Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic known as the Russian Soviet Republic and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, as well as being unofficially known as the Russian Federation, Soviet Russia, or Russia, was an independent state from 1917 to 1922, afterwards the largest, most populous and most economically developed of the 15 Soviet socialist republics of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1990 a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with priority of Russian laws over Union-level legislation in 1990 and 1991, during the last two years of the existence of the USSR. The Russian Republic comprised sixteen smaller constituent units of autonomous republics, five autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, six krais and forty oblasts. Russians formed the largest ethnic group; the capital of the Russian SFSR was Moscow and the other major urban centers included Leningrad, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara. The economy of Russia became industrialized, accounting for about two-thirds of the electricity produced in the USSR.
By 1961, it was the third largest producer of petroleum due to new discoveries in the Volga-Urals region and Siberia, trailing in production to only the United States and Saudi Arabia. In 1974, there were 475 institutes of higher education in the republic providing education in 47 languages to some 23,941,000 students. A network of territorially organized public-health services provided health care. After 1985, the "perestroika" restructuring policies of the Gorbachev administration liberalised the economy, which had become stagnant since the late 1970s under General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, with the introduction of non-state owned enterprises such as cooperatives; the Russian Soviet Republic was proclaimed on 7 November 1917 as a sovereign state and the world's first constitutionally socialist state with the ideology of Communism. The first Constitution was adopted in 1918. In 1922, the Russian SFSR signed the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR setting up of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The 1977 Soviet Constitution stated that "Union Republic is a sovereign state that has united in the Union" and "each Union Republic shall retain the right to secede from the USSR". On 12 June 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty, established separation of powers, established citizenship of Russia and stated that the RSFSR shall retain the right of free secession from the USSR. On 12 June 1991, Boris Yeltsin, supported by the Democratic Russia pro-reform movement, was elected the first and only President of the RSFSR, a post that would become the presidency of the Russian Federation; the August 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt with the temporary brief internment of President Mikhail Gorbachev destabilised the Soviet Union. On 8 December 1991, the heads of Russia and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords; the agreement declared dissolution of the USSR by its original founding states and established the Commonwealth of Independent States as a loose confederation.
On 12 December, the agreement was ratified by the Supreme Soviet. On 25 December 1991, following the resignation of Gorbachev as President of the Soviet Union, the Russian SFSR was renamed the Russian Federation, with President Yeltsin re-establishing the sovereign and independent state. With the lowering at 12 midnight of the red flag with hammer and sickle design of the now former USSR from the towers of the Kremlin in Moscow on 26 December 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Soviet of the Republics, which by that time was the only functioning chamber of the parliamentary Supreme Soviet. After dissolution of the USSR, Russia declared that it assumed the rights and obligations of the dissolved central Soviet government, including UN membership and permanent membership on the Security Council, but excluding foreign debt and foreign assets of the USSR; the 1978 RSFSR Constitution was amended several times to reflect the transition to democracy, private property and market economy. The new Russian Constitution, coming into effect on 25 December 1993 after a constitutional crisis abolished the Soviet form of government and replaced it with a semi-presidential system.
Under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, the Bolshevik communists established the Soviet state on 7 November 1917 after the interim Russian Provisional Government, most led by opposing democratic socialist Alexander Kerensky, which governed the new Russian Republic after the overthrow of the Russian Empire government of the Romanov imperial dynasty of Czar Nicholas II the previous March, was now itself overthrown during the following October Revolution, the second of t
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, values and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, teaching and directed research. Education takes place under the guidance of educators and learners may educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational; the methodology of teaching is called pedagogy. Formal education is divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and college, university, or apprenticeship. A right to education has been recognized by the United Nations. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age. Etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin word ēducātiō from ēducō, related to the homonym ēdūcō from ē- and dūcō. Education began in prehistory, as adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society.
In pre-literate societies, this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling passed knowledge and skills from one generation to the next; as cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond skills that could be learned through imitation, formal education developed. Schools existed in Egypt at the time of the Middle Kingdom. Plato founded the Academy in the first institution of higher learning in Europe; the city of Alexandria in Egypt, established in 330 BCE, became the successor to Athens as the intellectual cradle of Ancient Greece. There, the great Library of Alexandria was built in the 3rd century BCE. European civilizations suffered a collapse of literacy and organization following the fall of Rome in CE 476. In China, Confucius, of the State of Lu, was the country's most influential ancient philosopher, whose educational outlook continues to influence the societies of China and neighbours like Korea and Vietnam. Confucius gathered disciples and searched in vain for a ruler who would adopt his ideals for good governance, but his Analects were written down by followers and have continued to influence education in East Asia into the modern era.
The Aztecs had a well-developed theory about education, which has an equivalent word in Nahuatl called tlacahuapahualiztli. It means "the art of raising or educating a person" or "the art of strengthening or bringing up men." This was a broad conceptualization of education, which prescribed that it begins at home, supported by formal schooling, reinforced by community living. Historians cite that formal education was mandatory for everyone regardless of social class and gender. There was the word neixtlamachiliztli, "the act of giving wisdom to the face." These concepts underscore a complex set of educational practices, oriented towards communicating to the next generation the experience and intellectual heritage of the past for the purpose of individual development and his integration into the community. After the Fall of Rome, the Catholic Church became the sole preserver of literate scholarship in Western Europe; the church established cathedral schools in the Early Middle Ages as centres of advanced education.
Some of these establishments evolved into medieval universities and forebears of many of Europe's modern universities. During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral operated the famous and influential Chartres Cathedral School; the medieval universities of Western Christendom were well-integrated across all of Western Europe, encouraged freedom of inquiry, produced a great variety of fine scholars and natural philosophers, including Thomas Aquinas of the University of Naples, Robert Grosseteste of the University of Oxford, an early expositor of a systematic method of scientific experimentation, Saint Albert the Great, a pioneer of biological field research. Founded in 1088, the University of Bologne is considered the first, the oldest continually operating university. Elsewhere during the Middle Ages, Islamic science and mathematics flourished under the Islamic caliphate, established across the Middle East, extending from the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Indus in the east and to the Almoravid Dynasty and Mali Empire in the south.
The Renaissance in Europe ushered in a new age of scientific and intellectual inquiry and appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg developed a printing press, which allowed works of literature to spread more quickly; the European Age of Empires saw European ideas of education in philosophy, religion and sciences spread out across the globe. Missionaries and scholars brought back new ideas from other civilizations – as with the Jesuit China missions who played a significant role in the transmission of knowledge and culture between China and Europe, translating works from Europe like Euclid's Elements for Chinese scholars and the thoughts of Confucius for European audiences; the Enlightenment saw the emergence of a more secular educational outlook in Europe. In most countries today, full-time education, whether at school or otherwise, is compulsory for all children up to a certain age. Due to this the proliferation of compulsory education, combined with population growth, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far.
Formal education occurs in a structured environment. Formal education takes place in a school environme
Soviet dissidents were people who disagreed with certain features in the embodiment of Soviet ideology and who were willing to speak out against them. The term dissident was used in the Soviet Union in the period following Joseph Stalin's death until the fall of communism, it was used to refer to small groups of marginalized intellectuals whose modest challenges to the Soviet regime met protection and encouragement from correspondents. Following the etymology of the term, a dissident is considered to "sit apart" from the regime; as dissenters began self-identifying as dissidents, the term came to refer to an individual whose non-conformism was perceived to be for the good of a society. Political opposition in the USSR was visible and, with rare exceptions, of little consequence. Instead, an important element of dissident activity in the Soviet Union was informing society about violation of laws and human rights. Over time, the dissident movement created vivid awareness of Soviet Communist abuses.
Soviet dissidents who criticized the state faced possible legal sanctions under the Soviet Criminal Code and faced the choice of exile, the mental hospital, or the labor camp. Anti-Soviet political behavior, in particular, being outspoken in opposition to the authorities, demonstrating for reform, writing books were defined in some persons as being a criminal act, a symptom, a diagnosis. In the 1950s, Soviet dissidents started leaking criticism to the West by sending documents and statements to foreign diplomatic missions in Moscow. In the 1960s, Soviet dissidents declared that the rights the government of the Soviet Union denied them were universal rights, possessed by everyone regardless of race and nationality. In August 1969, for instance, the Initiating Group for Defense of Civil Rights in the USSR appealed to the United Nations Committee on Human Rights to defend the human rights being trampled on by Soviet authorities in a number of trials. Our history shows that most of the people can be fooled for a long time.
But now all this idiocy is coming into clear contradiction with the fact that we have some level of openness. The heyday of the dissenters as a presence in the Western public life was the 1970s; the Helsinki Accords inspired dissidents in the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Poland to protest human rights failures by their own governments. The Soviet dissidents demanded that the Soviet authorities implement their own commitments proceeding from the Helsinki Agreement with the same zeal and in the same way as the outspoken legalists expected the Soviet authorities to adhere to the letter of their constitution. Dissident Russian and East European intellectuals who urged compliance with the Helsinki accords have been subjected to official repression. According to Soviet dissident Leonid Plyushch, Moscow has taken advantage of the Helsinki security pact to improve its economy while increasing the suppression of political dissenters. 50 members of Soviet Helsinki Groups were imprisoned. Cases of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union were divulged by Amnesty International in 1975 and by The Committee for the Defense of Soviet Political Prisoners in 1975 and 1976.
US President Jimmy Carter in his inaugural address on 20 January 1977 announced that human rights would be central to foreign policy during his administration. In February, Carter sent Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov a letter expressing his support for the latter's stance on human rights. In the wake of Carter's letter to Sakharov, the USSR cautioned against attempts "to interfere' in its affairs under "a thought-up pretext of'defending human rights.'" Because of Carter's open show of support for Soviet dissidents, the KGB was able to link dissent with American imperialism through suggesting that such protest is a cover for American espionage in the Soviet Union. The KGB head Yuri Andropov determined, "The need has thus emerged to terminate the actions of Orlov, fellow Helsinki monitor Ginzburg and others once and for all, on the basis of existing law." According to Dmitri Volkogonov and Harold Shukman, it was Andropov who approved the numerous trials of human rights activists such as Andrei Amalrik, Vladimir Bukovsky, Vyacheslav Chornovil, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Alexander Ginzburg, Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Pyotr Grigorenko, Anatoly Shcharansky, others.
According to Soviet dissident Yuri Glazov, Andropov was a paradigmatic Homo Sovieticus and conducted disinformation campaigns against his main opponents and dissidents Andrei Sakharov and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. If we accept human rights violations as just "their way" of doing things we are all guilty. Voluntary and involuntary emigration allowed the authorities to rid themselves of many political active intellectuals including writers Valentin Turchin, Georgi Vladimov, Vladimir Voinovich, Lev Kopelev, Vladimir Maximov, Naum Korzhavin, Vasily Aksyonov and others. A Chronicle of Current Events covered 424 political trials, in which 753 people were convicted, no one of the accused was acquitted. According to Soviet dissidents and Western critics, the KGB had sent dissenters to psychiatrists for diagnosing to avoid embarrassing publiс trials and to discredit dissidence as the product of ill minds. On the grounds that political dissenters in the Soviet Union were psychotic and deluded, they were locked away in psychiatric hospitals and treated with neuroleptics.
Confinement of political dissenters in psychiatric institutions had become a comm
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact known as the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a neutrality pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed in Moscow on 23 August 1939 by foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov, respectively. The clauses of the Nazi–Soviet Pact provided a written guarantee of non-belligerence by each party towards the other, a declared commitment that neither government would ally itself to, or aid an enemy of the other party. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that defined the borders of Soviet and German "spheres of influence" in the event of possible rearrangement of the territories belonging to Poland, Latvia and Finland; the secret protocol recognized the interest of Lithuania in the Vilno region. The Secret Protocol was just a rumor. Thereafter, Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered the Soviet invasion of Poland on 17 September, one day after a Soviet–Japanese ceasefire at the Khalkhin Gol came into effect.
After the invasion, the new border between the two powers was confirmed by the supplementary protocol of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty. In March 1940, parts of the Karelia and Salla regions in Finland were annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War; this was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia and parts of Romania. Advertised concern about ethnic Ukrainians and Belarusians had been proffered as justification for the Soviet invasion of Poland. Stalin's invasion of Bukovina in 1940 violated the pact, as it went beyond the Soviet sphere of influence agreed with the Axis; the territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union after the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland remained in the USSR at the end of World War II, are the parts of Ukraine and Belarus. The former Polish Vilno region is a part of Lithuania, the city of Vilnius is its capital. Only the region around Białystok and a small part of Galicia east of the San river around Przemyśl were returned to the Polish state. Of all other territories annexed by the USSR in 1939–40, the ones detached from Finland and Latvia remain part of the Russian Federation, the successor state of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The territories annexed from Romania had been integrated into the Soviet Union. The Pact was terminated on 22 June 1941, when the Wehrmacht launched Operation Barbarossa and invaded the Soviet Union. After the war, von Ribbentrop was executed. Molotov died aged 96 five years before the USSR's dissolution. Soon after World War II, the German copy of the secret protocol was found in Nazi archives and published in the West, but the Soviet government denied its existence until 1989, when it was acknowledged and denounced. Vladimir Putin while condemning the pact as'immoral' has defended the pact as a "necessary evil", a U-turn following his earlier condemnation; the outcome of World War I was disastrous for both the German Reich and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. During the war, the Bolsheviks struggled for survival, Vladimir Lenin recognised the independence of Finland, Latvia and Poland. Moreover, facing a German military advance and Trotsky were forced to enter into the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ceded massive western Russian territories to the German Empire.
After Germany's collapse, a multinational Allied-led army intervened in the Russian Civil War. On 16 April 1922, Germany and the Soviet Union entered the Treaty of Rapallo, pursuant to which they renounced territorial and financial claims against each other; each party further pledged neutrality in the event of an attack against the other with the 1926 Treaty of Berlin. While trade between the two countries fell after World War I, trade agreements signed in the mid-1920s helped to increase trade to 433 million Reichsmarks per year by 1927. At the beginning of the 1930s, the Nazi Party's rise to power increased tensions between Germany and the Soviet Union along with other countries with ethnic Slavs, who were considered "Untermenschen" according to Nazi racial ideology. Moreover, the anti-Semitic Nazis associated ethnic Jews with both communism and financial capitalism, both of which they opposed. Nazi theory held. In 1934, Hitler himself had spoken of an inescapable battle against both Pan-Slavism and Neo-Slavism, the victory in which would lead to "permanent mastery of the world", though he stated that they would "walk part of the road with the Russians, if that will help us."
The resulting manifestation of German anti-Bolshevism and an increase in Soviet foreign debts caused German–Soviet trade to decline. Imports of Soviet goods to Germany fell to 223 million Reichsmarks in 1934 as the more isolationist Stalinist regime asserted power and the abandonment of post–World War I Treaty of Versailles military controls decreased Germany's reliance on Soviet imports. In 1936, Germany and Fas
Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania
The Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania or Act of March 11 was an independence declaration by the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted on March 11, 1990, signed by all members of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania led by Sąjūdis. The act emphasized restoration and legal continuity of the interwar-period Lithuania, occupied by the USSR and lost independence in June 1940, it was the first time. After the partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century, Lithuania was part of the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Council of Lithuania, chaired by Jonas Basanavičius, proclaimed the Act of Independence of Lithuania on February 16, 1918. Lithuania enjoyed independence for two decades. In August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact dividing Eastern Europe into spheres of influence; the Baltic states were assigned to the Soviet sphere of influence and subsequently were occupied in June 1940 and converted into soviet socialist republics.
In Lithuania's case, President Antanas Smetona left the country rather than accept the occupation. He did not resign but turned over his presidential duties to Prime Minister Antanas Merkys as per the constitution; the next day, Merkys declared himself president in his own right. Two days under Soviet pressure, he appointed Justas Paleckis, a left-wing journalist and longtime opponent of the Smetona regime, as prime minister. Merkys resigned at Moscow's insistence, making Paleckis acting president as well; the Soviets used the Paleckis government to give the final Soviet takeover the appearance of legality. The Paleckis government staged a rigged election for a "People's Seimas," in which voters were presented with a single Communist-dominated list; the newly-elected People's Seimas met on July 21 with only one piece of business–a resolution declaring Lithuania a Soviet republic and petitioning for admission to the Soviet Union, which carried unanimously. The Soviet Union duly "approved" the request on August 3.
Since Soviet sources have maintained that Lithuania's petition to join the Soviet Union marked the culmination of a Lithuanian socialist revolution, thus represented the legitimate desire of the Lithuanian people to join the Soviet Union. The Soviet authorities undertook Sovietization policies: nationalization of all private property, collectivization of agriculture, suppression of the Catholic Church, the imposition of totalitarian control. At the same time, free education and free national health system were introduced; the armed anti-Soviet partisans were liquidated by 1953. 130,000 Lithuanians, dubbed "enemies of the people", were deported into Siberia. After the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, the Soviet Union adopted de-Stalinization policies and ended mass persecutions. Nonviolent resistance continued both among the Lithuanian diaspora; these movements were secret and more focused on social issues, human rights, cultural affairs rather than political demands. As Mikhail Gorbachev attempted to revive the economy of the Soviet Union, he introduced glasnost and perestroika.
Gorbachev's political agenda went for great and deep changes within the Soviet government, as such, Gorbachev invited the Soviet public into open and public discussions unseen before. For the soviet Lithuanian dissidents, activists, it was a golden opportunity not to be missed, to bring their movements from underground into the public life. On August 23, 1987, the Lithuanian Liberty League organized the first public protest rally that did not result in arrests. Encouraged by the non arrests, by mid-1988, a group of 35 intellectuals organized the Sąjūdis Reform Movement with the original goal of supporting and implementing Gorbachev's reforms yet short of supporting independence from the USSR. However, Sąjūdis grew in popularity, attracting large crowds to rallies in Vingis Park and therefore radicalizing its agenda, taking advantage of Gorbachev's passiveness. By 1989, Sąjūdis, not afraid of angering Moscow and causing a violent clampdown, continuously pushed further with its demands: from limited discussions on Gorbachev's reforms, to demand of greater say in economic decisions, to political autonomy within the Soviet Union.
By the time of the Baltic Way, a human chain spanning over 600 kilometres across the three Baltic states to mark the 50th anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, full independence was the official goal of Sąjūdis. Parliamentary elections of February 1990 were the first free and democratic elections in Lithuania since World War II; the people overwhelmingly voted for the candidates endorsed by Sąjūdis though the movement did not run as a political party. The result was the first post-war non-communist government. During its first assembly on March 11, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR elected Vytautas Landsbergis as its chairman and restored Lithuania's prewar name of the Republic of Lithuania, it changed it name to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, formally declared the re-establishment of Lithuanian independence. The act was approved at 10:44 pm by 124 members of the council. There were no votes against. SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA ACT On the Re-establishment of the State of Lithuania The Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, expressing the will of the nation and solemnly proclaims that the execu
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo