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Mains Test Series

Redrawal of National Boundaries, Colonization, Decolonization

Q. Throw light on the significant events that resulted in the redrawal of national boundaries in the post-World War 2 era.

Solution  

Introduction

The result of World War II radically altered the political world map with the defeat of the Axis powers Germany, Italy and Japan.

Redrawal of National boundaries:

  1. Start of decolonisation:
    • After the world war, allied power was envisaged with various domestic and external issues.
    • Therefore, they were not in a position to maintain their colonies. So, the world witnessed the end of colonialism in Asia and Africa in the post-war era. For example, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, etc., got its independence.
  2. Iron Curtain of Europe:
  3. Postdam conference: The conferees uttered the substance and procedures of the peace settlements in Europe. It also discussed the demarcation of the boundaries of Poland, Austria, etc.
  4. Yalta Conference: In this conference, Germany was further divided into eastern and western parts. On Feb 1945, three chief Allied leaders — President Roosevelt of the USA, PM Winston Churchill of the UK, and Joseph Stalin of the USSR met at Yalta (Crimea) to discuss the final defeat and occupation of Nazi Germany.

III. The era of Cold War:

  • After World War II, Germany, along with its capital Berlin, was divided into 4 parts controlled by the USA, USSR, UK and France, respectively.
  • Soon, the 3 Western allies and the communist USSR started to disagree in many terms, so the clash started.
  • USSR started to spread the Iron Curtain in East Germany and many other places and the era of the Cold War began.
  • Cold War tensions:
    1. The Korean Peninsula was divided into North Korea (Above the 38th Parallel) and South Korea, where the North was supported by communist regimes and the South by US allies.
  1. Vietnam was divided into North Vietnam (Above the 17th Parallel) and South Vietnam, where the North was supported by communist regimes and the South by USFrench allies.

Institutions to ensure the stability of the New World:  I. Declaration of the United Nations (UN):   o It was established in the USA in 1945 to replace the futile League of Nations. It was established to promote international harmony and world peace and foster international collaboration.

o The Trusteeship Council was established to supervise transition of power from former colonies to sovereign nations.

  1. New Financial system for reconstruction and financial stability:
    • At the Bretton Woods conference (1944), the Bretton Woods twins came into the picture. i.e., the IMF and World Bank were established to fulfil the financial needs of industrial countries for reconstruction.
    • A Marshall Plan was concluded in 1947, under which loans were made to rebuild Europe via the World Bank.

Conclusion: Thus, the Second World War led to two developments: One, the redrawal of boundaries, and two, the mechanism to ensure that these boundaries are respected and that the nations thus formed are stable. 

Although the new institutions were dominated by the US and its allies, which resulted in suspicion of Neo-colonialism, the US itself acted as a hegemon in certain situations by not respecting international boundaries.

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