The concept of First World originated during the Cold War and included countries that were generally aligned with NATO and opposed to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the definition has instead largely shifted to any country with little political risk and a well functioning democracy, rule of law, capitalist economy, economic stability, and high standard of living. Various ways in which modern First World countries are often determined include GDP, GNP, literacy rates, life expectancy, and the Human Development Index.In common usage, as per Merriam-Webster, "first world" now typically refers to "the highly developed industrialized nations often considered the westernized countries of the world".
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was the end of the Cold War. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a Marxist-Leninist sovereign state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
After World War II, the world split into two large geopolitical blocs, separating into spheres of communism and capitalism. This led to the Cold War, during which the term First World was often used because of its political, social, and economic relevance. The term itself was first introduced in the late 1940s by the United Nations.Today, the First World is slightly outdated and has no official definition, however, it is generally thought of as the capitalist, industrial, wealthy, and developed countries. This definition includes Australia & New Zealand, the developed countries of Asia (South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore), and the wealthy countries of North America and Europe, particularly Western Europe. In contemporary society, the First World is viewed as countries that have the most advanced economies, the greatest influence, the highest standards of living, and the greatest technology. After the Cold War, these countries of the First World included member states of NATO, U.S.-aligned states, neutral countries that were developed and industrialized, and the former British Colonies that were considered developed. It can be defined succinctly as Europe, plus the richer countries of the former British Empire (USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand), Israel, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. According to Nations Online, the member countries of NATO after the Cold War included:
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.
Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investments are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a sovereign state in Northern Europe. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. The southernmost of the Scandinavian nations, Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.
The Western-aligned countries included:
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
Israel, also known as the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.
The neutral countries included:
Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising nine federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly nine million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is landlocked and highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
Since the end of the Cold War, the original definition of the term First World is no longer necessarily applicable. There are varying definitions of the First World; however, they follow the same idea. John D. Daniels, past president of the Academy of International Business, defines the First World to be consisting of "high-income industrial countries".Scholar and Professor George J. Bryjak defines the First World to be the "modern, industrial, capitalist countries of North America and Europe". L. Robert Kohls, former director of training for the U.S. Information Agency and the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C., uses First World and "fully developed" as synonyms.
Varying definitions of the term First World and the uncertainty of the term in today's world leads to different indicators of First World status. In 1945, the United Nations used the terms first, second, third, and fourth worlds to define the relative wealth of nations (although popular use of the term fourth world did not come about until later).There are some references towards culture in the definition. They were defined in terms of Gross National Product (GNP), measured in U.S. dollars, along with other socio-political factors. The first world included the large industrialized, democratic (free elections, etc.) nations. The second world included modern, wealthy, industrialized nations, but they were all under communist control. Most of the rest of the world was deemed part of the third world, while the fourth world was considered to be those nations whose people were living on less than US$100 annually. If we use the term to mean high-income industrialized economies, then the World Bank classifies countries according to their GNI or gross national income per capita. The World Bank separates countries into four categories: high-income, upper-middle-income, lower-middle-income, and low-income economies. The First World is considered to be countries with high-income economies. The high-income economies are equated to mean developed and industrialized countries.
The terms First World, Second World, and Third World were originally used to divide the world's nations into three categories. The model did not emerge to its end state all at once. The complete overthrow of the pre–World War II status quo, known as the Cold War, left two superpowers (the United States and the Soviet Union) vying for ultimate global supremacy. They created two camps, known as blocs. These blocs formed the basis of the concepts of the First and Second Worlds.
Early in the Cold War era, NATO and the Warsaw Pact were created by the United States and The Soviet Union, respectively. They were also referred to as the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The circumstances of these two blocs were so different that they were essentially two worlds, however, they were not numbered first and second.The onset of the Cold War is marked by Winston Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain" speech. In this speech, Churchill describes the division of the West and East to be so solid that it could be called an iron curtain.
In 1952, the French demographer Alfred Sauvy coined the term Third World in reference to the three estates in pre-revolutionary France.The first two estates being the nobility and clergy and everybody else comprising the third estate. He compared the capitalist world (i.e., First World) to the nobility and the communist world (i.e., Second World) to the clergy. Just as the third estate comprised everybody else, Sauvy called the Third World all the countries that were not in this Cold War division, i.e., the unaligned and uninvolved states in the "East-West Conflict". With the coining of the term Third World directly, the first two groups came to be known as the "First World" and "Second World" respectively. Here the three-world system emerged.
However, Shuswap Chief George Manuel believes the Three World Model to be outdated. In his 1974 book The Fourth World: An Indian Reality, he describes the emergence of the Fourth World while coining the term. The fourth world refers to "nations", e.g., cultural entities and ethnic groups, of indigenous people who do not compose states in the traditional sense.Rather, they live within or across state boundaries (see First Nations). One example is the Native Americans of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Eastern Bloc ceased to exist and with it, the perfect applicability of the term Second World.The definitions of the First World, Second World, and Third World changed slightly, yet generally describe the same concepts.
During the Cold War Era, the relationships between the First World, Second World and the Third World were very rigid. The First World and Second World were at constant odds with one another via the tensions between their two cores, the United States and the Soviet Union, respectively. The Cold War, by virtue of its name, was a primarily ideological struggle between the First and Second Worlds, or more specifically, the U.S. and the Soviet Union.Multiple doctrines and plans dominated Cold War dynamics including the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan (from the U.S) and the Molotov Plan (from the Soviet Union). The extent of the odds between the two worlds is evident in Berlin—which was then split into East and West. To stop citizens in East Berlin from having too much exposure to the capitalist West, the Soviet Union put up the Berlin Wall within the actual city.
The relationship between the First World and the Third World is characterized by the very definition of the Third World. Because countries of the Third World were noncommittal and non-aligned with both the First World and the Second World, they were targets for recruitment. In the quest for expanding their sphere of influence, the United States (core of the First World) tried to establish pro US regimes in the Third World. In addition, because the Soviet Union (core of the Second World) also wanted to expand, the Third World often became a site for conflict.
Some examples include Vietnam and Korea. Success lay with the First World if at the end of the war, the country became capitalistic and democratic, and with the Second World, if the country became communist. While Vietnam as a whole was eventually communized, only the northern half of Korea remained communist.The Domino Theory largely governed United States policy regarding the Third World and their rivalry with the Second World. In light of the Domino Theory, the U.S. saw winning the proxy wars in the Third World as a measure of the "credibility of U.S. commitments all over the world".
The movement of people and information largely characterizes the inter-world relationships in the present day.A majority of breakthroughs and innovation originate in Western Europe and the U.S. and later their effects permeate globally. As judged by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, most of the Top 30 Innovations of the Last 30 Years were from former First World countries (e.g., the U.S. and countries in Western Europe).
The disparity between knowledge in the First World as compared to the Third World is evident in healthcare and medical advancements. Deaths from water-related illnesses have largely been eliminated in "wealthier nations", while they are still a "major concern in the developing world".Widely treatable diseases in the developed countries of the First World, malaria and tuberculosis needlessly claim many lives in the developing countries of the Third World. 900,000 people die from malaria each year and combating malaria accounts for 40% of health spending in many African countries.
The International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that the first Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) would be available at the summer of 2010. These include non-Latin domains such as Chinese, Arabic, and Russian. This is one way that the flow of information between the First and Third Worlds may become more even.
The movement of information and technology from the First World to various Third World countries has created a general "aspir(ation) to First World living standards".The Third World has lower living standards as compared to the First World. Information about the comparatively higher living standards of the First World comes through television, commercial advertisements and foreign visitors to their countries. This exposure causes two changes: a) living standards in some Third World countries rise and b) this exposure creates hopes and many from Third World countries immigrate – both legally and illegally – to these First World countries in hopes of attaining that living standard and prosperity. In fact, this immigration is the "main contributor to the increasing populations of U.S. and Europe". While these immigrations have greatly contributed to globalization, they have also precipitated trends like brain drain and problems with repatriation. They have also created immigration and governmental burden problems for the countries (i.e., First World) that people immigrate to.
Some have argued that the most important human population problem for the world is not the high rate of population increase in certain Third World countries, but rather the "increase in total human impact".The per-capita impact – the resources consumed and the wastes created by each person – is varied globally; the highest in the First World and the lowest in the Third World: inhabitants of the U.S., Western Europe and Japan consume 32 times as many resources and put out 32 times as much waste as those in the Third World. However, China leads the world in total emissions, but its large population skews its per-capita statistic lower than those of more developed nations.
As large consumers of fossil fuels, First World countries drew attention to environmental pollution.The Kyoto Protocol is a treaty that is based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was finalized in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio. It proposed to place the burden of protecting the climate on the United States and other First World countries. Countries that were considered to be developing, such as China and India, were not required to approve the treaty because they were more concerned that restricting emissions would further restrain their development.
Until the recent past, little attention was paid to the interests of Third World countries.This is because most international relations scholars have come from the industrialized, First World nations. As more countries have continued to become more developed, the interests of the world have slowly started to shift. However, First World nations still have many more universities, professors, journals, and conferences, which has made it very difficult for Third World countries to gain legitimacy and respect with their new ideas and methods of looking at the world.
During the Cold War, the modernization theory and development theory developed in Europe as a result of their economic, political, social, and cultural response to the management of former colonial territories.European scholars and practitioners of international politics hoped to theorize ideas and then create policies based on those ideas that would cause newly independent colonies to change into politically developed sovereign nation-states. However, most of the theorists were from the United States, and they were not interested in Third World countries achieving development by any model. They wanted those countries to develop through liberal processes of politics, economics, and socialization; that is to say, they wanted them to follow the liberal capitalist example of a so-called "First World state". Therefore, the modernization and development tradition consciously originated as a (mostly U.S.) alternative to the Marxist and neo-Marxist strategies promoted by the "Second World states" like the Soviet Union. It was used to explain how developing Third World states would naturally evolve into developed First World States, and it was partially grounded in liberal economic theory and a form of Talcott Parsons' sociological theory.
The United Nations's ESCWA has written that globalization "is a widely-used term that can be defined in a number of different ways". Joyce Osland from San Jose State University wrote: "Globalization has become an increasingly controversial topic, and the growing number of protests around the world has focused more attention on the basic assumptions of globalization and its effects.""Globalization is not new, though. For thousands of years, people—and, later, corporations—have been buying from and selling to each other in lands at great distances, such as through the famed Silk Road across Central Asia that connected China and Europe during the Middle Ages. Likewise, for centuries, people and corporations have invested in enterprises in other countries. In fact, many of the features of the current wave of globalization are similar to those prevailing before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914."
The most prominent example of globalization in the first world is the European Union (EU). 4,324,782 square kilometres (1,669,808 sq mi) with roughly half a billion people. In total, the European Union produces almost a third of the world’s gross national product and the member states speak more than 23 languages. All of the European Union countries are joined together by a hope to promote and extend peace, democracy, cooperativeness, stability, prosperity, and the rule of law. In a 2007 speech, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner for External Relations, said, "The future of the EU is linked to globalization...the EU has a crucial role to play in making globalization work properly...". In a 2014 speech at the European Parliament, the Italian PM Matteo Renzi stated, "We are the ones who can bring civilization to globalization". With the "Brexit" (British Exit) of the EU in 2016, the fundamental economic and motivational powerhouse of globalization in Europe was placed, once again, in the hands of Germany.The European Union is an agreement in which countries voluntarily decide to build common governmental institutions to which they delegate some individual national sovereignty so that decisions can be made democratically on a higher level of common interest for Europe as a whole. The result is a union of 28 Member States covering
Just as the concept of the First World came about as a result of World War II, so did the European Union.In 1951 the beginnings of the EU were founded with the creation of European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). From the beginning of its inception, countries in the EU were judged by many standards, including economic ones. This is where the relation between globalization, the EU, and First World countries arises. Especially during the 1990s when the EU focused on economic policies such as the creation and circulation of the Euro, the creation of the European Monetary Institute, and the opening of the European Central Bank.
In 1993, at the Copenhagen European Council, the European Union took a decisive step towards expanding the EU, what they called the Fifth Enlargement, agreeing that "the associated countries in Central and Eastern Europe that so desire shall become members of the European Union". Thus, enlargement was no longer a question of if, but when and how. The European Council stated that accession could occur when the prospective country is able to assume the obligations of membership, that is that all the economic and political conditions required are attained. Furthermore, it defined the membership criteria, which are regarded as the Copenhagen criteria, as follows:
It is clear that all these criteria are characteristics of developed countries. Therefore, there is a direct link between globalization, developed nations, and the European Union.
A majority of multinational corporations find their origins in First World countries. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, multinational corporations proliferated as more countries focused on global trade.The series of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and later the World Trade Organization (WTO) essentially ended the protectionist measures that were dissuading global trade. The eradication of these protectionist measures, while creating avenues for economic interconnection, mostly benefited developed countries, who by using their power at GATT summits, forced developing and underdeveloped countries to open their economies to Western goods.
As the world starts to globalize, it is accompanied by criticism of the current forms of globalization, which are feared to be overly corporate-led. As corporations become larger and multinational, their influence and interests go further accordingly. Being able to influence and own most media companies, it is hard to be able to publicly debate the notions and ideals that corporations pursue. Some choices that corporations take to make profits can affect people all over the world. Sometimes fatally.
The third industrial revolution is spreading from the developed world to some, but not all, parts of the developing world. To participate in this new global economy, developing countries must be seen as attractive offshore production bases for multinational corporations. To be such bases, developing countries must provide relatively well-educated workforces, good infrastructure (electricity, telecommunications, transportation), political stability, and a willingness to play by market rules.
If these conditions are in place, multinational corporations will transfer via their offshore subsidiaries or to their offshore suppliers, the specific production technologies and market linkages necessary to participate in the global economy. By themselves, developing countries, even if well-educated, cannot produce at the quality levels demanded in high-value-added industries and cannot market what they produce even in low-value-added industries such as textiles or shoes. Put bluntly, multinational companies possess a variety of factors that developing countries must have if they are to participate in the global economy.
Outsourcing, according to Grossman and Helpman, refers to the process of "subcontracting an ever expanding set of activities, ranging from product design to assembly, from research and development to marketing, distribution and after-sales service".Many companies have moved to outsourcing services in which they no longer specifically need or have the capability of handling themselves. This is due to considerations of what the companies can have more control over. Whatever companies tend to not have much control over or need to have control over will outsource activities to firms that they consider "less competing". According to SourcingMag.com, the process of outsourcing can take the following four phases.
Outsourcing is among some of the many reasons for increased competition within developing countries.Aside from being a reason for competition, many First World countries see outsourcing, in particular offshore outsourcing, as an opportunity for increased income. As a consequence, the skill level of production in foreign countries handling the outsourced services increases within the economy; and the skill level within the domestic developing countries can decrease. It is because of competition (including outsourcing) that Robert Feenstra and Gordon Hanson predict that there will be a rise of 15–33 percent in inequality amongst these countries.
Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.79 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
During the Cold War, the term Third World referred to the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the nations not aligned with either the First World or the Second World. This usage has become relatively rare due to the ending of the Cold War.
The 20th (twentieth) century was a century that began on January 1, 1901 and ended on December 31, 2000. It was the tenth and final century of the 2nd millennium. It is distinct from the century known as the 1900s which began on January 1, 1900 and ended on December 31, 1999.
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of the European continent. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic connotations. There are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region". A related United Nations paper adds that "every assessment of spatial identities is essentially a social and cultural construct". One definition describes Eastern Europe as a cultural entity: the region lying in Europe with the main characteristics consisting of Greek, Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, Russian, and some Ottoman culture influences. Another definition was created during the Cold War and used more or less synonymously with the term Eastern Bloc. A similar definition names the formerly communist European states outside the Soviet Union as Eastern Europe. The majority of historians and social scientists view such definitions as outdated or relegated, but they are still sometimes used for statistical purposes.
A superpower is a state with a dominant position characterized by its extensive ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. This is done through the combined-means of economic, military, technological and cultural strength as well as diplomatic and soft power influence. Traditionally, superpowers are preeminent among the great powers.
A developed country, industrialized country, more developed country, or more economically developed country (MEDC), is a sovereign state that has a developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations. Most commonly, the criteria for evaluating the degree of economic development are gross domestic product (GDP), gross national product (GNP), the per capita income, level of industrialization, amount of widespread infrastructure and general standard of living. Which criteria are to be used and which countries can be classified as being developed are subjects of debate.
A developing country is a country with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agreement on which countries fit this category. A nation's GDP per capita compared with other nations can also be a reference point.
The five-year plans for the development of the national economy of the Soviet Union (USSR) consisted of a series of nationwide centralized economic plans in the Soviet Union, beginning in the late 1920s. The Soviet state planning committee Gosplan developed these plans based on the theory of the productive forces that formed part of the ideology of the Communist Party for development of the Soviet economy. Fulfilling the current plan became the watchword of Soviet bureaucracy.
The Baltic states, also known as the Baltic countries, Baltic republics, Baltic nations or simply the Baltics, is a geopolitical term, typically used to group the three sovereign states in Northern Europe on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The term is not used in the context of cultural areas, national identity, or language, because while the majority of people in Latvia and Lithuania are Baltic people, the majority in Estonia are Finnic. The three countries do not form an official union, but engage in intergovernmental and parliamentary cooperation. The most important areas of cooperation between the three countries are foreign and security policy, defence, energy and transportation.
The North–South divide is a global socio-economic and political divide originating in the late 20th century and early 21st century. Generally, definitions of the Global North include the G8 countries, the United States, Canada, all member states of the European Union, Israel, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, as well as Australia and New Zealand and four of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, excluding China. The Global South is made up of Africa, Latin America, and developing Asia, including the Middle East, and is home to the BRIC countries: Brazil, India, China and Russia, which, along with Indonesia, are the largest Southern states.
The Origins of the Cold War involved the breakdown of relations between the Soviet Union versus the United States, Great Britain and their allies in the years 1945–1949. From the American-British perspective, first came diplomatic confrontations stretching back decades, followed by the issue of political boundaries in Central Europe and political non-democratic control of the East by the Soviet Army. Then came economic issues and then the first major military confrontation, with a threat of a hot war, in the Berlin Blockade of 1948–1949. By 1949, the lines were sharply drawn and the Cold War was largely in place in Europe. Outside Europe, the starting points vary in the late 1940s or early 1950s.
The economy of Europe comprises more than 740 million people in 50 different countries. Formation of the European Union (EU) and in 1999, the introduction of a unified currency – the euro brings participating European countries closer through the conveniece of a shared currency and has led to a stronger European cash flow. The difference in wealth across Europe can be seen roughly in former Cold War divide, with some countries breaching the divide. Whilst most European states have a GDP per capita higher than the world's average and are very highly developed, some European economies, despite their position over the world's average in the Human Development Index, are poorer.
A post-industrial economy is a period of growth within an industrialized economy or nation in which the relative importance of manufacturing reduces and that of services, information, and research grows. Such economies are often marked by:
High modernism is a form of modernity, characterized by an unfaltering confidence in science and technology as means to reorder the social and natural world. The high modernist movement was particularly prevalent during the Cold War, especially in the late 1950s and 1960s.
The Cold War (1962–1979) refers to the phase within the Cold War that spanned the period between the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis in late October 1962, through the détente period beginning in 1969, to the end of détente in the late 1970s.
Lithuania is a member of the European Union and the largest economy among the three Baltic states. GDP per capita in Lithuania is highest in the Baltic states. Lithuania belongs to the group of very high human development countries and is a member of WTO an OECD.
The term Post-Cold War era refers to the period of time following the Cold War. Because the Cold War was not an active war but rather a period of geopolitical tensions punctuated by proxy wars, there is disagreement on the official ending of this conflict and subsequent existence of the post-Cold War era. Some scholars claim the Cold War ended when the world’s first treaty on nuclear disarmament was signed in 1987, the end of the Soviet Union as a superpower amid the Revolutions of 1989 or when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Despite this ambiguity, the end of the Cold War symbolized a victory of democracy and capitalism, giving a boost to the rising world powers of the United States and China. Democracy became a manner of collective self-validation for countries hoping to gain international respect: when democracy was seen as an important value, political structures began adopting the value.
The terms First World, Second World, and Third World were originally used to divide the world's nations into three categories. The model did not emerge to its end state all at once. The complete overthrow of the post–World War II status quo, known as the Cold War, left two superpowers vying for ultimate global supremacy. They created two camps, known as blocs. These blocs formed the basis of the concepts of the First and Second Worlds.