Winds of Change in Western Europe• Move towards economic union (EEC in 1957) – EEC expanded to include several new contries including Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark• Treaty of European Union (EC) 1994 turned the EC into the principal org. within the European Union (EU) – Created the euro- common currency – 12 of 15 EU nations adopted the euro
Uncertainties in France• Deteriorating economy led to a political shift – Socialists became the dominant party• New Socialist leader Mitterrand initiated a number of measures to aid workers – Increased minimum wage, 39 hr work week, etc – Government took over banks, steel, and space/electronics industries• Socialist party plans largely failed and economy still declined
From West Germany to Germany• First Social Democratic chancellor of West Germany was Willy Brandt• 1972 Brandt signed a treaty with East Germany- earned him the Nobel Peace Prize• Germany reunified in 1990 – Cost of rebuilding Germany caused increased taxes and eventually high unemployment – This led to attacks on foreigners because of competition for jobs
Great Britain and Thatcherism• Two major parties in Great Britain- Conservatives and the Labour party• Margaret Thatcher a conservative leader of 1979 pledged to limit social welfare, restrict union power, and end inflation• Thatcherism: Thatches economic policy improved British economy, but old industrial areas of the north suffered
Nixon and Watergate• Believed that “law and order” and a slowdown in racial desegregation would appeal to southern whites- gained republican allegiance• Nixon began to use illegal methods to gain political information about his opponents• A group of men on Nixon’s reelection committee broke into the Watergate Hotel in DC to install electronic listening devices• Nixon lied to the public about his involvement, but tapes of his conversations in the White House were discovered that revealed the truth• Nixon resigned August 9, 1974
Carter Administration• Jimmy Carter became president after Nixon• Faced high inflation and a lower standard of living• 52 Americans were held hostage in by the Iranian government – He was unable to gain the hostages’ release
Reagan Revolution• Ronald Reagan cut back on welfare state by decreasing spending on food stamps, school lunch programs, and job programs• Held fast against communist ideology and some credit him with the quick decline of the Soviet Union• Responsible for the largest peacetime military buildup in U.S. history – Produced record government budget deficits
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