Outline Chapter 31: The End of the Cold War and the Challenge of Economic Development and Immigration, 1975–2000
I. Postcolonial Crises and Asian Economic Expansion
A. Revolutions, Depressions, and Democratic Reform in Latin America
1. The success of the Cuban Revolution both energized the revolutionary left throughout Latin America and led the United States to organize its political and military allies in Latin America in a struggle to defeat communism.
2. In Brazil, a coup in 1964 brought in a military government whose combination of dictatorship, use of death squads to eliminate opposition, and use of tax and tariff policies to encourage industrialization through import substitution came to be known as the Brazilian Solution. Elements of the Brazilian Solution were applied in Chile by the government of Augusto Pinochet, whose U.S.-assisted coup overthrew the socialist Allende government in 1973, and in Argentina by a military regime that seized power in 1974.
3. Despite reverses in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, revolutionary movements persisted elsewhere. In Nicaragua, the movement overthrew the government of Anastasio Somoza and ruled until it was defeated in free elections in 1990. In El Salvador, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) fought a guerilla war against the military regime until declining popular support in the 1990s led the rebels to negotiate an end to the armed conflict and transform themselves into a political party.
4. The military dictatorships established in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina all came to an end between 1983 and 1990. All three regimes were brought down by their own excesses and by popular desires for a return to constitutional government.
5. By 2000, the United States had gained more influence in Latin America. This may be seen in the U.S. use of military force to intervene in Grenada in 1983 and in Panama in 1989.
6. The United States was then able to influence Latin American nations to reduce state involvement in the economy, called neoliberalism in Latin America. The result of fewer government protections for local industries was economic stress in some regions, such as in Venezuela where Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1998 and began rolling back the neoliberal reforms.
B. Islamic Revolutions in Iran and Afghanistan
1. Crises in Iran and Afghanistan threatened to involve the superpowers; the United States reacted to these crises with restraint, but the Soviet Union took a bolder and ultimately disastrous course.
2. In Iran, American backing and the corruption and inefficiency of Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi’s regime stimulated popular resentment. In 1979, street demonstrations and strikes toppled the shah and brought a Shi’ite cleric, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to power. The overthrow of an ally and the establishment of an anti-western, conservative Islamic republic in Iran were blows to American prestige, but the United States was unable to do anything about it.
3. In the fall of 1980, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded Iran to topple the Islamic republic. The United States supported Iran at first, but then in 1986 tilted toward Iraq.
4. The Soviet Union faced a more serious problem when it sent its army into Afghanistan in 1978 to support a newly established communist regime against a hodgepodge of local, religiously inspired guerilla bands that controlled much of the countryside. The Soviet Union’s struggle against the American-backed guerillas was so costly and caused so much domestic discontent that the Soviet leaders withdrew their troops in 1989 and left the rebel groups to fight with each other for control of Afghanistan.
C. Asian Transformation
1. The Japanese economy grew at a faster rate than that of any other major developed country in the 1970s and 1980s, and Japanese average income outstripped that of the United States in the 1990s. This economic growth was associated with an industrial economy in which keiretsu (alliances of firms) received government assistance in the form of tariffs and import regulations that inhibited foreign competition.
2. The Japanese model of close cooperation between government and industry was imitated by a small number of Asian states, most notably by the Republic of Korea (known as South Korea), in which four giant corporations led the way in developing heavy industries and consumer industries. Hong Kong and Singapore—former British colonies—also developed modern industrial and commercial economies. All of these newly industrialized economies shared certain characteristics: discipline and hard-working labor forces, investment in education, high rates of personal savings, export strategies, and government sponsorship and protection.
3. Bad loans, weak banks, and the effects of international currency speculation caused the Asian financial crisis beginning in 1997, but the situation stabilized somewhat through the efforts of the United States and Japan and organizations such as the International Monetary Fund.
D. China Rejoins the World Economy
1. In China, after 1979, the regime of Deng Xiaoping carried out successful economic reforms that allowed private enterprise and foreign investment to exist alongside the inefficient state-owned enterprises. By 2009 China had become the world’s third largest economy.
2. Being part of the global market meant that, when a world-wide crisis began in 2008, Chinese exports fell dramatically.
3. At the same time, the command economy remained in place and China resisted political reform, notably when the Communist Party crushed the protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
II. The End of the Bipolar World
A. Crisis in the Soviet Union
1. During the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the Soviet Union’s economy was strained by the attempt to match massive U.S. spending on armaments, such as a space-based missile protection system. The Soviet Union’s obsolete industrial plants, inefficient planned economy, declining standard of living, and unpopular war with Afghanistan fueled an underground current of protest.
2. When Mikhail Gorbachev took over the leadership in 1985, he tried to address the problems of the Soviet Union by introducing a policy of political openness (glasnost) and economic reform (perestroika).
B. The Collapse of the Socialist Bloc
1. Events in Eastern Europe were very important in forcing change on the Soviet Union. The activities of the Solidarity labor union in Poland, the emerging alliances between nationalist and religious opponents of the communist regimes, and the economic weakness of the communist states themselves led to the fall of communist governments across eastern Europe in 1989 and to the reunification of Germany in 1990.
2. The weakness of the central government and the rise of nationalism led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in September 1991.
3. Ethnic and religious divisions also led to the dismemberment of Yugoslavia. Predominantly Roman Catholic, Slovenia and Croatia became independent states in 1992. Bosnia, a more ethnically mixed region, declared independence in 1992, followed by a period of ethnic cleansing by Orthodox Serbs who attempted to rid Bosnia of Muslims. The United States intervened in 1995, ending the fighting. New fighting broke out in 1999, however, in the southern region of Kosovo. The United States, Britain, and France joined in an aerial war against Serbia, who thought of Kosovo as their ancient homeland, to remove Serbian forces from the region.
C. Progress and Conflict in Africa
1. Democracy has had mixed results in Africa. Although southern Africa has enjoyed progress and a decline in armed conflicts since 1991, and elections that finally include the participation of an African majority since 1994, other areas of Africa have suffered from democratically elected leaders using a firm military hand over their people.
2. After a series of military governments, Nigeria elected President Olusegun Abasanjo (a former coup leader) in 1999 and again in 2003. In 2002, Kenya voted out of power the party that had held it for thirty-nine years.
3. Ethnic cleansing has also affected Africa. In 1994, Rwandan leaders incited the Hutu to massacre Tutsi neighbors, until millions were dead or displaced. In 1998, violence spread into Congo, where the dictatorial rule of Mobutu ended after three decades. By mid-2003, more than 3 million Congolese had died from disease, malnutrition, and warfare.
D. The Persian Gulf War
1. Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 in an attempt to gain control of Kuwait’s oil fields. Saudi Arabia felt threatened by Iraq’s action and helped to draw the United States into a war in which American forces led a coalition that drove Iraq out of Kuwait but left Saddam Hussein in power.
2. The Persian Gulf War restored U.S. confidence in its military capability while demonstrating that Russia—Iraq’s former ally—was impotent.
III. The Challenge of Population Growth
A. Demographic Transition
1. The population of Europe almost doubled between 1850 and 1914, and while some Europeans saw this as a blessing, Thomas Malthus argued that unchecked population growth would outstrip food production. In the years immediately following World War II, Malthus’s views were dismissed as Europe and other industrial societies experienced a demographic transition to lower fertility rates.
2. The demographic transition did not occur in the Third World, where some leaders actively promoted large families until the economic shocks of the 1970s and 1980s convinced the governments of developing countries to abandon the pro-natalist policy.
3. World population exploded in the twentieth century, with most of the growth taking place in the poorest nations.
B. The Industrialized Nations
1. In the developed industrial nations of western Europe and Japan at the beginning of the twenty-first century, higher levels of female education and employment, the material values of consumer culture, and access to contraception and abortion have combined to produce low fertility levels. Low fertility levels combined with improved life expectancy will lead to an increasing number of retirees who will rely on a relatively smaller number of working adults to pay for their social services.
2. In Russia and the other former socialist nations, current birthrates are lower than death rates and life expectancy has declined.
C. The Developing Nations
1. In the twenty-first century, the industrialized nations will continue to fall behind the developing nations as a percentage of world population; at current rates, 95 percent of all future population growth will be in developing regions, particularly in Africa and in the Muslim countries.
2. In Asia, the populations of China and India continue to grow despite government efforts to reduce family size. It is not clear whether or not the nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America will experience the demographic transition seen in the industrialized countries.
D. Old and Young Populations
1. Demographic pyramids generated by demographers illustrate the different age distributions in nations in different stages of economic development.
2. The developed nations face aging populations and will have to rely on immigration or increased use of technology (including robots) to maintain industrial and agricultural production at levels sufficient to support their relatively high standards of living and their generous social welfare programs.
3. The developing nations have relatively young and rapidly growing populations, but they face the problem of providing their people with education and jobs while struggling with shortages of investment capital and poor transportation and communications networks.
IV. Unequal Development and the Movement of Peoples
A. The Problem of Growing Inequality
1. Since 1945, the global economy has created unprecedented levels of material abundance. At the same time, the industrialized nations of the Northern Hemisphere have come to enjoy a larger share of the world’s wealth than they did a century ago; the majority of the world lives in poverty.
2. Regional inequalities within nations have also grown in both the industrial countries and in the developing nations.
B. Internal Migration: The Growth of Cities
1. Migration from rural areas to urban centers in the developing world increased threefold from 1925 to 1950 and accelerated rapidly after 1950.
2. Migrants to the cities generally enjoyed higher incomes and better standards of living than they would have in the countryside, but as the scale of rural to urban migration grew, these benefits became more elusive. Migration placed impossible burdens on basic services and led to burgeoning slums and crime in the cities of the developing world.
C. Global Migration
1. Migration from the developing world to the developed nations increased substantially after 1960, leading to an increase in racial and ethnic tensions in the host nations. Immigrants from the developing nations brought the host nations the same benefits that the migration of Europeans brought to the Americas a century before.
2. Immigrant communities in Europe and the United States are made up of young adults and tend to have fertility rates higher than the rates of the host populations. In the long run, this will lead to increases in population in Europe and the United States, and to cultural conflicts over the definitions of citizenship and nationality.
V. Technological and Environmental Change
A. New Technologies and the World Economy
1. New technologies developed during World War II increased productivity, reduced labor requirements, and improved the flow of information when they were applied to industry in the postwar period.
2. Improvements in existing technologies accounted for much of the world’s productivity increases during the 1950s and 1960s. The improvement and widespread application of the computer was particularly significant because it transformed office work and manufacturing.
3. Transnational corporations became the primary agents of these technological changes. In the post-World War II years, transnational corporations with multinational ownership and management became increasingly powerful and were able to escape the controls imposed by national governments by shifting or threatening to shift production from one country to another.
B. Conserving and Sharing Resources
1. In the 1960s, environmental activists and political leaders began warning about the environmental consequences of population growth, industrialization, and the expansion of agriculture onto marginal lands. Environmental degradation was a problem in both the developed and developing countries; it was especially severe in the former Soviet Union. In attempting to address environmental issues, the industrialized countries faced a contradiction between environmental protection and the desire to maintain rates of economic growth that depended on the profligate consumption of goods and resources.
2. In the developing world, population growth led to extreme environmental pressure as forests were felled and marginal land developed to expand food production. This led to erosion and water pollution.
C. Responding to Environmental Threats
1. The governments of the United States, the European Community, and Japan took a number of initiatives to preserve and protect the environment in the 1970s. Environmental awareness spread by means of the media and grassroots political movements, and most nations in the developed world enforced strict antipollution laws and sponsored massive recycling efforts.
2. These efforts, many of them made possible by new technology, produced significant results. But in the developing world, population pressures and weak governments were major obstacles to effective environmental policies.
A. Postwar Economic Prosperity
1. The end of the Cold War came as a result of economic stress and political changes in the Soviet Union.
2. Postwar recovery by the industrial powers, Japan, the Asian Tigers, and ultimately China provided worldwide economic growth. International markets were more integrated and open than at any other time.
B. Postwar Inequality
1. The new postwar prosperity has not been shared equally throughout the world. The capitalist West and a few Asian nations have grown more economically powerful, while most of the world’s nations remain poor.
2. Population growth in developing nations has diminished chances for economic growth. People in developing nations began migrating increasingly to industrial nations, providing valuable labor for factories and farms.
3. Growing inequality, population growth, and international migration remain problems for the global community.