1914 CE - Present

- By the 20th century, virtually the entire world was globally connected politically and economically mostly due to the imperial policies of the western powers.
- Dominance by the imperial powers ensured relative peace throughout the world.
- New technologies such as radio, cinema, automobiles, and airplanes generated optimistic excitement.
- Growing nationalism in weakening powers and colonies threatened to elevate regional conflicts into global wars.
- Political and economic rivalries between imperial powers spurred alliance systems and endangered peaceful relations and the balance of power.

The Alliance System

- German unification seemed to threaten the balance of power, but Germany limited its global expansion and preferred to keep the peace in Europe. The major rivalry was between Great Britain and Germany.
- ARMS RACE: With rising nationalism and developing imperial rivalries, European nations strengthened themselves by shifting to the development of their military and CONSCRIPTION. MOBILIZATION of armies and military planning was increasing.
- Fearing war, European nations joined forces with another and formed alliances to ensure peace. However, war seemed inevitable and needed a spark.
- TRIPLE ALLIANCE: alliance system between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Germany recognized the BALKANS under the Russian sphere of influence.
- TRIPLE ENTENTE: alliance system between Great Britain, France, and Russia. Each nation feared Germany's expansionist policies in its military and around the globe.
- With each of the powerful nations locked in a treaty, if one nation declared war on another it would bring all of Europe into the conflict.
The Powder Keg and the Spark
- The Balkan Peninsula was once under the reign of the Ottoman Empire, but rising nationalism and revolutions throughout the 19th century saw the development of many nations in the region.
- Austria-Hungary felt threatened by Balkan nationalism and annexed Bosnia. Serbia threatened conflict and was backed by its Slavic relative Russia.
- THE SPARK: In 1914, Austrian-Hungarian heir, ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND AND HIS WIFE, visited Sarajevo in Serbia. A Serbian nationalist assassinated the Archduke and his wife and Austria-Hungary proposed an ULTIMATUM to Serbia which was not met.
- Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia, rising to defend its Slavic brother, declared war on Austria-Hungary. Germany then declared war on Russia which would bring in France and Great Britain. The Great War began.
The War
- Germany enacted its Schlieffen Plan (a swift German launch across France to circle back against Russia) and invaded Belgium which Britain promised to protect.
- Italy disbanded from the Triple Alliance and the Ottoman Empire (seeking a chance at regaining its former status) joined Germany and Austria-Hungary to form the CENTRAL POWERS.
- WESTERN FRONT: The Schlieffen Plan failed when the French held the Germans at the Marne. A STALEMATE ensued. The British-French forces and the Germans engaged in TRENCH WARFARE in attempts to defend from machine guns and improved artillery. Poison gas was used and countered by the use of gas masks. It did little to progress the war.
- EASTERN FRONT: Combined German, Austria-Hungarian, and Ottoman forces went back and forth with Russian forces. However, the battles would end in 1917-1918 with the Russian Revolution and the TREATY OF BREST-LITOVSK (March 1918) pulling Russia out of the war.
Allied Victory and Consequences
- Britain was able to outlast the Germans by replenishing their funds and resources from its possessions across the globe.
- The use of submarine warfare and the ZIMMERMANN TELEGRAM by Germany pulled the United States into the war as an Allied nation.
- Germany's economy began to suffer and failed counter-offensives along with fresh Allied troops was proving too costly for the Central Powers.
- At 11AM, November 11th, 1918 Germany signed an armistice. The Great War was finally over.
- Over 8.5 million soldiers died in the conflict. There was severe damage all over continental Europe. The war was so catastrophic people hoped it would be "the war to end all wars."
- With men fighting on the front lines, women filled in their spots in the factories. This would help fuel the women's suffrage movement and soon women would be guaranteed the right to vote in western nations.
- ARMENIAN GENOCIDE: Ottoman Empire was accused of slaughtering Christians and ethnic cleansing of Armenians and others who they believed sided with Allied Powers and for cultural reasons.
Treaty of Versailles
- In 1919, Great Britain, France, Italy, and the United States joined together to form the Versailles Treaty and figure out the new European map.
- Blame was placed solely on Germany. It had to pay REPARATIONS, lose territory (independent Poland and French Alsace-Lorraine), demilitarize the Rhineland (Germany's primary industrial sector), reduce its military to avoid any future conflict and prevent restrengthening.
- Austria-Hungary was dismantled into many nations including Austria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.
- The Ottoman Empire was dissolved and the nation of Turkey replaced it.
- The Old Order dynasties of the Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns, Romanovs, and the Ottomans all fell. A new world order was established.
- WOODROW WILSON AND HIS FOURTEEN POINTS: The United States sought less harsh penalties for Germany, but Britain and France demanded vengeance and punishment for the catastrophe they believed Germany wrought. Wilson stressed SELF-DETERMINATION for new nations and colonies. The LEAGUE OF NATIONS was established to peacefully settle disputes. However, the United States did not become a member thus limiting the League's strength. Not every nation signed up and some found no value in it.

The Beginning

- The absolute regime of the czars was growing very unpopular especially since the Russo-Japanese War and the 1905 Revolution. The Great War did not help matters.
- WWI placed great financial pressure on Russia. Food shortages were rampant. Leadership was questionable. Soldiers were not properly equipped.
- Under intense social and political pressure, Czar Nicholas II abdicated his throne in 1917 and a provisional government was established by the Duma (parliament).
- The provisional government, led by Alexander Kerensky, proved ineffective due to its influence by the soviets (local councils) who represented the interests of the workers, peasants, and soldiers. It did provide liberal policies such as equality and religious freedom.
- The soviets joined with the socialists and formed the BOLSHEVIKS led by VLADIMIR LENIN, a follower of Communism. The Bolsheviks soon won power and signed an armistice with Germany in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
- Lenin began mass socialization of Russia's industries and its assets. Peasants seized noble lands. However, the spread of Bolshevism was met with counterrevolutions.

- RED ARMY: Led by LEON TROTSKY, the Red Army was made up of soldiers and peasant forces. It defeated the counterrevolutions and became a significant military force under the command of the Bolsheviks.
- Lenin's NEW ECONOMIC POLICY (NEP): With revolts widespread, Lenin enacted his NEP. It allowed small businesses and farms to engage in free trade, but the government controlled the banks and heavy industries. This allowed Russia's economy to stabilize and grow at a steady pace.
- In 1922, the Bolsheviks became the COMMUNIST PARTY and the UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS (Soviet Union or USSR) was formed with 15 republics, such as the Baltic nations and the Ukraine.

- The POLITBURO (executive committee of the Communist Party) struggled to name a successor after the death of Lenin. JOSEPH STALIN defeated his rivals and succeeded to power.
- Stalin secured absolute control and led the USSR on a path of industrialization.
- FIVE YEAR PLAN: Increased agricultural production and nationalization of industries. COLLECTIVIZATION took over private farms and factories and put them under the control of state-owned enterprises. Despite only the government determining profit sharing and promotion of select industries, the USSR successfully industrialized and urbanized.
- THE GREAT PURGE: Failures in the Plans and Stalin's paranoia led to a totalitarian state. Rival Bolsheviks and former Communist members underwent show trials. Many people were sent to the GULAGS (prison camp systems) as enemies of the state. Peasant farmers (KULAKS) and factory workers fell victim as they fought famines while government and military workers profited. Eventually, the purge would escalate into the military, especially among officers. Possibly 20 million people were killed during the Purge.
- Atheism replaced Orthodox Christianity.

CHINA (1900-1930s)
- Western values and powers were becoming embedded into society by the Qing Dynasty. Eventually, the Confucian civil service exams ended in 1905.
- Resentment of the weak Qing government and the loss of Chinese influence throughout its region led to another revolt in 1911 led by SUN YATSEN. The Qing Dynasty ended and the Republic is established in 1912 under the control of the KUOMINTANG/Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP).
- Yatsen believed 1. nationalism (dethrone western/foreign influence and regain Chinese superiority), 2. liberal policies and representative government, 3. industrial socialism and reform.
- China disintegrated into rule by local warlords and bandits. China then became embarrassed by the Treaty of Versailles which favored Japanese interests over Chinese interests. This sparked nationalism throughout the nation.
- MAY FOURTH MOVEMENT (1919): Student and intellectual movement in protest to the Chinese government, imperialist policies, and Japan
- Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is formed and Sun Yatsen requests support from the Soviet Union to quash the warlords. With the combined forces of the Kuomintang and CCP, the warlords are defeated in the NORTHERN EXPEDITION.
- The Kuomintang, under the leadership of CHIANG KAI-SHEK, re-establishes itself in government and hunts down CCP members to avoid another civil war.
- Surviving CCP members regroup under the leadership of MAO ZEDONG in northern China (LONG MARCH). Mao gains support for the CCP from the peasants. He transforms Marxist theory believing a communist revolution must originate among the peasants and not the working class.
- Chiang Kai-Shek led China into industrialization and modernization. However, the government was corrupted and devoid of competent administrators. China's society fell into significant poverty.

MIDDLE EAST (1920-1930s)
- After its defeat in WWI, the Ottoman Empire was dissolved and the Republic of Turkey was established under the leadership of ATATURK.
- Ataturk expanded westernization and modernization in Turkey.
- Arab nationalism grew based on self-determination and promises of a new beginning by the Allies for helping during WWI.
- MANDATE SYSTEM: Great Britain and France divided the Middle East territories into mandates promising self-determination but in reality they became de facto colonies. Britain established the Mandate of Mesopotamia (the future Iraq) and the Mandate of Palestine. France established the Mandate of Syria and the Mandate of Lebanon.
- ZIONISM: The movement to re-establish a Jewish state in Palestine. The BALFOUR DECLARATION OF 1917 promised a Jewish state in the British Mandate of Palestine. Jewish migration to Palestine increased along with tensions among Arabs and non-Zionist Jews in the 1920s.

- Europe's economy was ravaged by the Great War, especially in Germany. However, prosperity blossomed in the United States and in Japan.
- American investment was strong in Latin America and was a significant creditor to European debt.
- Non-industrialized nations and colonies depended on the demand of the imperial powers, stressing their interdependence.
- Class distinctions faded. The aristocracy dwindled significantly. The middle class/white-collared workers expanded, but new technologies prevented the working class from expanding.
- Western society experienced an increase in MASS CONSUMERISM leading to freer self-expression.
- New and innovated social sciences challenged western superiority, faith and reason, and the middle class's moral code with CULTURAL RELATIVISM.

- Improved health sciences/innovations helped increase the population, birth rates, and life expectancy.
- Cities transformed with skyscrapers, modernized sanitation and public works.
- Rural areas expanded and increased production with modern equipment replacing animal power.
- Though women gained suffrage, they usually voted along with their husbands.
- In 1929 the American stock market crashes and spawns the Great Depression affecting the entire globe. Unemployment rose, financial markets collapsed, and demand for commodities significantly decreased.
- Europe, already suffering from the backlash of the Great War, spirals into financial and social chaos during the Great Depression, especially Germany.
- Latin America suffered immensely due to heavy American investment. To counter the affects of the Depression, Latin American nations practiced the policy of IMPORT SUBSTITUTION by producing for themselves rather than depending on American and European imports. The Depression gave rise to POPULIST leaders, promising economic and social reforms but usually under strict dictatorships.
- Asian markets were not seriously affected since they were not dependent on foreign trade.
- Southern Africa went through a mining boom due to increased gold value and cheap copper.
- The United States instituted a series of government spending programs under the NEW DEAL. This established the WELFARE STATE and the concept of ECONOMIC NATIONALISM.
- The ideology of establishing a government with a single party system, elimination of opposition and liberalism, military development and territorial expansion, and promoting the interests of the state over the individual (an extreme form of nationalism) under the absolute control of a single leader.
- Fascists are staunch anti-communists and against labor unions. Favor strong relationships with big business.
- Fascism's appeal resulted from the suffering after the Great War and the Great Depression. People demanded solutions and direction especially in vulnerable nations such as Weimar Germany. Fascists tended to use scapegoats to justify their beliefs and actions; typical targets were minorities (Jews, Gypsies, etc.), communists, and liberals.
- ITALY: Benito MUSSOLINI and his Fascists took over the Italian government in 1922.
- Spain: Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) fought between the Republicans (socialists) and Nationalists (conservatives, fascists). Resulted in establishment of fascist regime under Francisco Franco.
- GERMANY: Adolf HITLER's Nazi Party took over the government in 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor and established the Third Reich.

- Militarism in Japan: Ultra-nationalists countered the western values and blamed it on Japan's impotence in the League of Nations and its suffering during the Depression.The military soon controlled the government with support from the Emperor and began a quest for expansion as a source of wealth and power to satisfy its "destiny" to dominate Asia.

- Harsh treatment and inequality of the Versailles Treaty after the Great War
- Ineffectiveness of the League of Nations and APPEASEMENT at the Munich Conference in 1938.
- Rise of ultra-nationalist and militaristic nations
- Expansionist and militarization policies of belligerent nations. JAPAN: invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and the Sino-Japanese War in 1937. ITALY: Invasion of Ethiopia. GERMANY: re-militarization, Anschluss (annexation of Austria), annexation of Czechoslovakia, invasion of Poland.
- Germany, Italy, and Japan formed the AXIS POWERS
- Great Britain, France, and Soviet Union formed the ALLIED POWERS. The United States pursued isolationism.
- ATLANTIC THEATER: Germany/Italy overran most of the European continent and North Africa. Failing to weaken Great Britain forced Germany to invade the Soviet Union in 1941. In 1942, Russians began pushing Germans out and across Eastern Europe. In 1944 a second front in the west was opened after the Normandy Invasion in 1944. Both fronts converged on Germany ending the war in Europe in May of 1945.
- PACIFIC THEATER: Japan invaded China, Indochina, and most of SE Asia. The United States entered the war when Japan attacked its Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in 1941. The U.S. retaliated with impressive naval victories and island hopping tactics. The use of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced Japanese surrender in August 1945.
- WAR CRIMES: Holocaust in Europe saw the elimination of over 6 million people including Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, communists, political prisoners, and other minority groups. Japanese atrocities in China resulted in over 300,000 Chinese massacred.

- The Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam Conferences decided the outcome of the war and the virtual division of parts of the world between the Allies, especially between the United States and the Soviet Union.
- The Allies made sure not to install harsh penalties over the defeated Axis nations in order to prevent a repeat of the Versailles Treaty after WWI.
- The UNITED NATIONS is formed as an international peace organization. Membership was larger and more effective than the League of Nations.
- A NEW WORLD ORDER: World War II ended with the rise of two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. The U.S. pursued democratic and capitalist policies while the USSR attempted to expand Communism. European dominance ended. Non-western nations and colonies pursued independence.

- The United States and the Soviet Union immediately became arch rivals in the world. The United States wanted to preserve democratic principles around the world and prevent Soviet expansion. The Soviet Union pursued its quest to expand communism throughout the world and had a foothold on Eastern European nations. IRON CURTAIN.
- The U.S. sponsored the MARSHALL PLAN to help Europe recover from the war. The TRUMAN DOCTRINE preached CONTAINMENT by supporting nations fighting Communism. The United States forged an alliance between Canada and most of Western Europe called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in order to prevent Soviet expansion.
- The Soviet Union responded with blockades and its own alliance system with Eastern European nations called the WARSAW PACT. The Soviet Union backed Communist revolutions and expansion throughout the world. In 1949, the Soviet Union acquired nuclear weapons.

- KOREAN CONFLICT: Korea was divided into the Communist northern sector and the democratic southern sector. Rivalries between the two sectors escalated into war with the Soviets and China supporting North Korea and the U.S.-led United Nations force backed South Korea. The conflict ended in a stalemate continuing the division of the Korean peninsula.
- CUBAN REVOLUTION and the CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS: From 1934 to 1959, Cuba was mostly ruled by the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista who led a corrupted government. In 1959, Fidel Castro led a revolution deposing Batista and established a communist government. Castro collectivized farms and confiscated foreign possessions. Cuba ended decades-long relations with the United States and aligned with the Soviet Union. The United States sponsored the failed BAY OF PIGS INVASION (1961). Cuba's close relationship with the USSR nearly led to nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet union during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
- VIETNAM: France attempted to regain control of Indochina, but were prevented by Vietnamese nationalists. The GENEVE CONFERENCE (1954) split Vietnam into North Vietnam under the control of the Communist Viet Minh and led by HO CHI MINH. South Vietnam became a democratic state under NGO DIHN DIEM. The Viet Minh attempted to reunify the nation as a communist state and precipated the Vietnam Conflict with the United States backing the South Vietnamese. After a decade of costly conflict, Vietnam was unified as a communist nation. Communism solidified in the region. The U.S. suffered socially and politically at home and abroad.
- Eastern European opposition to Soviet rule was exemplified in the Hungarian revolt of 1956 and the PRAGUE SPRING in 1968. Both nations were invaded by the Soviet Union to re-institute communist control. The BERLIN WALL was erected by Soviets to prevent further migration from the east to the west. The EASTERN BLOC nations increased in revolts against the Soviet Union and its sphere of influence, demanding to innovate and catch up with Western European nations and demanded self-governance and democratic reforms. By the 1980s, communism and the USSR was losing its foothold on Eastern Europe.
- POLAND: The SOLIDARITY movement led by LECH WALESA demanded working class reforms and an end to the strict communist economy. Solidarity increased and free elections were finally held in 1989; first since the end of WWII. Poland's Communist party fell apart and its economy thrived. It would eventually join NATO.
- GERMANY: After WWII, Germany was split between the democratic West and the communist East. For decades it was the center of the Cold War in Europe. West Germany outweighed East Germany economically over that time. With communism losing control and the Soviet Union weakening, East Germany sought reunification and increasing migrations from east to west led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and soon Germany was reunified. Over the years and fighting unemployment and inflation, Germany would become an economic power.
Soviet Union
- After the brutal regime of Stalin, NIKITA KHRUSHCHEV assumed power in 1956. He denounced the oppresive policies of Stalin, but continued communism and heightened the Cold War almost to a point of BRINKMANSHIP (ex. Cuban Missile Crisis).
- During Khrushchev's regime, the Soviet Union and China drifted apart, weakening the international communist bloc.
- In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in order to help establish a communist government. Like Vietnam, it resulted in a disastrous campaign for the Soviet Union and Soviet forces withdrew in 1989. The campaign was unpopular among Soviet citizens and depleted the Soviet military and economy.
- With a poor economy and the United States enhancing its military, the Soviet Union pressed for reforms. Under the leadership of MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, the Soviet Union enacted GLASNOST and PERESTROIKA. Glasnost meant "openness" allowing Soviet citizens to question, discuss, and criticize political policies. Perestroika transformed the economy to allow more private ownership and private control of the industrial and agricultural sectors. Foreign investment was permitted and industries could provide a vareity of goods.
- Eastern European nations started to end communist regimes and evetually Soviet republics demanded independence. In 1991, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia (the Baltic nations) broke off from the Soviet Union. The independence movements spread into Soviet republics of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, etc. The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991 and was replaced by the COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES (CIS). Boris Yeltsin was elected President of Russia and the Communist Party was dissolved.
- Communist-dominated Yugoslavia split up after the fall of the Soviet Union. New nations in the former Yugoslav Republic formed on the basis of ethnic and/or religious lines. Czechoslovakia split into two in 1992 (Czech Republic and Slovakia).

- The conflict between Mao's communist forces and Chian Kai-sheck's nationalist forces ended in 1949 with Mao victorious and the establishment of the PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA. Chian Kai-she's forces fled to Taiwan and continued the REPUBLIC OF CHINA.
- China consolidated its territory by subjugating secessionist movements in northwest China and Tibet. China supported the North Koreans in the Korean Conflict, supported the Viet Minh, and shared relations with the Soviet Union in the early Cold War period.
- GREAT LEAP FORWARD: Mao instituted Soviet-modeled reforms through collectivization and industrtialize through peasants, but it resulted in decreased agricultural production and failed.
- CULTURAL REVOLUTION (1965): Using the Red Guard, a student-fed organization, Mao harassed his political rivals and attacked intellectuals and elites. There was the closing of universities. It would come to end by Mao's rivals.
- DENG XIAOPING assumed power in 1976 and ended collective farming. He pursued relations with the United States and introduce western influence and foreign investment. The FOUR MODERNIZATIONS promoted development of China's industry, agriculture, defense, and technology. He sent students to become educated in foreign nations and return to assimilate the knowledge. However, his government did not allow democratic reforms (ex. TIANANMEN SQUARE MASSACRE in 1989).

- Women: China increased women rights and outlawed customs such as footbinding. Opportunities for education, workplace, and military increased. Communist China promoted domestic service and service outside the home for women. Little to no gains in political influence.

- After World War II, the western powers believed continued control of their colonies was expensive and dangerous.
- Nationalist movements in the colonies increased during the 20th century, especially after the weakening of European powers.
- Indian nationalism increased throughout the early 20th century, especially with the efforts of the Indian National Congress.
- The call for complete Indian independence came from MAHATMA GANDHI, who pursued non-violence and passive-resistance in securing an independent India.
- In 1905, Britain partitioned Bengal into Hindu and Muslim sections. It was met with hostility and in 1909 Britain initiated the MORLEY-MINTO REFORMS allowing Indians to elect representatives in provincial assemblies. Bengal would soon be reunited.
- India provided many troops and resources for Great Britain during WWI with the promise of more reforms. However, nationalist protests and violence continued. The ROWLATT ACTS of 1919 limited Indian freedoms and Indian self-control.
- Gandhi joined with MOHAMMED ALI JINNAH of the MUSLIM LEAGUE to win Indian independence.
- GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT (1935) established a new constitution which provided voting rights and representation for Indians. It turned over power of provincial government to Indian leaders. Indian independence was getting closer, but the British still controlled the region.
- India's support for Britain during WWII was divided. Gandhi demanded Britain release India or face consequences. The Muslim League cooperated with the British because they wanted a separate Muslim state of PAKISTAN.
- After WWII, Britain promised Indian independence, but violence escalated between Hindus and Muslims over the creation of Pakistan. Eventually, in 1947, Indian and Pakistan became independent nations. Burma and Ceylon became independent years later.
- Pakistan was divided into West and East Pakistan. The west prospered while the east suffered. Civil war erupted between the two regions and in 1972 East Pakistan became Bangladesh.
- India modeled its government after Great Britain. It sought a path of industrialization and nationalized major industries and commercial sectors. Agriculture and local businesses remained in private hands.
- India pursued NONALIGNMENT, meaning India did not favor either of the superpowers (U.S. and Soviet Union) since they preferred to pursue their own destiny.
- INDIRA GANDHI became prime minister and upset militant Sikh group demanding autonomy for Punjab. She was assassinated in 1984.
- In the late 1990s, both India and Pakistan shocked the world by detonating nuclear weapons.
- Presently, conflict between Pakistan and India stems from the disputed KASHMIR province.
- During the Depression, Africa was not as hard hit as their colonial parents. Trade increased and Africa developed its infrastructure. Transportation was improved and linked various parts of the continent. There was massive urbanization and new cities.
- Colonial Africans were treated harshly and were subject to discrimination.
- African culture and society was becoming diluted by the influx of Christianity enforced by the Europeans and Islam gaining popularity through Muslim traders. African nationalism began to develop due to subjugation, inequality, and hypocrisy.
- After World War II, the western powers' position on eventually freeing their colonies sparked massive nationalist movements for independence in African colonies led by educated Africans who gained knowledge from Europeans. Some nations formed easily and some formed painfully. Most violent independence movements were due to an entrenched white community in the colony.
- Libya won independence from Italy in 1951. The French-owned Ghana achieved independence in 1957. Subsequent independence movements occurred in the 1960s and 1970s.
- Algeria turned into a war zone when the French were reluctant to release it. Algerian Muslims led resistance movements and France could not bear the violence any longer. Algeria was freed in 1962.
- The MAU MAU rebellion forced Britain's hand to free Kenya.
- Portugal outlasted constant guerilla warfare in Guinea-Bisseau, Mozambique, and Angola until 1975.
- Congo turned into a constant state of civil war after Belgium's frantic and speedy concession of independence.

- Acquired independence from Britain in the 1930s, the Suez Canal remained in British hands.
- Egypt was humiliated by Israel in the Arab-Israel War in 1948 and the monarchy was overthrown by the military in 1952.
- GAMAL ABDUL NASSER became leader of Egypt in 1954 and ended French and British influence with support by the U.S. and Soviet Union.
- Under Nasser, Egypt suffered another humiliating defeat to Israel in the Six-Day War and Nasser was succeeded by Anwar Sadat.
- ANWAR SADAT made peace with Israel after another war in 1973. He strove to modernize Egypt with support from the United States and Western Europe and also to face down communist aggression. Unfortunately, he was assassinated by a Muslim fundamentalist, but his policies continued.
South Africa
- South Africa gained its independence from Britain in 1961.
- For decades since the 1940s, the Afrikaaners and white minorities established the policy of APARTHEID, a restrictive segregationist policy toward African blacks.
- Apartheid prevented blacks from voting and even interacting with whites, especially regarding important affairs.
- The AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (ANC), determined to end apartheid and the white minority regime, was forcibly put down in its early protests. NELSON MANDELA led the ANC militaristic wing, but was imprisoned. After decades of protest, violence, and international condemnation, South Africa ended apartheid in 1994 and held free elections for all citizens, white or black, and Nelson Mandela became leader.
- Since the 1990s, the South African government has been dominated by the ANC.
Aftermath of African Decolonization
- Despite winning independence from western powers, most new African nations fell into disarray. Most nations continued colonial borders preserving the ethnic and tribal conflicts. Civil wars became common.

- The rush for democratic governments fell upon corrupt and inexperienced officials and populations.
- The new nations became a battleground of the Cold War. Civil wars erupted to establish Communist or pro-Western governments. Wars between nations were arenas for the superpowers to determine their strengths.
- During the 1970s and 1980s, most nations fell into the hands of brutal dictators, including IDI AMIN of Uganda who committed massive human rights abuses.
- After the Cold War, most nations dismissed dictatorships for democratic governments. However, some proved weak and ethnic and religious civil wars occurred in nations such as Congo, Liberia, Sudan, and Rwanda.
- Africa was and is plagued by HIV/AIDS. Most nations have inadequate facilities, limited amounts of doctors and medicines, weak governments to prevent looting or corruption, and a limited education.
- After years of control by colonial powers and Japanese invasion, most SE Asian regions developed nationalist movements and demanded independence. After WWII, the Europeans were too weak to keep control and independence would soon be acquired.
- Burma gained independence from Britain in 1948. Malaysia became a free nation in 1960 after brutal fighting between nationalists and communist forces. The Dutch East Indies became Indonesia in 1949, but due to United Nations pressure.
- Vietnam was the center of severe violence with the Indochina wars between the Vietnamese and the French and later with the Americans. This resulted in Vietnam becoming a communist state. Communism would then spread into Cambodia and Laos.
- Burma underwent civil unrest for decades. The conflict was between communists, ethnic separatists, hard-line socialists, and pro-democratic groups. However, a military-led coup established the STATE LAW AND ORDER RESTORATION COUNCIL which renamed Burma to Myanmar in 1989.
- Foreign powers invested in the cheap labor of Southeast Asia and the region experienced a massive economic boom since decolonization.
- In the late 1990s and 2000s, speculation and overspending caused a huge recession in the region. Unemployment surged and governments weakened.


- Turkey, after intense westernization under Ataturk, became closely associated with the western nations. It became a member of NATO and hopes to become a member of the European Union.
- After World War II, the mandate system ended and nations gained independence like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, etc.
- The discovery of massive oil wells in the region in the early 20th century pavd the way for elites to become even more wealthy. Western powers demanding the oil to fuel their industries flooded the market. Unfortunately, most leaders invested the oil profit for themselves rather than the benefit of the nation.
- Intense western investment made Arabs believe their region was experiencing a new form of imperialism and Arab nationalism sparked coups in some nations such as Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Libya. These nations tended to form socialist-leaning governments and nationalized industries.
- Arab nationalism dreamed of a united Arab nation, but regional, religious, and cultural divisions prevented this.
- Some nations fell into dictatorships, like Iraq. Under SADDAM HUSSEIN, he militarized Iraq and enforced an oppressive, single-party regime. He invaded Iran in the 1980s and Kuwait in 1990. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and ended Hussein's rule.
- Through a promise made after WWI, the United Nations helped establish a Jewish state in Palestine. There plan to form a Jewish state and an Arab state was supported by Jews, but not by Arabs. In 1948, Israel was established.
- As soon as Israel formed, neighboring Arab nations declared war. Fortunately, Israel held its own. In 1967, the SIX-DAY WAR saw Israel take over territory from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. In 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel during the YOM KIPPUR WAR, but Israel defended itself though at huge cost.

- Peace was made between Egypt and Israel in 1978 under the efforts of Anwar Sadat (CAMP DAVID ACCORDS).
- The PALESTINE LIBERATION FRONT (PLO) demanded a Palestinian state for Arabs and instigated attacks against Israel in the GAZA STRIP. Some of these attacks have been in the form of terrorism.
- In the late 1980s, the PLO began INTIFADA (awakening), a series of uprisings around the WEST BANK. This proved costly to innocent Palestinians.
- Major peace efforts were made in the early 1990s between Israel, several Arab nations, and the PLO. Unfortunately, later years have seen a rise terrorist attacks by groups such as HAMAS and Islamic Jihad. In 2005, the West Bank fell to Hamas when Israeli forces withdrew.
- After WWII, Iran was under the control of the Shah, who was supported by the United States and promoted western values. However, his rule was not popular among religious conservatives and the middle class. Iran's economy suffered due to the oil crisis of the 1970s.
- In 1979, under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, Islamic fundamentalists deposed the Shah and established a theocratic government under Shiite-based Islam.
- The Ayatollah imposed strict religious rule. Western culture was banned. Iranian women were once again veiled and subjugated.
- The Iraq-Iran War lasted for ten years and weakened Iran.
- Presently, Iran continues its anti-American and anti-western rhetoric and hopes to fuel militant and revolutionary Islamic movements throughout the region and the world.

- After decades of Diaz's dictatorship, Mexico engaged in civil war since 1910 and a conservative-backed constitution was formed in 1917. Mexico promoted land reforms, destruction of the creole-based elites, and foreign investment and ownership. Workers were granted rights and education was reformed. Church relations soured with government restrictions on organized religion. The PARTY OF INSTITUTIONALIZED REVOLUTION (PRI) dominated Mexican politics for the rest of the era.
- Mexico's long-lasting revolution paved the way for industrialization and beyond the old orders of military and Church influence.
- POPULISM: The Depression led to dictatorships in certain Latin American countries. Examples include JUAN PERON of Argentina, GETULIO VARGAS of Brazil, Victor Haya de la Torre of Peru, and Jorge Gaitan of Colombia.
- Populist leaders guaranteed better conditions for workers and ending foreign investment. Communist groups were eliminated and labor unions were limited or disbanded. Most were successful in mobilizing the population to develop domestic industrialization. The elite classes lost influence in society and used as targets by Populist leaders.
- The success of the Cuban Revolution led to many socialist-based revolutions throughout Latin America. Examples inclue the SANDANISTAS in Nicaragua and SALVADOR ALLENDE in Chile.

- The United States, concerned about socialist/communist spreading throughout the region, initiated the ALLIANCE FOR PROGRESS in 1961. The U.S. economically supported Latin American nations dedicated to preserving democratic principles. The U.S. also funded coups and wars to replace socialist governments, sometimes with disastrous consequences such as AUGUSTO PINOCHET's cruel rule in Chile.
- Recent decades have seen ends to socialist and communist governments, except Cuba. Latin American nations seem dedicated to democratic-based governments and adopted NEO-LIBERALISM, economic policies involving free trade, foreign trade, limiting social programs, and privatizing industries. Mexico joined the NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (NAFTA).
- Presently, a few nations seek left-wing policies such as limiting foreign influence and improving social welfare programs. HUGO CHAVEZ of Venezuela is one example.


- Democratic principles increased throughout the world, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. Democracy became associated and promoted through capitalist economies.
- Warfare has changed from national rivalries to regional or fundamental causes. Decentralized groups resorting to terrorism plague the globe, especially in unstable regions, such as the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Most recent, industrial nations have become victims to these groups.
- The war on terrorism has become a primary concern in international politics.
- The proliferation of nuclear weapons caused the need for arms reduction and nuclear limitations and policing. The breakdown of former Soviet republics led to the likely possibility of a nuclear black market.
- Around the globe, there are regional political unions based on mutual cooperation and development. The ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (OAS), the EUROPEAN UNION, the AFRICAN UNION, the ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS are a few examples.
- The WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO) was established in 1995 to ensure free trade and economic development between industrialized and developing nations.
- INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) help poor nations, but require many political requirements to receive aid.
- The ORGANIZATION OF PETROLEUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES (OPEC) was established in 1960 to set prices on oil. Most members reside in the Middle East, including Libya, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates. Venezuela, Angola, Ecuador, and Nigeria are the only non-Middle Eastern nations. OPEC's influence is profound and can affect the the major industrialized nations, ex. late 1970s oil crisis.

- Industrialized nations own a majority of the world's wealth whereas most of the world lives in poverty.
- Capitalism dominates the world's economy. Only five nations continue communist regimes (China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba), but have opened certain economic sectors to privatization and free markets.
North America
- The United States became the sole superpower after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
- Mass consumerism, American exports, and American investment in various global regions saw a diffusion of the American culture throughout the world.
- After WWII, Europe was never the global superpower it was since the 16th century. However, with U.S. assistance, Western Europe became industrious. Eastern Europe centered around agriculture while its industry was indirectly controlled by the Soviet Union.
- In 1958, a number of Western European nations formed the EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY and helped form common economic policies between member nations. This organization would evolve into the EUROPEAN UNION (EU). The EURO would be established as a common currency among European members. Recently, some former Soviet republics and Turkey express great interest in joining the EU.
Latin America

- Latin American nations have the potential to prosper, but weak governments prevent solid and stable markets.
- The international drug trade has become a significant issue in some nations, such as Colombia and Mexico.
- Cuba became an economical wasteland due to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
- Venezuela and Mexico profited from oil wells and production. Venezuela joined OPEC.
- After WWII, Japan and South Korea were given assistance by the United States. Japan's pro-business government sparked an economic boom.
- Japan practiced KEIRETSU, alliances of business firms, to improve domestic industry and were given government assistance.
- Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan became economical powers due to cheap and reliable products. East Asian markets made gains and cut into American and European markets.
- During the late 1990s, internal corruption in nations like Japan and rapid speculation in East Asian markets spawned a huge recession in the region. Fortunately, Japan fully recovered in the 2000s.

- China opened up its markets and its economy grew substantially. However, it may be leading to overproduction and the massive industrialization has affected its environment.
- South and Southeast Asia have been used as cheap labor given the abundance of its population and state-run businesses.
- East Asian and Southeast Asian economies prospered due to an emphasis on cooperation involving the government, industries, and corporations. Disciplined labor, enforced education, and government assistance proved successful for Asian markets.
- The region is the poorest in the world due to epidemics, famines, poor education, and political instability.
- China, over the last several years, has invested immensely in Africa.
- Oil-producing nations have made the best gains in Africa.

- In Western society, women gained more opportunity due to their efforts during WWII. Divorce and child care were made more accessible. The NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN (NOW) championed for more women's rights. Feminist moevments grew in the 1960s and 1970s.
- Latin American societies had women in more traditional roles, but making gains in politics and economics in recent years.
- Women gained suffrage and opportunities in Africa due to aiding in independence movements. Early marriage is still prevalent.
- Some Middle Eastern nations prevent womens rights movements and seclusion is still praticed.
- China established the ONE-CHILD POLICY leading to higher male birth rates and an untold amount of female birth rates.
- Arranged marriages exist in India and literacy rates for women are very low due to poor educational opportunities.
Minorities and Genocides
- Holocaust of minorities, including Jews, in Europe during WWII era.
- American Blacks gained secured civil rights during the 1960s after decades of segregation and South African blacks endured apartheid until the 1990s. Western society became increasingly protective of minorities through legislation.
- The Killing Fields during the Khmer Rouge communist regime in Cambodia which saw massacres of political prisoners through "re-education."
- Most notably in the United States and Western Europe, there have been increased "profiling" of Arabs and Muslims due to the recent terrorist acts.
- A significant amount of non-Western nations continue subjugation of minorities.
- Saddam Hussein's gassing of Kurds in northern Iraq during 1980s and 1990s.
- Ethnic cleansing between Bosnians and Serbs in the 1990s.
- Tutsi-Hutu conflicts in Rwanda in the 1990s.
- Western society has become more secularized, though there is a strong conservative population in the United States.
- Religious fundamentalist and conservative societies dominate nations in the Middle East. Islamic militarism is a growing threat, AL-QAEDA and USAMA BIN LADEN. Islamic-based terrorism has become a top priority among nations, especially after the events of 9/11.
- Latin America has a strong Catholic culture, but there is an increasing evangelical movement.
- Western culture promotes monetary wealth and professionalism. The dominance of western culture throughout the world has spawned resentment among non-western cultures, especially Islam.
- Life expectancy has risen significantly, especially in industrialized nations. This has led to an increase in the elderly population. This will pose problems for younger generations since they will have to support a larger elderly population through social programs.
- Birth rates are low in western society due to the high cost of having and caring for a child. Increased education and opportunities among women have contributed to low fertility and birth rates.
- Populations in industrialized societies have stagnated while developing nations have experienced massive population growth.
- Urbanization increased dramatically in the late 20th century and continues. There is a huge disparity between the rural and urban areas. Suburbs develop.
- Migration from developing nations to industrialized nations continues. Discrimination toward immigrants continues, but cultures still keep their roots in new nations.
- Most immigrant communities are mostly young and have high fertility rates.
- New technologies since WWII have increased productivity, decreased labor force, and increased demand.
- The computer became a dominant tool. This would eventually lead to the internet and easier access to information and communication.
- The SPACE AGE, originally between the United States and Soviet Union, saw humankind venturing into the unknown reaches of space. Satellites and humans have been launched into space, increasing communication and information. The U.S. were successful in landing men on the moon. Currently, nations have pooled resources (International Space Station), but some concerns developed from the West over China's launch into space.
- New technologies, especially during the current Digital Age, transformed politics with new types of warfare, economics with corporations dominating markets, and culture with easier access to information and communication (the influence of the MEDIA, i.e. television, movies, internet)
- Conservation became a concern in the 1960s and 1970s. Industrialization and population growth threatened the environment.
- Industrialized nations began to focus resources to preserve landscapes and reduce pollution.
- Developing nations, desperate to increase industrialization, share little concern with environmental restrictions and concerns.
- China is notoriously known to sacrifice the environment for industries, seriously affecting their rural areas and regional environments.