W CS 23

Globalization (1991-Present)

The global balance of power shifted with the end of the Cold War. Wars, territorial disputes, ethnic and cultural conflicts, acts of terrorism, advances in technology, expansion of human rights, and changes in the global economy present new challenges.

Content Statement

23. The breakup of the Soviet Union ended the Cold War and created challenges for its former allies, the former Soviet republics, Europe, the United States and the non-aligned world.

Content Elaborations

The ending of the Cold War was marked by the collapse of the Soviet Union. A new relationship between the United States and Russia and the other former Soviet republics developed and offered new challenges for the U.S. The United States moved away from its containment policy. The U.S. and Russia reached bilateral agreements on space, energy and technology, and reached agreements for restrictions on nuclear weapons.

The demise of the Soviet Union also created new challenges for its former allies, the former Soviet republics, Europe and the non-aligned world as well as the U.S. Among the challenges were the creation of separate and independent governments, the control of the nuclear arsenals installed by the former Soviet Union, the rise of ethnic tensions and the transition to free-market economies.

The collapse of the Russian economy in the 1990s led the U.S. to offer financial assistance and the International Monetary Fund to provide loans to Russia.

The former communist allies of the Soviet Union struggled in transitioning to free-market economies and instituting democratic reforms. Germany wrestled with the challenges of reunification.

The U.S. emerged as the world’s sole superpower, which prompted national debates on its new role on the world stage.
The Non-Aligned Movement, originally formed as a counterpoint to NATO and the Warsaw Pact, has struggled to define its purpose and establish common goals since the end of the Cold War.

Expectations for Learning

Describe how the breakup of the Soviet Union ended the Cold War and analyze the challenges it created for its former allies, the former Soviet republics, Europe, the United States and the non-aligned world.