History | The World in the 20th Century II
H102 | 8323 | Machado

Above class open to freshmen, sophomores, and Education
undergraduates only
Above class carries Culture Studies credit

The world seemed to stand at the threshold of a new era at the end
of World War II in 1945. With a monopoly, if only for the moment, on
nuclear weaponry, the US was at the height of its power and
influence. Although they had been allies during the war, the USSR
and the US embarked on a ‘cold war’ that would involve men and women
the world over for nearly a half-century. The Cold War grew ‘hot’ in
Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa but the nuclear
conflagration that put fear into the hearts of generations never
came to pass. However, the Cold War was not the only force to
transform human experience after World War II. Europe was divested
of its empires, and independent nation-states sprung up across
Africa and Asia. A new phase of globalization of the world economy
liberated the flow of consumer goods, while perpetuating and perhaps
even exacerbating the disparities in wealth between the countries of
the ‘North’ and those of the ‘South’. Human rights and social
movements of various stripes sprung up around the world, and
technological innovation reshaped peoples’ relationship to one
another. This course will thus explore themes and topics such as
decolonization, modern globalization, development, variants of
capitalism across the world and social justice as they developed
over the course of the second half of the twentieth century.