Maharashtra State BoardHSC Arts 12th Board Exam
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End of Cold War and Rise of New States

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notes

End of Cold War and Rise of New States:

The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and the eventual disintegration of the Soviet Union ended the cold war era. It also ended the East-West division of the world that was based on the rivalry of the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies.

Berlin Wall) was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Construction of the wall was commenced by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany on 13 August 1961. The Wall cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany, including Berlin. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, accompanied by a wide area (later known as the "death strip") that contained anti-vehicle trenches, beds of nails, and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" from building a socialist state in East Germany.

In 1989, a series of revolutions in nearby Eastern Bloc countries - in Poland and Hungary in particular - caused a chain reaction in East Germany that ultimately resulted in the demise of the Wall. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the Wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the Wall. The Brandenburg Gate, a few meters from the Berlin Wall, was opened on 22 December 1989. The demolition of the Wall officially began on 13 June 1990 and was completed in November 1991. The "fall of the Berlin Wall" paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place on 3 October 1990.

(i) End of the Cold War and the rise of new states:

The end of the Cold War led to the end of an international order dominated by the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. It also saw the emergence of new states after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Two important trends in international relations since the East European revolution of 1989:

 The first is the assertion of the concept of ethnic nationalism based on the right to self-determination and the second is the end of bipolarity. Bipolarity existed because of the existence of the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. The world was divided into two centers of power. The disintegration of the Soviet Union ended one of the centers of power. Therefore, the disintegration of the Soviet Union meant the end of bipolarity in the world.

The revolution of the East European states was a revolution of growing aspirations of the middle class. They desired more freedom and economic well-being. They rose against the communist governments that were controlled by the Soviet Union and emerged as free democratic states. Even within the Soviet Union, the movement for more political and economic freedom led to the various states demanding more autonomy and eventually independence. Meanwhile, the ethnic identity of the various people of the region became stronger. This led to the demand for the creation of independent states based on ethnic identity.

Here are some examples of this trend:

  • In Europe the pattern of creation of new states can be seen as follows:
    - Czechoslovakia split into two states, Czech Republic and Slav Republic.
    - Yugoslavia split into Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Montenegro.
  • In the case of the former Soviet Union the new states were as follows:
    - Armenia, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
  • The trend of the creation of new states on the basis of ethnic nationalism based right to self-determination was also seen in other parts of the world.
    Some of the new countries that emerged as independent states were:
    - East Timor (independent from Indonesia),
    - Eretria (independent from Ethiopia),
    - South Sudan (independent from Sudan).
  • This trend of demand for independence on the basis of ethnic nationalism is also seen in the following cases:
    - Catalonia (wants independence from Spain)
    - Kosovo (wants independence from Serbia. Its independence has been recognized by some countries of Europe)

International recognition of Kosovo, since its declaration of independence of Serbia enacted on 17 February 2008, has been mixed, and the international community is divided on the issue.

As of 4 September 2020, the Republic of Kosovo has received 116 diplomatic recognition as an independent state, of which 15 have since been withdrawn. As of 4 September 2020, 98 out of 193 (51%) United Nations(UN) member states, 22 out of 27 (81%) European Union (EU) member states, 26 out of 30 (87%) NATO member states, and 33 out of 57 (58%) Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) member states have recognized Kosovo. The government of Serbia does not recognize it as a sovereign state. In 2013, the two sides began to normalize relations in accordance with the Brussels Agreement, but the process stalled in November 2018 after Kosovo imposed a 100 percent tax on importing Serbian goods. On 1 April 2020, Kosova withdrew the tax. In September 2020, under an agreement brokered by the United States, Serbia and Kosovo agreed to normalize economic relations. Serbia agreed to suspend its efforts to encourage other states to either not recognize Kosovo or to revoke recognition for one year and in return Kosovo agreed to not apply for new membership of international organizations for the same period.
- Chechnya (wants independence from Russia)

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