping malls and supermarkets), coupled with a “baby boom” of population in the post-war eraContinuitiesVery few political continuities other than increased militarization/mobilization of US forces after WWII to support diplomatic policiesVery few continuities in economics aside from inflation and continued massive immigration into the US to fill undesired jobs, this time from newer areas of the globe (Asia and Latin America)
7 Social Changes –Western Europe and US WOMEN !The traditional Victorian homemaker role still exists, however…Women become more educatedWomen work more (“Rosie the Riveter”/service jobs)Women began to protest the economic (lower pay) social (fewer rights) divideBirth Control, women decreasingly had large sums of kidsDivorce rates increasedNew Feminism (Beauvoir – Second Sex and Friedan – The Feminine Mystique) reaction to traditional role imposed by men on women while at the same time creating support organizations
8 Other Social Changes –Western Europe and US The US went to the forefront in intellectual/scientific development, though some Europeans sought recognition in certain fieldsThe “pop culture” emerged, the “Coca-cola-nization” of Europe, the impact of US television, the “British invasion”The “Sexual Revolution”
9 Social/Cultural Continuities in Western World Art continued with earlier 20th century themes (though some changes are highlighted) such as cubism, surrealism, realism…only POP art was newEuropeans maintained a clear advantage in the expression of the arts, particularly in films (art films) due to more social freedoms
10 Politics in the USSR Continuity Change Expansion policies. Get communism into other countries (Comintern)Continue diplomatic and political party authoritarianism in response to Western aggressiveness, military build up from end of WWII through Cold War (increased spying, Cuban Missile Crisis)Competition with the West (Space Race)ChangeDe-Stalinization: loosen cultural restrictions, loosen political opposition persecution (Khrushchev)Diplomatic issues 1) Chinese rift 2) Muslim minorities prompting Afghan invasionGlasnost (public openness) and perestroika (restructuring) under Gorbachev
11 Economics in the USSR Change Continuity Became fully industrial, supporting military sector in generalIndustrial work pace was sped up and incentives increasedExtensive state support in leisure activities and sporting competitionsDespite so-called unity under Communism, distinct class divides still emerged between workers and intelligentsiaEnvironmental devastationGlasnost (public openness) and perestroika (restructuring)ContinuityContinued de-emphasis on/lack of consumer goodsContinued to seek economic independence from the Western capitalist model (self-sufficiency)Continued issues with agricultural production as capital was diverted to industrial progress, maintaining food supply issuesContinued massive urbanization and construction efforts in cities
12 Society/Culture in the USSR ChangeExpansion of Socialist Realism in the arts (murals)Suppression of organized religion and increased teachings of secular scientific doctrine (some religious latitude given to Muslims)In the late 70s/early 80s, western musical influences crept into the USSR (jazz, rock music/heavy metal) but not without official state suspicion (Chorny Kofe, Chorny Obelisk, Gorky Park)Censorship eased and literary authors towed the lines, sometimes defying state control…most wrote about war glories, patriotism…others wrote critical reviews of the state which caused them to be exiled (Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Boris Pasternak, Michail Sholokhov)Birth rate declineIncreased alcoholism (VODKA) and agitation among the youth populationContinuityContinued emphasis on science and sociology (expansions in physics, chemistry, mathematics, socialist theory) with continued rejection of Western ideology in each filedBALLET and some western classical music still permitted
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