Globalization – Europe

In 1991, Gorbachov resigned as the last president of the USSR and a number of Soviet properties took this time tp declare their independence, including Lithuania and Latvia.

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Gorbachov was the last President of the USSR because shortly thereafter, the USSR disbanded and the smaller provinces declared their independence, became countries in their own rights, and Russia went back to being a country on its own instead of united with these other provinces.

Mini-test: Social Studies – Globalization: Europe 

25. Who was the last leader of the U.S.S.R?
26. Which of the following helped unite Western European nations?


Next Lesson: Globalization – First, Second, and Third World Nations

The transcript is for your convenience.
The Maastricht Treaty, formally announcing the creation of the European Union, also known as the EU, was signed in 1992, and the next year, a unified European stock market opened. So, you can see that starting around the end of the 80s, the beginning of the 1990s, there was an increase in globalization, globalization being the interconnectedness of different cities, different states, different countries, and just an interconnectedness globally at that point.

And so, with all the advances in technology that we have, there is definitely going to be an increase in the interconnectedness that we have. It’s much easier to connect to nations that are across the world from us because we have all these increased technologies.

And so, globalization has increased, countries are interacting with each other economically, in government, and sometimes physically if there are some conflicts between different nations. But, overall, in the last 20 to 30 years, there’s been a drastic increase in globalization. These are just some of the examples that show how Europe has become more globalized. One of those things was the different provinces declaring their independence, the USSR breaking down, the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union, the European stock market, this was uniting Europe, and making it easier for the nations in Europe to connect with each other.

In the Velvet Revolution, which started around 1989 and is considered to have gone on until 1993, when Slovakia separated from Czechoslovakia, which then became the Czech Republic. So, the Velvet Revolution was actually a bloodless revolution, it was peaceful. It was just the separation of Slovakia from Czechoslovakia. In 1989, the communist empowered government ended, and a democratic system came into place. And over the next few years, there was this revolution, and Slovakia separated and became its own nation, where what used to be Czechoslovakia became known as the Czech Republic. But even though it’s known as a revolution, it was not something violent.

Meanwhile, the former USSR was enduring civil strife until Boris Yeltsin seized power in 1993. So, we had our last President, and after that last President of the USSR, after the countries started declaring their independence, and the Union was broken up, Russia was having to kind of reformat how its government was going to be run. And there was a lot of civil strife within Russia until Boris Yeltsin seized power in 1993.

In 1994, Russian troops invaded Chechnya, which was trying to gain independence. Now, Chechnya was one of the Russian provinces. And this fighting went on for the next two years until 1996, when Russia and Chechnya signed a peace agreement, and they agreed to set up some terms to deal with each other economically and governmentally,  which basically gave Chechnya independence at that time. Now, we’ll see a little later on, that independence and that peace didn’t last very long, but from 1994 to 1996, they are fighting. In ’96, they made their peace.

In 1998, President Clinton helped broker a peace agreement between the British and North Irish rebels. So, you can see the United States stepping in via President Clinton, and helping these two countries to establish a peace agreement. So, there’s more interconnectedness at play.

In 1999, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland all joined NATO, further eliminating the old divides between Western and Eastern Europe. After World War II, it took a while for Eastern Europe to recover, and these countries which had been in the area considered Eastern Europe  all joining NATO is just showing a step in the right direction, a further step toward unity, and the erasing of those old divides  between Western and Eastern Europe, and a unity of Europe as a whole.

The conflict in Chechnya increased during this year. So, remember, we said that peace was going to be short-lived. So, in 1996, they had peace between Russia and Chechnya, and Chechnya was basically independent because they had set up economic relations with Russia, as if they were a separate nation. But, in 1999, the conflict there increased again. Chechnyan rebels, the separatist that wanted Chechnya to be a separate country, invaded another Russian province. And in retaliation, the Russians fought back, invaded into Chechnya, and there was a lot of conflict there, which went on until 2009, when most of the Chechnyan rebels had simply been exhausted. Most of them had either died or decided that they were ready to just be a part of Russia again, all the large scale fighting had stopped, and the Russian troops retreated back into Russia, making Chechnya still a Russian province, but without all the turmoil.

But that took about 10 years for that to happen, so 1999 was when the turmoil increased in Chechnya again, and that was also the year that Yeltsin was succeeded as the Russian leader by the former KGB agent Vladimir Putin. So, Vladimir Putin came into power in that same year that all this conflict started with Chechnya, and was going to continue for another 10 years.

An International Criminal Court was created in the Hague, which is the government seat in the Netherlands, in 2002. And this was despite the fervent opposition of the United States. Now, the United States did end up signing, saying they would look into watching and seeing what happened here, but they didn’t ratify the treaty that would make them a part of the International Criminal Court. So, at this point, the United States is still not a member of the Court. They wanted a chance to look and see how things were played out, and a lot of people still feel like the Supreme Court should be the highest court that US citizens that commit crimes in the United States should have to report to, where this international court might bring people in who had committed crimes in the United States to this International Criminal Court.

So, they haven’t joined yet, and there are still a few other nations that haven’t joined this criminal court, but there are way more that have. There are many, many nations, many large nations in Europe that are members of the International Criminal Court, and it’s there to judge really harsh crimes, war crimes, genocide,  anything major like that that would be hard for one nation to fairly give a trial on. And so, this International Criminal Court was established to do that.

In the late 90s, many of the Western European governments had quasi-socialist governments. And this just meant that they had some socialist parts in their government. So, some of the parts of the economy could be owned by the public, and some would still be controlled or owned by the government. And so, it was quasi-socialist, and that it wasn’t completely government controlled, but also wasn’t completely private owned. And they spend much of their time debating the immense increase in immigration. There was a big increase in immigration to Western Europe since Western Europe  was the more economically advanced part of Europe, and a part that was more wealthy, more established, more secure after World War II, there was going to be an increase in immigration.

People were going to want to move to where they thought their lives would be better, and so, Western Europe had seen a great increase in immigration, and the countries are going to have to either control that immigration somewhat, or they were going to have to come up with ways to advance their infrastructure. They’ve got to be able to support all these people coming to live in their country.

Meanwhile, the former Soviet states had and have had a rough transition from command to market economy. So, from an economy that was controlled by the government  to an economy that is not regulated by the government, where everything isn’t planned out, where companies aren’t told by the government what exactly they have to make, and how much they have to make. So, they’ve had that change from the command to a market economy, and they are still somewhat economically depressed. Since they made this change later on, they are still figuring things out, and economically, they aren’t as advanced as Western Europe. So, you can see in Europe in the last 30 years, there have been a lot of ways that Europe has become more unified, and has been able to connect with, well, in the countries within Europe have been able to connect with each other more. And this is going to be a lot due in great part to the increases in technology that we’ve had, but it’s also people realizing that it’s going to be helpful to be united and to have one system to work for all of Europe, such as having this unified European stock market, the European Union, where most of the European countries are included. So, the last 30 years has seen a great increase in globalization in Europe.

Next Lesson: Globalization – First, Second, and Third World Nations