15. Post-World War II Europe

 

I. Decolonization

    A. Between 1947 and 1962 almost every colony

         received independence

            - since WWI nationalistic movements had been

                 developing in the colonies

            - after World War II European nations left in ruins,

                 were unable or unwilling to maintain their

                 colonies

 

    B. Statehood achieved in various ways

            1. Peacefully:

                 - Philippines (1946) from the U. S.

                 - India (1947P from Great Britain

                 - Indonesia (1949) from the Dutch

                 - Laos and Cambodia (1954) from France

                 - Morocco and Tunisia (1956) from France

 

            2. Through violence

                 - Vietnam vs. France (divided in 1954)

                 - Algeria vs. France (1962)

 

            3. Israel

                 - after World War II mandate under the authority

                        of Great Britain

                 - in 1947 the U. N. proposed partitioning into an

                        Arab state and an Israeli state

                 - this was rejected by the Palestinians who

                        preferred a united Arab-Jewish state

                 - 1948 Israel declared independence which led to

                        war with the Arab states

                 - Outcome > Israel won control over 75% of the

                         land and 83% of the Palestinians became

                         refugees in neighboring states

                 - this is the first of several wars that will be

                        fought over territory and security

                 - the current status involves partition and

                        negotiations between Israel and the

                        Palestinian Authority

 

II. Economic Recovery and Integration

    A. Marshall Plan (1947)

            - economic aid given to Europe for rebuilding

            - also helped U. S. economy since 70% of the aid

                        had to be used to buy U. S. made goods

            - between 1947 and 1950, $9.4 billion received

            - by 1950 Europe’s industrial output exceeded

                        prewar levels by 30%

 

    B. Creation of the European Union

            1. European Coal and Steel Community (1951)

                - created to eliminate tariffs and barriers among

                        its members: France, West Germany, the

                        Benelux countries, Italy

 

            2. European Economic Community (Common Market - 1957)

                 - established by the Treaty of Rome

                 - created a large free trade area protected by a

                        common tariff

                 - highly successful

 

            3. Expansion of the Common Market

                  - by 1986 joined by Great Britain, Ireland, Denmark,

                        Spain, Portugal and Greece

                 - by 1990’s accounted for 1/3 of the world’s

                        industrial production, exceeding that of the

                        U. S., Mexico and Canada combined by over 20%

 

            4. European Union (1993)

                 - established by the treaty of Maastricht

                 - expansion of membership

                 - expansion of activities and authority

                 - the Euro

 

IIII. Existentialism

            - a philosophy for crisis

            - recognizes the absurdity of life, yet gives hope and a way to find

                  meaning in the senselessness of life