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Ch 21: Europe & the United States After 1945

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons to learn about the political, social and cultural changes that have affected Europe and the United States since 1945. Take a quiz following each lesson to help ensure you've grasped the material.

Europe & the United States After 1945 - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

World War II may have ended in 1945, but the world still faced several political and economic challenges in the post-war period. In the last seven decades, the Soviet Union rose in power and fell, Germany was partitioned and reunified, the European Union was created, the United States experienced fights for civil rights, and advancements in science and technology altered the world forever. In this chapter, the focus is on the many challenges and accomplishments that have impacted the U.S. and Europe since World War II. The lessons cover topics such as:

  • How the Soviet Union dominated Eastern Europe
  • What the purpose of Germany's Berlin Wall was
  • How religion and culture have changed since 1945
  • What led to the space race between the U.S. and Soviet Union
  • How post-WWII scientific achievements impacted the world
  • What key developments shaped post-WWII politics and society

VideoObjective
Soviet Domination of Eastern EuropeSee how the Soviet Union was able to take control of post-WWII Eastern Europe.
Communists Take Power in CzechoslovakiaExplore what led to the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia and how it impacted the country.
Post-war Germany: Politics, Developments & PartitioningExamine how the creation of East Germany and West Germany came about after WWII.
The Reunification of East and West Germany in 1990Discover what events led to the reunification of East and West Germany.
Building and Tearing Down the Berlin Wall: History and TimelineTrace the history of the Berlin Wall and how its destruction coincided with the decline of communism.
Religion & Philosophy Since 1945: Lesson & QuizExplore how major religious and philosophical developments have affected society since 1945.
The Advance of Science & Technology Since 1945: Developments & ImpactSee how post-WWII scientific and technological advancements have changed the world.
The Space Race: Definition, History & TimelineTake a look at the role of the Cold War in the space race between the U.S. and Soviet Union.
Social & Political Developments Since 1945: Lesson & QuizLearn about key post-WWII political and social events that have impacted Europe and the U.S.
Art & Culture Since 1945: Lesson & QuizStudy the themes of and influences on post-WWII art and culture.

10 Lessons in Chapter 21: Europe & the United States After 1945
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Soviet Domination of Eastern Europe

1. Soviet Domination of Eastern Europe

During the second half of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union dominated Eastern Europe. Explore the state of Eastern Europe after WWII, the formation of the Warsaw Pact, and how the Soviet influence on Eastern Europe ultimately declined.

Communists Take Power in Czechoslovakia

2. Communists Take Power in Czechoslovakia

The communist takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948 led to a number of tumultuous events. Learn about President Bene's exile, the battle for control between the coalition and the communist party, victorious February and the impetus for NATO.

Post-war Germany: Politics, Developments & Partitioning

3. Post-war Germany: Politics, Developments & Partitioning

After its defeat in World War II, Germany was divided, split into East and West Germany, and reunified in 1990. Explore the politics, developments, and partitioning of post-war Germany, and examine the impact of the Allies and the Cold War.

Building and Tearing Down the Berlin Wall: History and Timeline

4. Building and Tearing Down the Berlin Wall: History and Timeline

For nearly 30 years, the Berlin Wall cut off both friends and families from one another. Learn about the history of the Berlin Wall, timeline, how it began, and how its final demise came as communism fell across Eastern Europe in the late 1980s.

The Reunification of East and West Germany in 1990

5. The Reunification of East and West Germany in 1990

In 1990, the reunification of Germany brought to light the vast cultural and economical differences among the civilians in East and West Germany. Learn about the partition of Germany after WWII, the fall of communism, and the reunification of Germany.

Religion & Philosophy Since 1945

6. Religion & Philosophy Since 1945

The world has undergone many religious and philosophical shifts highlighted in several major world religions since the end of World War II in 1945. Explore changes in Catholicism made through the liberal-minded Vatican II decree, and in Islam, whose leaders embraced increasingly conservative interpretations of the Qu'ran, leading to the rise of radical Muslim sects.

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

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

Since the end of World War II in 1945, there have been countless advancements in science and technology. This lesson will provide examples from the different areas of advancement, such as communication, transportation, and computers.

The Space Race: Definition, History & Timeline

8. The Space Race: Definition, History & Timeline

The space race refers to the United States and the Soviet Union competing to be the first to send men in space and reach the moon in the middle 20th century. Explore the definition, history, and timeline of the space race, and learn about the Cold War, Sputnik, and the moon landing by U.S. astronauts ahead of the Soviet's cosmonauts.

Social & Political Developments Since 1945

9. Social & Political Developments Since 1945

After World War II, the Western world underwent several distinct political changes and shifts in the current social fabric. See these developments through student activism and civil rights, women's liberation, and the economic creation of the European Union.

Art & Culture Since 1945: Types & Artists

10. Art & Culture Since 1945: Types & Artists

After 1945, there was an explosion in the areas of art and culture. Understand the post-WWII culture, the types of art and artists of the era, and the impact on television, music, and art.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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