World War II

During its existence, humanity has gone a long way from the primitive community to the post-industrial society. However, a man left a long trail of blood drown by the countless wars, and the World War II (WWII) became the apogee of people’s ambition and cruelty. In fact, the warring parties suffered huge human and material losses at this horrible time. As a result, the world after the WWII has undergone many changes. Velvet Revolution, USSR collapse, and the Cold War were the main events of the postwar period. Thus, the goal of this essay is to analyze these general world events after the WWII.

After the WWII, there was a confrontation between the Communist bloc countries on the one hand and the Western capitalist countries on the other. The main struggle was between two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States. It resulted in the Cold War which became a contest for supremacy in the new post-war world. However, the main reason for it became unsolvable ideological differences between the two models of society (Frankforter and Spellman 890). Besides, the West feared the strengthening of the USSR. In fact, the lack of a common enemy and the ambitions of political leaders have played a role at the beginning of the Cold War. Churchill’s speech, in which he provided the idea of an Anglo-Saxon Union to fight against communism, in 1946 marked its start (Frankforter and Spellman 895). The aim of the United States became an economic victory over the Soviet Union as well as the achievement of military superiority. In the period of 1953-1962, the world was even on the brink of a nuclear conflict as the relations between these superpowers ended with the Berlin and Cuban missile crisis (Frankforter and Spellman 905). The next period was marked by the arms race that undermined the economy of the competing countries. Thus, the weakness of the Soviet economy and its inability to support the race as well as the pro-Soviet communist regimes caused the end of the Cold War.

On 17 November, 1989 the Velvet Revolution started. The regime that was established by the Communist Party opposed the student demonstration, organized in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Nazis Czech universities closure (Frankforter and Spellman 910). As a result, people went out on the streets protesting against the brutal actions of the authorities. During this revolution, the Communists abandoned claims on absolute political power. In fact, the mode exhausted itself and had no more strength to go against the whole society. Thus, authorities updated political parties, which began to form from the association of like-minded people gathered in the Czech Civic Forum and Slovak Public against Violence, and the first free elections were held (Frankforter and Spellman 912). However, the Czech and Slovak political representatives could not find a win-win model of coexistence. It resulted in an organized division of the Czechoslovak state.

At the same time, the processes leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union had already become apparent, especially in the 80s of the 20th century (Frankforter and Spellman 915). In fact, the general cause was a crisis provoked by the planned nature of the economy that led to a shortage of many consumer goods. Besides, the failed reforms have led to sharp deterioration in living standards. The mass discontent of the population at disruption of food supplies and the gap in living standards between Soviet citizens and citizens of the capitalist countries were important reasons as well (Frankforter and Spellman 917). However, the weakening of the central government and authoritarian nature of Soviet society became the ultimate cause of the collapse. Among its main consequences was a sharp decline in production in all the countries of the former Soviet Union and the fall in living standards. Besides, there emerged numerous ethnic conflicts and territorial claims between the former Soviet republics (Frankforter and Spellman 918).

Consequently, the world after the WWII changed a lot. In fact, some general events formed the situation in the post-war society. The main struggle was between the Soviet Union and the United States because they had a confrontation for the leadership. It lasted for several decades and ended with a loss of the USSR. The next general post-war event was the Velvet Revolution when citizens opposed the communist government and achieved some radical changes in society. Finally, the last event was the collapse of the USSR, which was triggered by the decline in living standards and failed reforms.