Comparing and Contrasting the Social & Economic Systems of Western and Eastern Europe

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The economic and social systems of Western Europe and the Soviet Eastern bloc in 1945-1955 were very different yet very similar in several ways. The East was definitely trying to reconcile with the West, whereas the West wasn’t as in to interacting with the East after World War II. Based on my new found knowledge of both the West and East of Europe, I can say that from an economic aspect, both received very different treatment from different countries. Because of the Soviet Union’s socialism, countries such as the United States viewed them negatively because of disagreeing opinions on socialism. However, Western Europe was influenced by the United States (making us on their side) therefore receiving better treatment. The West and the Eastern bloc were very different socially as well as economically, yet bared some of the same aspects. The Marshall Plan was the United States sponsored program designed to rehabilitate the countries of Europe that suffered the incredibly damaging consequences after World War II. Western Europe’s real attitude toward economic union came about when they avoided discussion of a European free trade area, offered to them as an alternative in the Marshall Plan (Rebuilding Europe After World War II). When communist forces took over Czechoslovakia in 1948, the United States Congress realized the seriousness of the Soviet threat to European democracy. They voted for full funding of the European Recovery Program (the Marshall Plan). The USSR rejected contributions from the Marshall Plan, due to the conditions that accompanied it, such as allowing United States supervision of the participant's economy, and to be part of a unified European economy based on free trade (European-United States History). Under t... ... middle of paper ... ...t, John Pearce; Kaufman, Richard F. (1995), East-Central European Economies in Transition, M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 1-56324-612-013. The Aftermath of the Second World War." The Aftermath of the Second World War. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. 13. The Rise and Fall of Western Europe's Democratic Age, 1945-1973 Martin Conway Contemporary European History , Vol. 13, No. 1 (Feb., 2004) , pp. 67-88 Published by: Cambridge University Press Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20081192 14. Western Society and Eastern Europe in the Decades of the Cold War." Western Society and Eastern Europe in the Decades of the Cold War. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. 15. Post-World War II, Cold-War Era in Europe, 1945 - 1989." Post-World War II, Cold-War Era in Europe, 1945 - 1989. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014.

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