Social Studies - 2018-19

USII.8a - Post World War II Europe

The student will apply social science skills to understand of the economic, social, and political transformation of the United States and the world between the end of World War II and the present by

a) describing the rebuilding of Europe and Japan after World War II, the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as superpowers, and the establishment of the United Nations;

Adopted: 2015



The Allied victory in World War II led to the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as global superpowers.

The United States’ involvement in World War II reshaped America’s role in world affairs.


Much of Europe was in ruins following World War II. Soviet forces occupied most of Eastern and Central Europe and the eastern portion of Germany. The United States believed it was in its best interest to help rebuild Europe and prevent political and economic instability.

Rebuilding efforts

 The United States instituted George C. Marshall’s plan to rebuild Europe (the Marshall Plan), which provided massive financial aid to rebuild European economies and prevent the spread of communism.

 Germany was partitioned into East and West Germany. West Germany became democratic and resumed self-government after a few years of American, British, and French occupation. East Germany remained under the domination of the Soviet Union and did not adopt democratic institutions.

 Following its defeat, Japan was occupied by American forces. It soon adopted a democratic form of government, resumed self-government, and became a strong ally of the United States.

Establishment of the United Nations

 The United Nations was formed near the end of World War II to create a body for the nations of the world to try to prevent future global wars.


Updated: May 16, 2018