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CHAPTER 32 The Cold War and Decolonization, 1945–197500CHAPTER OUTLINEI0.The Cold WarA0.The United Nations10.After World War II Western leaders perceived the Soviet Union as the center of a world revolutionary movement, while Soviet leaders felt themselves surrounded by the western countries and their North Atlantic Treaty Organization (founded 1949). The United Nations provided a venue for face-to-face debate between the two sides in the Cold War.20.The United Nations was established in 1945 with a General Assembly, Security Council, a full-time bureaucracy headed by the Secretary-General, and various specialized agencies. All signatories of the United Nations Charter renounced war and territorial conquest, but in practice, the United Nations was seldom able to forestall or quell international conflicts.30.The decolonization of Africa and Asia greatly swelled the size of the General Assembly, which became an arena for expressing opinions and whose resolutions carried great weight in the early years of the United Nations. The influx of new members made the General Assembly more concerned with poverty, racial discrimination, and the struggle against imperialism than with the Cold War, and so the Western powers increasingly ignored the General Assembly.B0.Capitalism and Communism10.Between 1944 and 1946 the western capitalist countries created a new international monetary system in which supply and demand determined prices and that included a system of exchange rates, an International Monetary Fund, and a World Bank. The Soviet Union, suspicious of Western intentions, established a closed monetary system in which the state allocated goods and set prices for itself and for the communist states of eastern Europe.20.The United States economy recovered and prospered during and after World War II. The economy of Western Europe, heavily damaged during World War II, recovered in the post-war period with the help of the American Marshall Plan.30.Western European governments generally increased their role in economic management during this period. In 1948 Europeans launched a process of economic cooperation and integration with the creation of the Organization of European Economic Cooperation, which expanded its membership as it developed into the European Economic Community or Common Market (1957) and then into the European Community (1970).40.The Soviet Union and eastern European states relied on the government to determine the production, distribution, and price of goods. In the communist states the recovery from World War II was rapid at first, but in the long run the Soviet and eastern European economies were unable to match those of the west in the production of consumer goods, housing, and food.C0.West Versus East in Europe and Korea10.The rapid establishment of communist regimes in eastern Europe led the United States to perceive the Soviet Union as a worldwide enemy. American perceptions led to the
Truman Doctrine (1947) and to the establishment of NATO (1949), to which the Soviet Union responded by organizing the Warsaw Pact (1955).