The term "Big Three" refers to the countries of Great Britain, the U.S., and Russia. By late 1943, postwar Europe was in shambles and could not be ignored. Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill met in Tehran, Iran in November 1943 and reaffirmed their desire to crush Germany, also searching for the proper military strategy. Roosevelt agreed with Stalin's plan of an American-British attack of Germany through France; meaning that the Soviet troops would liberate E.Europe. In 1945, the Big Three met in Yalta (in southern Russia) to discuss a plan for peace. It was determined that Eastern governments would have free elections but be Pro Soviet, Germany was divided into zones of occupation, and Stalin agreed to declare war on Japan to support the U.S.
By 1947, it was evident in the U.S. that Stalin was trying to spread communism by subversion throughout Europe and the entire world. Truman responded with the Truman Doctrine, by asking for military aid for Greece and Turkey. This was the policy of containment, to stop the spread of communism. Later in June, George C. Marshall issued the Marshall Plan, offering economic aid to Europe to help it rebuild. Stalin refused the Marshall plan for all of E.Europe.
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization): an anti-Soviet military alliance of Western governments formed by the U.S in 1949. Europe was divided into two blocs when Stalin reacted by uniting the USSR and its satellites into the Warsaw Pact. This intensified the division in Europe between the west and the east. .
The period of conflict, tension and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union and their allies from the mid 1940s until the mid 1980s. Throughout the period, the rivalry between the two superpowers was played out in multiple arenas: military coalitions; ideology, psychology, and espionage; military, industrial, and technological developments, including the space race; costly defense spending; a massive conventional and nuclear arms race; and many proxy wars. The Cold War divided Europe into two blocs
By the spring of 1947, Germany was intensively suffering and threatening to bring the rest of Europe down. All over Europe there were remnants of old ideas, leaders, and Europeans were willing to try new ideas. There were new groups and leaders who were willing to share, such as the Christian Democrats, or the progressive Catholics and revitalized Catholic political parties The Christian Democrats were Western Europe's majority party for a generation. The Christian Democrats were against Nazism, authoritarian and narrow nationalism, and spread the idea of democracy and cooperation.
Two French statesman, Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman called for a special international organization in 1950 to control and integrate all European steel and oil production. W. Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg accepted the idea in 1952; yet, Britain wanted nothing to do with it. The economic goal was a single steel and coal market without national tariffs or quotas. The political goal was to unite the six nations closely together economically that the idea of war would be highly destructive and nearly impossible. In 1957, the six nations signed the Treaty of Rome, which created the Common Market to gradually reduce all tariffs and to create free movement of labor, capital, and economic policies.
A prominent cause of the collapse of imperialism, decolonization was the rising demand of Asian and African peoples for national self determination, racial equality and self dignity. This movement occurred in nearly every colonial territory after WWI. Many Europeans regarded imperial ism differently in 1945 than n 1914. The idea of an empire had rested in the self confidence, arrogant self superiority that they were superior military and technology, and mentally and spiritually. Yet WWII left Europe in shambles, destroying this superiority and focusing European effort into rebuilding at home.
Western European countries strengthened their ties with former African colonies in the 1960s and 1970s. They used the lure of special trading privileges and heavy investment in French and English language education to enhance a Western presence in the African states.. A system designed to perpetuate Western economic domination and undermine the promise of political independence, thereby extending to Africa and Asia the economic subordination that the U.S. had established in Latin America in the nineteenth century.
The liberalization of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. Although Stalin's heirs struggled for power, they realized that change was necessary because of the hatred and fear of Stalin's philosophies. The secret police gradually lost power and many forced labor camps were closed. The Soviet Union was isolated from a strong Western alliance and economic reasons also called for reform. Nikita Khrushchev argued for major innovations and launched an all out on Stalin and his crimes in a closed session of the Twentieth Party Congress in 1956. Khrushchev's speech was read at meetings of Communists throughout the country, strengthening de Stalinization.
In January 1968, the Czechoslovak Communist party won a majority and voted Alexander Dubcek, who called for dramatic reforms in humanizing Communism. Russian and allied forces invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968 to stop Dubcek. Brezhnev declared the Doctrine after the invasion of Czechoslovakia; according to which the Soviet Union and its allies had the right to intervene in any socialist country whenever they saw it need.
Since WWII, pure science had become advent; directed science, or Big Science had come to develop Britain's radar system and the influential Manhattan Project. The results of directed research, such as the Manhattan Project and the Apollo Program; By combining theoretical work with sophisticated engineering in a large organization, Big Science could attack extremely difficult problems, from better products for consumers to new and improved weapons for the military. Big Science was expensive and required financing from government and corporation.
Nixon authorized spying activities and allowed special units to use various illegal means to stop the leaking of government documents to the press. In June 1972 special units group broke into the Democratic party headquarters in the Watergate Complex of Washington DC. The unit was arrested and Nixon tried to hush up the job, but the media and the investigation revealed the lies and lawbreaking. Nixon was forced to resign in 1974.
The progressive piecemeal relaxation of cold war tensions;a relaxation in international affairs during the Cold War. The policy of Detente reached its high point when all European nations(except Albania), the U.S., and Canada signed the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference in 1975. The 35 nations participating agreed that Europe's existing political frontiers could not be changed by force. They also solemnly accepted numerous provisions guaranteeing the human rights and political freedoms of their citizens. Detente in international relations faded in the late with the USSR ignoring the human rights provisions and political competition remaining. .
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The greatest postwar boom of energy was fueled by the cheap oil from the Middle East. By 1971, OPEC had watched the price of crude oil decline consistently compared with the rising price of manufactured goods and had decided to reverse the trend with a united front against oil companies. OPEC declared an embargo on oil shipments to the U.S.(Israel's ally) after the declaration of the fourth Arab-Israeli War in 1973.
The misery index combined rates of inflation and unemployment in a single, powerfully emotional number. Between 1970 and 1986, misery increased on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The increase in misery was still greater in western Europe. The hard times in W. Europe were ref3erred to as "the crises". Anxious observers worried about the status of the Common Market during the 1970s and 1980s.