2.31 The United Nations
Even before the USA entered the second world war, President Roosevelt & Winston Churchill proposed (stelde voor) an international peacekeeping organisation.
Real step (determination to avoid such bloody conflict (50 million people killed in WW2) in the future) in 1945= à delegates from 51 countries met in San Francisco to sign ‘United Nations Charter’:
- Maintain international security and peace.
- Develop friendly relations among nations.
- Achieve international co-operation in solving problems.
- Trade as a centre for collaboration.
Representatives of all member countries all have one vote in the General Assembly.
The security council= real power in UN.
- 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members.
- For a decision to be made: 9 countries have to agree à all 5 permanent and 9 from the non-permanent members à one permanent can veto a decision in fact: this made it difficult for the UN to act effectively during the cold war.
- Based in New York (since 1952).
- Head of Un= Secretary-General (cannot be a national of permanent members), nominated by Security council and chosen by General Assembly.
UN had many agencies who did their work, even when the Cold War hindered the role of the UN:
Judges settle in international Court of Justice: settle legal disputes.
World Health Organisation: improve the standard of health & health provision.
International Labour Organisation: improve working conditions worldwide
When the UN was set up, lots of nations wanted to co-operate. But, Soviet Union saw UN as an US-organisation and forbade American proposals (voorstellen/ideeën). In return, Americans forbade Soviet proposals. This meant that the UN couldn’t intervene (ingrijpen) in big flashpoints.
The work of the UN was easier since end of the Cold War. It had supervised (gecontroleerde) elections and peacekeeping operations. It also provided police forces where the local government was unable to.
3.1 End of empires
European countries (Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands) controlled large empires. Britain was once so big that at any time of the day the sun was shining on some part.
At the beginning of 2nd WW, attitudes begun to change:
President Roosevelt (USA) and prime minister Winston Churchill (Britain) signed the Atlantic Charter. ‘Respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live’.
The Netherlands was one of the first countries to give support to Atlantic Charter, although they didn’t want to give independence to Indonesia in 1945.
European powers that supported Atlantic Charter were all democracies. Harsh rule helped stimulate the growth of nationalist movement in colonies.
Nationalist wanted their countries to be independent and for local people to run their own government. European response was to stamp them out or put them in prison.
2nd WW encouraged demand for independence. Lots of colonies in Asia were taken over by Japanese, so they showed that the powerful nations could be beaten. Image of invincibility (onoverwinnelijkheid) was gone. This made it hard for countries who wanted to retake lands without local opposition. People were no longer ready to accept European rule.
Many nationalists learned how to fight against returning colonial powers. European countries found it hard to resist the struggles for independence, because the idea of going to war was unpopular so it was hard to find troops and resources.
All over the world, colonies began to break away from European colonisers. Dutch finally accepted Indonesian independence in 1949. During 1950s, the French were defeated so new countries were set up.
In africa, most countries that were European colonies became independent in 1960s. They accepted that they had no right to restrict the freedom from them.
Liberia (1947) > Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, the Gold Coat and Guinea (1950) > 32 other colonies > 12 other colonies (1970).
Britain wanted to keep semi-colonial links with old colonies, just like the Netherlands and Suriname and the Antilles, Britain had that with Commonwealth (the UK and some of its former colonies).
3.3 the cold war
Communist Soviet Union and capitalist West (led by USA):
- During WW2= fought on same side/ they made agreements to work together after the war & joined the UN.
- After WW2= Political differences became more important. One year after war: they were talking of each other as enemies & for over 40 years so hostile (vijandig): historians call it the Cold war à war of words and propaganda, no direct fighting & many ‘hotspots’ where it looked like this war would lead to world war.
Soviet Union wanted ‘buffer zone’, friendly countries (Poland, Hungary, Romania etc.) between itself and the West. These ‘satellite states’ had their own government, but were communist and dominated by the Soviet Union.
- Politicians in the West were worried about the spread of Communism à the ‘domino theory’: when one country became communist, the neighbours would follow.
- China= a problem to both sides:
Communists won the Chinese civil war à blow to the west.
Didn’t want to be dominated by the Soviet union à West hoped for a war.
De samenvatting gaat verder na deze boodschap.Verder lezen