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Three Significant Cold War Events That Shaped the Europe of Today

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Three Significant Cold War Events that Shaped the Europe of Today

In 1947 at the beginning of the Cold War the European continent was devastated by the events that had just transpired on the continent over the past decade. World War II had just ended and the former allies were struggling to keep an alliance together. Because Germany had started the war, there was mistrust amongst the allies that Germany would again rise and create the turmoil that the continent had just witnessed. And there was also a larger mistrust, bordering on an animosity, between the two superpowers the Soviet Union and the United States as these one time allies vied for supremacy of the world. Caught in between this superpower struggle was the European continent. As the European continent was divided between the superpowers there were many events that occurred that had an impact on the Europe of today. I believe the three most significant events affecting the development of Europe during the Cold War and helping to shape the European continent, was the United States implementation of the Marshall Plan, the signing of the Washington Treaty of 1949 and the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1950. Each one of these events would lead to further expansion on the initial premise of each program or policy further enhancing the security or prosperity of the European continent. After the War, "with Western Europe on the verge of not only economic ruin but also political and social upheaval, the region's weary governments were forced into dependence on the United States." Most of the items needed to rebuild Western Europe could only come from the one country virtually unscathed during the war, the United States. But at this time because of the devastation across Europe the European nations could not purchase the raw materials. The United States…...

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