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European Society in the Twentieth Century, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1374

Essay

European society has undergone tremendous changes due to different events, among them being the cold war, the feminist movements, globalization, and the European decolonization of Africa, Asia, and the middle east. These events played a critical role in shaping modern-day European society as an evolution of the twentieth century. The continued changes were spearheaded by critical activists who sought to represent the wealth and welfare of the people. Comprehensively, this paper seeks to share a discussion of the highlighted events and their effect on European society.

The cold war and the New Western World lasted between 1945 and 1965. During the period, activists confronted the parties responsible for the cold war through which divergent historical perspectives emerged that tended to shift the traditional or the medieval power politics to the modern. In modern politics, democracy has become a significant driver of change. People advocated for public interest in the different decisions enacted in the process of enforcing change. Economic prosperity was witnessed as countries worked to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure from the war (Spielvogel, 850). The Marshal plan represents one of the strategies adopted. The marshal plan was initiated by the United States, as the superpower, with its effort geared towards establishing seventeen western and southern European countries to ensure the survival of institutions that advocated for democratic rule. During the reign, governments focused on building their political, social, and economic spaces friendly instead of the dictatorial regime that triggered unnecessary wars.

One pertinent occurrence during the Cold War was the disagreement over the Eastern Europe border that forced communist governments to establish their operation centers in East Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Poland. However, during the cold war, new military alliances were established that sought to search for security by signing agreements such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of 1949. The establishment of the treaty remains significant in the twentieth century as it offers democracies a peaceful working environment. To date, NATO serves a critical role in ensuring the peaceful coexistence of nations that agree to share resources to win a mutually benefiting environment. Importantly, through NATO, security agents can meet and share security challenges that they agree to resolve amicably. They remain critical to guaranteeing security concerns, which gives the politicians and business moguls confidence to invest in different sectors of the economy that overall helps achieve the European economic, political, and social goals.

Before the emergence of feminist movements, the European area was characterized by significant protests that resulted in economic, political, and social stagnation. Industrial productivity declined as agricultural production lowered, resulting in an economic planning challenge. The sexual revolution negatively impacted the European space through the violent and repetitive uprisings (Spielvogel, 921). Traditional family ties were destroyed by the call for sex education and women and gay rights. Women have transformed become essential pillars of society. However, before they enjoyed this right, women faced significant challenges of oppression from the male gender. They were denied opportunities to work with their limitation at home, where they were expected to undertake house chores as male objects for pleasure.

However, the women’s uprising through the formation of important organizations such as the National Organization for Women (NOW), established in 1966, led to the promotion of equal rights for women (Aiken et al., 392). NOW considers it essential for states to treat women special to permit them to respond to their biological anatomy and social responsibility of giving birth appropriately. As part of the feminism movement, the organization ensured women in the twentieth century could serve in equal capacity as the male gender without family ties being broken. Respectably, it is essential to note the significant responsibility of activists such as Betty Friedman. She, through literature, pioneered the formation of NOW with the focus of guaranteeing the different gender roles that sparked widespread public activism. Women did not lose their dignity as pregnancy rights, abortion, and child care litigations were advocated.

Considerably, the women’s advocacy for change reached other European countries through the ties established in the NATO agreement that agreed to share ideas on how to heighten security among the members. NOW and NATO policies needed to match to warrant the desired growth and development further. The joining of women in the military and other administrative positions of the state saw the European space experience tremendous growth due to the ideas they shared at the discussion tables. For instance, Margaret Thatcher, the longest-serving British prime minister and the first woman to hold the office, pioneered different policies collectively identified as Thatcherism (Evans, 30) that saw a reverse of the European inflation struggle from the winter Discontent and recession.

Globalization remains one of the significant changes in the twentieth century that saw the European nations transform in every sphere of their being. The period of globalization began in 1985 and had been experiencing tremendous strides to date. Globalization denotes a period of significant changes in the business, way of nations, and people’s interactions through an excessive economic activity that expands trade by opening the supply chain to guarantee an equitable supply of the highly demanded natural resources. Through globalization, democracies shared much information and worked together with both female and male gender, allowed to participate in the day’s politics and economic welfare. Notably, the economic reforms, perestroika, and glasnost forced the need for a political structure that embraced multicandidate elections to reduce the communist party’s powers. The politics of oppression were significantly overcome throughout the globalization period.

It is crucial to mention favorable benefits to the European world deduced from the decolonization of the African countries from their colonies. The European society benefited immensely from the decolonization process significantly because of their ability to trade with the African countries, which they could not execute favorably during the colonial rule. The struggle for independence saw different members become parties to the political autonomy advocated for by the colonizers. As most of the colonies attempted to implement the democratic rule, the European world significantly benefited from the export and import business. The European world imported raw materials and later sold them to the African countries they had colonized different processed goods. This trade increased the European society’s reserve even as they invited Africans to work for their economies and production houses. Also, the colonizers significantly loaned money to the colonized countries with a mutual benefiting objective. Through the colonization process, the European countries could drive their agenda to their colonies.

Outstandingly, the colonization did not just influence the African countries only. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed as a strategy to deal with the Arab-Israel dispute. The organization with the sole role of representing the Palestine people on different negotiation tables aimed at giving them an opportunity to state their ideologies, which are critical to establishing the economic, social, and political fate. Based on the ideology shared, European society was also impacted differently through the different ideologies suggested.

The end of the Soviet Union remains a critical role in European society through the drive to end a conservative reaction. Important policies such as creating independent commonwealth states as a strategy to achieve the peaceful coexistence desired. The Commonwealth Independent States is an important consideration that seeks to achieve the desired policies by the members through a coordinated effort that aims to interlink the diverse views on immigration policies, foreign relations, economic policies, law enforcement, and environmental protection.

In conclusion, not a single occurrence, as evidenced in the discussion, can be attributed to the development of European society in the 20th century. Different activities, including feminism, have served an imperative role in promoting desired policies for the people. The colonial rule was vital as it spearheaded the formation of foreign trade relations that witnessed the consequent growth of European society. Also, the different treaties signed following activist action through demonstration forced the focus to ensure equity in the European community. Lastly, the security guaranteed after the various wars forced political parties and politicians to remain objective in their actions. These advancements in the political realm guaranteed a rampant growth of democracies fostered by globalization advancement.

Works Cited

Aiken, Juliet R., Elizabeth D. Salmon, and Paul J. Hanges. “The origins and legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Journal of Business and Psychology 28.4 (2013): 383-399.

Evans, Eric J. Thatcher and thatcherism. Routledge, 2018.

Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western civilization. Cengage Learning, 2020.

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