True to many observers that since there hasn’t been any major conflicts to start the second half of the 20th century that there should be peace and prosperity in the world. The truth though shows a different picture of this time period. Prosperity was very prevelent in the world and many of the countries that were ravaged during the second World War did quite well after. Aid from outside countries such as the United States helped countries like France dig themselves out of the rubble that was and enter a time of growth.
The world powers that emerged victorious from the WWII, the United States, Great Britain, Soviet Union, were all committed to creating a world peace that would last for many years to come and keep this catastrophe from happening again. A domino-effect of things broke down along the way to peace that derailed the dream for peace between the world powers. It pitted the United States and Great Britain vs. Russia in what would be known as the Cold War. This Cold War would lead many years of unrest around the globe and wouldn’t be settled until near the end of the 20th century.
Misunderstandings seem to have been the catalyst to the Cold War unrest, division, and arms stockpiling. The first was on how Germany should be dealt with right after WWII was over. It was agreed that the Soviet Union would divide Germany into zones and would pay heavy taxes to Russia. But the way that the provinces that were now controlled by the Soviet Union would be able to vote in there elections would not be overlooked by the U. S. and Great Britain.
The issue of free elections but with pro-Russian influence would not be allowed by the U. S. President Harry S. Truman demanded that free elections reign throughout Europe. Stalin and the Soviets wanted security from Germany and its neighbors and allies after going through two deadly invasions at the hand of Hitler’s army. Both sides stood strong to there goals and tensions increased and the stale mate gave way to a Cold war that lasted for almost the entire second half of the 20th century. Many hardships followed around the world.
Russia tightened its grip on neighboring countries, making them endure what provinces were already going through inside the \”iron curtain\”. Communist rulers were put into power in many of the surrounding countries and were forced to move communism across new borders and spread this idealism across western Europe. This was, of course, unsuccessful. Peoples in these countries, such as Poland in 1980 fought hard and long to win their country back and force communist leaders out. In Germany, dissatisfied East Germans began pouring though Hungary to thriving West Germany.
This prompted people in East Germany to open the Berlin wall to stabilize the movement of people but it only prompted the bringing down of the socialist government. Soon western and eastern Germany were reunified in peace. With the Soviet Unions rising deficit from military arms racing, the move for peace, and the need to move past the Cold War prompted world leaders to meet to reduce the amount of arms and cut military spending. The Paris Accord of 1990 would be the main push to peace the world needed, finally ending WWII and the Cold War.
Revolutions rang through durign this time. Countries like Czechoslovakia whose rule had been under a communist leader who died became a self ruling in only 10 days. This was known as the Velvet Revolution. These reasons have strong implications towards the push to peace and the struggle to maintain that peace. The ripple effect of the Cold war have not yet dissolved and much time is needed until the effects of oppression of other countries during this time if gone. Peace almost had its way around the world.