In World War II Britain, the USA, the USSR and their allies defeated the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan. After this war the USSR dominated the countries of central and Eastern Europe, including East Germany, for over 40 years. It was as if an iron curtain had split Europe down the middle. While communist governments ruled the eastern European countries, Western Europe recovered from the destruction of the war and grew prosperous. As the new institutions of the European Community developed, the gap between the wealthy, democratic countries of the Community and the economically backward countries under communist dictatorships increased.
In l989 the communist governments lost power in Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia. During l989 and l990 free elections were held for the first time in 40 years in Russia. The power of the USSR collapsed and the republics that had made it up became independent states.
Реферат опубликован: 2/10/2009