Today's issues in europe


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Today's issues in europe

  1. 1.  As Europe moves toward economic and political unity, it’s facing lingering ethnic tensions, nationalism, and environmental crises.
  2. 2.  Following WWII, Germany is split into two different countries. East Germany is influenced by the USSR and the government is communist. West Germany is influenced by the US, France and the UK and their government is a democracy.
  3. 3.  Not only is the country split, the capital of Berlin is split as well. East Germany builds a wall to maintain the separation between the two and keeps its citizens confined within. Crossing over is strictly forbidden.
  4. 4.  After much protest in the 1980’s and urges from other political leaders such as President Reagan in 1987, East Germany agrees to bring down the wall. On November 9th, “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!” 1989 demolition of the wall commenced.
  5. 5.  The Balkan conflict stems from different groups wanting the same land. Many groups inhabit the Balkans. The Slavs immigrated from Russia and Poland in the 500’s In the 1300’s, the Ottoman Empire conquers the Balkans. Many Slavs are Christian and/or Jewish and the Ottomans are Muslim. Christians, Jews and Muslims now occupy the same land. This causes ethnic tension.
  6. 6.  Serbia does not like being under foreign rule. The Serbians want a free Slavic Kingdom. They break away from the Ottoman Empire in 1878 and their actions lead to the breakout of WWI.
  7. 7.  In 1929, the country of Yugoslavia is formed. Yugoslavia literally translates to “Land of the Slavs”. The country includes Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. Land is united, but still ethnically mixed.
  8. 8.  Yugoslavia is invaded by the Nazis and Italians during WWII. The Croatians help the Nazis hunt down and massacre Jews and Serbians Following the war, Josip Broz Tito rules Yugoslavia He encourages all groups to see themselves as Yugoslavs
  9. 9.  Tito dies in 1980 and Yugoslavia has no single, central ruler Slobodan Milosevic — Serbian who sought to control Yugoslavia in 1990s Milosevic proposes creation of Greater Serbia - wants to expand borders to include all areas with Serbian populations; Croatia has large Serbian minority
  10. 10.  Serbia blocks Croatian from becoming Yugoslav president in 1991 In response, Slovenia and Croatia declare independence from Yugoslavia Serbian-led Yugoslav army invades Slovenia and Croatia
  11. 11.  Serbians want to get rid of Bosnian Muslims, Croatians Serbs use ethnic cleansing — violent elimination of an ethnic group Over 200,000 people die, over 2 million flee area
  12. 12.  The movie Behind Enemy Lines is a film centered on the story of an American naval flight officer who was shot down over Bosnia, who ends up uncovering a massacre during the Bosnian conflict.
  13. 13.  The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is a revolutionary military organization which was formed in 1913. The IRA opposed British occupation in Ireland. In 1921 they declared independence and fought the British in a small war. The British recognized Ireland’s independence; however, parts of Northern Ireland remained part of the UK. Today, Northern Ireland is still a topic of controversy, especially with the IRA.
  14. 14.  The IRA has since split into several smaller groups but still operates today. Since they are an unofficial army/militia, many people consider the IRA a terrorist group. Recent actions taken by the IRA include; setting off several bombs in 1972, the assassination of Queen Elizabeth’s uncle in 1979 and a car bomb in 1998 that killed 29 people.
  15. 15.  One incident that sparked controversy was “Bloody Sunday” in 1972. Many people gathered in protest for an independent Ireland in the city of Derry, Northern Ireland. The British Army was called in for crowd control. They opened fire, killing 14 people and injuring 26.  - 7 of the deceased were teenagers