From 1945 to 1968 east and west Europe

Essay by Maz32University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2009

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The Second World War ended in Europe with Nazi Germany's defeat in May 1945. By this time, all Eastern and much of Central Europe was under Soviet employment. Following World War II, many Europeans were trying to reach peace. Europeans were encouraged to center their daily lives around helping their countries' efforts to achieve peace and prosperity. In the first decade following World War II, Moocow thoroughly exploited its new European empire to support the massive effort to rebuild.

In Eastern Europe, communism started to emerge. Moscow's government decided to ignore the Yalta agreement, a set of rules agreed upon by Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin postwar Europe and the war in the Pacific. Europe was plagued with frequent and destructive wars, particularly the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, and World War II. European leaders, out of a desire to secure a lasting peace in Europe, agreed that the best method to do so was to unite the nations economically and politically.

Thus began the European Union.

World War II left Europe in state of economic distress. The war had left many areas of Western Europe in complete ruin, and the world's major industrial areas were brought to disintegration. In this state of devastation, both the Soviet Union and the United States reached out to lend a hand to help the economic revival in Western Europe. Since communism was firmly rebuffed in Western Europe, and the Soviet Union was a communist country, the United States' aid was accepted to help Western Europe and this began its long period of economic revival. Through the Marshall Plan, Europe began to rebuild its factories, farms and transport systems, which had been destroyed by the war. Although Western Europe from 1945-1968 was relatively effective, many weaknesses can be seen in this strategy...