After WWII

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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After World War II, there were many changes in Europe. The replacement of the League of Nations, the different opinions on how to achieve security, and the weakened state of Europe are some of the changes.

One of the first changes was when the allies agreed at Yalta to replace the League of Nations with the United Nations. The purpose of the United Nations was to maintain peace by guaranteeing the security of member nations. The member countries hoped that it would create good relationships between nations based on equal rights and self-determination.

The United Nations was also used to encourage cooperation on economic, humanitarian, and cultural problems.

Another change was the differences in opinion on how to achieve security. The western allies- The United States, Great Britain and France- believed that the best way to achieve security was to strengthen democracy and to build a prosperous economy in Europe.

On the other hand, the Soviets understandably had a fear of invasion and had lost 20 million in World War II. Joseph Stalin wanted to establish pro-Soviet governments in Eastern Europe to expand its empire and prevent any future attacks. Stalin refused to allow free elections breaking his promise made at Yalta. Non- Communist were dismissed from governments and Communist took charge.

By 1947 the Soviet Union controlled most of the nations of that region.

Conditions in Europe posed immediate and long-term problems for the U.S. World War II had severely weakened European economies. The Truman administration feared that the European economic collapse would open Europe to communism. It felt that the security of the United States depended on a strong and democratic Europe. George C. Marshall formed a European aid program called the Marshall Plan. Its purpose was to restore the confidence of the European people in the...