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Ch 15: Western Civilization Since 1945

About This Chapter

Watch history video lessons and learn about the Marshall Plan, the Chinese Civil War, the Brezhnev Doctrine, the space race and more. Take self-assessment quizzes to see how much key info you've retained about Western civilization since 1945.

Western Civilization Since 1945 - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Lessons in this chapter outline some of the changes taking place in Europe, Asia and the United States after the end of World War II. Follow along as instructors discuss the development of new nations as well as the political foreign policies spawning new conflicts. They can also shed some light on the scientific innovation and social movements taking place in the midst of two superpowers' competition for world dominance. This chapter can help you understand:

  • Europe's economic recovery programs
  • Independence movements and political realignments
  • Cold War causes, conflicts and outcomes
  • Effects of the Soviet Union's dissolution
  • Cultural, social, philosophical and scientific advancements

Video Objective
Economic Reconstruction in Europe After WWII: Recovery Programs & Their Effect Explains how programs like the Marshall Plan and the gold-dollar standard contributed to economic recovery. Describes the effect of such programs on the world economy.
Political Reconstruction in Europe After WWII: History, Impact & Quiz Outlines the development of democratic political institutions, especially in Britain, France, Germany and Italy.
The Creation of Israel in 1948: Timeline & Resulting Conflicts Describes the creation of the modern nation of Israel in 1948 and the resulting conflicts with its neighbors.
Post-WWII Independence Movements Around the World: History & Examples Highlights independence movements in former colonies around the world following WWII.
The Chinese Revolution and Creation of Taiwan: History & Timeline Details the victory of Chiang Kai-Shek and the Communists in China's long civil war.
The Cold War: Definition, Causes & Early Events Depicts post-war Europe as it split into Communist and non-Communist blocs and describes the scramble for territory between the two.
Conflicts During the Cold War: Examples, Causes & Quiz Explains wars and conflicts resulting from such policies as the Domino Theory and the Brezhnev Doctrine. Lesson content focuses on the Korean, Vietnam and Soviet-Afghan wars.
The Space Race: Definition, History & Timeline Explores the ongoing competition between the United States and the Soviet Union to dominate outer space.
Fall of the Soviet Union and End of the Cold War: Causes & Timeline Describes the declining power of the Soviet Union and reforms made by Gorbachev, leading ultimately to the end of the Cold War.
Post-War Soviet Union & Eastern Europe: The Descent of the Iron Curtain Illustrates characteristics of former Soviet-bloc nations after the 'Iron Curtain' lifted.
Religion & Philosophy Since 1945: Lesson & Quiz Surveys religion and philosophy in the modern era, including the effects of existentialism, post-modernism, the Second Vatican council and Islam.
The Advance of Science & Technology Since 1945: Developments & Impact Explores modern advances in communication, transportation, computing and microscience.
Social & Political Developments Since 1945: Lesson & Quiz Outlines a variety of political and social concerns, including student activism, the women's liberation movement, the creation of the European Union, environmental issues and population changes.
Art & Culture Since 1945: Lesson & Quiz Examines changing trends in Western culture's television, music, leisure and entertainment.

14 Lessons in Chapter 15: Western Civilization Since 1945
Economic Reconstruction in Europe After WWII: Recovery Programs & Their Effect

1. Economic Reconstruction in Europe After WWII: Recovery Programs & Their Effect

In this lesson, we explore the measures taken by the United States to aid its European allies in combating the severe economic depression in Europe immediately after World War II.

Political Reconstruction in Europe After WWII: History & Impact

2. Political Reconstruction in Europe After WWII: History & Impact

In this lesson, we explore the political reconstruction of Europe in the years immediately following World War II and the splitting of Europe between capitalist and communist states.

The Creation of Israel in 1948: Timeline & Resulting Conflicts

3. The Creation of Israel in 1948: Timeline & Resulting Conflicts

In this lesson, we explore the movements and political developments that led to the creation of the state of Israel and the subsequent backlash from the Arab world.

Post-WWII Independence Movements Around the World: History & Examples

4. Post-WWII Independence Movements Around the World: History & Examples

In this lesson, we explore the diverse and varied experience of decolonization in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa after World War II when Western Europe began to withdraw its claims to far away territory and colonies.

The Chinese Revolution and Creation of Taiwan: History & Timeline

5. The Chinese Revolution and Creation of Taiwan: History & Timeline

In this lesson we explore the long struggle between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party before, during, and after WWII, and the subsequent creation of Taiwan after the communist victory.

Post-War Soviet Union & Eastern Europe: The Descent of the Iron Curtain

6. Post-War Soviet Union & Eastern Europe: The Descent of the Iron Curtain

In this lesson, we will learn about some of the dynamic events that followed World War II in Eastern Europe. We will explore the descent of the Iron Curtain, and learn about the formation of the Eastern Bloc states.

The Cold War: Definition, Causes & Early Events

7. The Cold War: Definition, Causes & Early Events

The period of distrust between the Soviet Union and United States was known as the Cold War. Learn about the origins of the era, essential events and the shaping of the national security state.

Conflicts During the Cold War: Examples & Causes

8. Conflicts During the Cold War: Examples & Causes

In this lesson, we explore several of the world's conflicts in the second half of the 20th century that ended up becoming proxy wars between the United States and the Soviet Union in their Cold War standoff.

The Space Race: Definition, History & Timeline

9. The Space Race: Definition, History & Timeline

In this lesson, we explore the 20th century's space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, where both superpowers competed to be the first in space and the first to reach the moon.

Fall of the Soviet Union and End of the Cold War: Causes & Timeline

10. Fall of the Soviet Union and End of the Cold War: Causes & Timeline

In this lesson, we chart the reforms made by Russian premier Mikhail Gorbachev attempting to save the Soviet Union and the communist federation's eventual dissolution in 1991.

Religion & Philosophy Since 1945

11. Religion & Philosophy Since 1945

In this lesson, we explore some of the major developments in the world of ideas since the end of World War II, from the increased public engagement of professional philosophy and Catholicism to the growth of Islam.

The Advance of Science & Technology Since 1945: Developments & Impact

12. The Advance of Science & Technology Since 1945: Developments & Impact

In this lesson, we explore just a few of the numerous advances and innovations made in the worlds of sciences and technology, from automobiles and televisions to computers and phones that can fit in the palm of your hand.

Social & Political Developments Since 1945

13. Social & Political Developments Since 1945

In this lesson, we examine several social and political developments in the United States and in Western Europe since 1945, from the civil rights movement to the creation of the European Union.

Art & Culture Since 1945: Types & Artists

14. Art & Culture Since 1945: Types & Artists

In this lesson, we explore the art and culture of post-World War II Western society, from the fledgling television programming to the disparate directions of 20th-century art.

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