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Contemporary history, in English-language , is a subset of that describes the from approximately 1945 to the present. Contemporary history is either a subset of the , or it is one of the three major subsets of modern history, alongside the and the late modern period. The term ''contemporary history'' has been in use at least since the early 19th century. Contemporary history is dominated by the (1945–1991) between the United States and the whose effects were felt across the world. The confrontation, which was mainly fought through s and through intervention in the internal politics of smaller nations, ultimately ended with the and in 1991, following the . The latter stages and aftermath of the Cold War enabled the of much of Europe, Africa, and Latin America. In the Middle East, the period after 1945 was dominated by and the rise of , as well as the growth of after the 1980s. The first supranational organisations of government, such as the United Nations and , emerged during the period after 1945, while the European s in Africa and Asia collapsed, gone by 1975. s rose and the transformed relations in western countries between the 1960s and 1980s, epitomised by the . Living standards rose sharply across the because of the , whereby major economies such as Japan and emerged. The , especially , spread widely. By the 1960s, many western countries had begun ; in their place, led to the emergence of new industrial centres, such as , , and later , which exported consumer goods to . made new advances after 1945: , , and technology were developed alongside and , , and the of . Meanwhile, the first computers were created, followed by the Internet, beginning the .


Timeline

ImageSize = width:1024 height:auto barincrement:27 PlotArea = top:10 bottom:20 right:130 left:70 AlignBars = justify Colors = id:time value:rgb(0.7,0.7,1) # id:period value:rgb(1,0.7,0.5) # id:age value:rgb(0.95,0.85,0.5) # id:era value:rgb(1,0.85,0.5) # id:eon value:rgb(1,0.85,0.7) # id:filler value:gray(0.8) # background bar id:black value:black Period = from:1900 till:2021.94 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:10 start:1900 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:1 start:1900 PlotData = align:center textcolor:black fontsize:8 mark:(line,black) width:11 shift:(0,-5) bar:Technology color:era from:1900 till:1945.67 text: from:1945.67 till:1948.5 text: from:1948.5 till:1958.7 text: from:1958.7 till:1970 shift:(0,2) text: from:1958.7 till:1970 shift:(0,-8) text: from:1970 till:end text: from:2010 till:end text: bar:Conflicts color:era from:1914.57 till:1918.86 text: from:1918.86 till:1939.666 text: from:1939.666 till:1945.667 text: from:1947 till:1991.98 text: from:2001.69 till:end text: bar:Depressions color:era from:1929.83 till:1939 shift:(0,1) text: from:1929.83 till:1939 shift:(0,-9) text: from:2007.83 till:2009 shift:(0,1) text: from:2007.83 till:2009 shift:(0,-9) text: from:2020 till:end shift:(0,1) text: from:2020 till:end shift:(0,-9) text: bar:Atomic color:era from:1945.54 till:end text: bar:Space color:era from:1957.76 till:end text: bar:Decades color:era from:1900 till:1945 shift:(0,5) text: from:1945 till:end shift:(0,5) text: from:1900 till:1910 text:Aughts from:1910 till:1920 text:Teens from:1920 till:1930 text:Twenties from:1930 till:1940 text:Thirties from:1940 till:1950 text:Forties from:1950 till:1960 text:Fifties from:1960 till:1970 text:Sixties from:1970 till:1980 text:Seventies from:1980 till:1990 text:Eighties from:1990 till:2000 text:Nineties from:2000 till:2010 text:Noughties from:2010 till:2020 text:Tens from:2020 till:end text:Tw


Modern era

In the first half of the 20th century, the world saw a series of great conflagrations, and . Near the end of the first world war, there were a series of s and a . In between the world wars, the 1920s saw a great rise in prosperity where much of the world saw progress and new technology, but this was soon ended by the . During this time, the was formed to deal with global issues, but failed to garner enough support by the leading powers, and a series of crises once again led the world into another epoch of violence.


Post-1945

Notable events during the modern period of include two s and the , characterized by the rivalry between the United States and the . The Cold War span from 1947-1991. The was concurrent with this time, encompassing the activities related to the , , space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events. is an appellation applied to the historical concept of relative liberal peace in the Western world, resulting from the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States of America after the end of World War II in 1945. The post-1945 world experienced the establishment of many new . became independent in 1947. Throughout the post-1945 period, the Cold War was expressed through military coalitions, espionage, weapons development, invasions, propaganda, and competitive technological development. The Soviet Union created the of countries that it occupied, annexing some as and maintaining others as s that would later form the . The United States and various Western European countries began a policy for and forged alliances to this end, including . The conflict included defense spending, a and , and various s; the two superpowers never fought one another directly. The in 1989 then set in motion a peaceful chain reaction with the subsequent fall of the and the , the collapse of the , the reunification of and and the end of the . The , partly due to its inability to compete economically with the United States and Western Europe. The post-1989 world saw the end of the totalitarian regimes of the Cold War and the ending of status for many states. The Cold war was effectively ended by the , the on 3 December 1989 and the Dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991. Various "post-Cold War regimes" established were democratic republics, though some were / republics. In Latin America, military regimes supported by the , such as that facilitated by the , also fell (see also ). The regime collapsed in 1990. In Southeast Asia, the right-wing ''developmental dictatorships'' were overthrown by popular uprisings.


Information age and computers

The or Information Era, also commonly known as the Age of the Computer, is an idea that the current age will be characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously. The idea is heavily linked to the concept of a or , and carries the ramifications of a shift from traditional industry that the Industrial Revolution brought through industrialization, to an economy based around the manipulation of information. The period is generally said to have begun in the latter half of the 20th century, though the particular date varies. The term began its use around the late 1980s and early 1990s, and has been used up to the present with the availability of the Internet. During the late 1990s, both and s were popular— and (both founded 1995) were the respective industry leaders. By late 2001, the directory model had begun to give way to search engines, tracking the rise of Google (founded 1998), which had developed new approaches to . Directory features, while still commonly available, became after-thoughts to search engines. Database size, which had been a significant marketing feature through the early 2000s (decade), was similarly displaced by emphasis on relevancy ranking, the methods by which search engines attempt to sort the best results first. "" is characterized as facilitating communication, , , and on the . It has led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, , and s. Examples include , , s, blogs, s and . emerged in the early 21st century as a popular social communication, largely replacing much of the function of email, s and services. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are all major examples of social websites that gained widespread popularity. The information distribution continued into the early 21st century with and growing massively in the early 21st century. By the 2010s, a majority of people in the developed world had Internet access and a majority of people worldwide had a mobile phone. Marking the rise of , worldwide sales of personal computers fall 14% during the first quarter of 2013. The (dubbed, "Web 3.0") begins the inclusion of content in web pages, converting the current web dominated by unstructured and semi-structured documents into a "web of data". With the rise of information technology, , and in general, is a concern for computers and networks. Concerns include information and services which are protected from unintended or unauthorized access, change or destruction. This has also raised questions of and globally.


Late contemporary times


=Terrorism and warfare

= Major political developments in the 2000s (decade) for the United States and the Middle East revolved around , the , the , and the . The – which were described as a "watershed moment" of contemporary history – were a series of coordinated s by upon the United States on 11 September 2001. On that morning, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists four commercial passenger s. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the in New York City, killing everyone on board and many others working in the buildings. Both buildings collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into in , just outside Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into a field near in rural , after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane, which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington, D.C. Major terrorist events after the 11 September 2001 Attacks include the , the , the , the , the , the , and the . The United States responded to the 11 September 2001 attacks by launching a "Global War on Terrorism", invading to depose the , who had harbored al-Qaeda terrorists, and enacting the . Many other countries also strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers. The 'Global War on Terrorism' is the military, political, legal and ideological conflict against and since the 2001 attacks. The began in late 2001 and was launched by the United States with the United Kingdom, and -led, UN authorized in response to the 11 September attacks. The aim of the invasion was to find the whereabouts of and other high-ranking al-Qaeda members and put them on trial, to destroy the whole organization of , and to remove the regime which supported and gave safe harbor to al-Qaeda. The and the stated forces would not distinguish between terrorist organizations and nations or governments that harbor them. Two military operations in Afghanistan are fighting for control over the country. (OEF) is a United States combat operation involving some coalition partners and operating primarily in the eastern and southern parts of the country along the border. The second operation is the (ISAF), which was established by the at the end of 2001 to secure and the surrounding areas. NATO assumed control of ISAF in 2003. The multinational infantry actions, with additional ground forces supplied by the , and campaign removed the Taliban from power, but Taliban forces have since regained some strength. The war has been less successful in achieving the goal of restricting al-Qaeda's movement than anticipated. Since 2006, Afghanistan has seen threats to its stability from increased Taliban-led activity, record-high levels of illegal drug production, and a fragile government with limited control outside of . At the end of 2008, the war had been unsuccessful in capturing and tensions have grown between the United States and Pakistan due to incidents of Taliban fighters crossing the Pakistan border while being pursued by coalition troops. The began in March 2003 with the by a . The invasion of Iraq led to an and the eventual capture of , who was later by the Iraqi Government. Violence against coalition forces and among various sectarian groups soon led to with the , strife between many and Iraqi groups, and . committed and by the created controversy globally, and helped dispel the notion of the United States as a liberating force in the War of Terror. Member nations of the Coalition withdrew their forces as public opinion favoring troop withdrawals increased and as Iraqi forces began to take responsibility for security. In late 2008, the U.S. and Iraqi governments approved a effective through to the end of 2011. The Iraqi Parliament also ratified a Strategic Framework Agreement with the U.S.,
/ref> aimed at ensuring international cooperation in constitutional rights, threat deterrence, education, energy development, and other areas.Karadsheh, J. (27 November 2008
"Iraq parliament OKs pact on U.S. troops' future"
CNN
In 2009, U.S. President announced an 18-month withdrawal window for "combat forces". The has renamed the War on Terror as the "". Its objectives are to protect US citizens and business interests worldwide, break up terrorist cells in the US, and disrupt al-Qaeda and affiliated groups. The administration has re-focused US involvement in the conflict on the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq, the closing of , and the . Using information obtained from in 2007, the name and whereabouts of one of Bin Laden's couriers, , was learned, and the courier eventually led U.S. intelligence to the location of Osama bin Laden, which was located in a in , Pakistan, a suburban area 35 miles from . On 1 May 2011, he and the papers and computer drives and disks from the compound were seized. In 2011 Europe, the former commander , wanted for , and , is arrested on 26 May in Serbia by the . In 2011, the United States formally declared an to the . The began in earnest in 2010 with anti-government protests in the , but quickly escalated to full-scale military conflicts in countries like , , and and also gave the opportunity for the emergence of various militant groups including the (IS). The IS was able to take advantage of social media platforms including Twitter to recruit foreign fighters from around the world and seized significant portions of territory in , , , and the of from 2013 and ongoing. On the other hand, some violent militant organizations were able to negotiate peace with governments including the in the in 2014. The presence of IS and the stalemate in the created a and also galvanized and encouraged high-profile terrorism attacks and armed conflicts around the world, such as the and the in the Philippines in 2017. In 2014, the United States decided to against the Islamic State in , with most IS fighters being driven out by the end of 2018. Russia and also jointly launched a against IS in Syria, in support of Syrian President , coming at odds with United States aims. The , largely led by , have opposed the as encroaching on Russian autonomy. In the last fifteen years, they have intervened in a variety of military conflicts in its neighboring countries including and (leading to the and an ).


=Great Recession

= In the beginning of the 2000s (decade), there was a global rise in prices in and , marking an end to the . The US mortgage-backed securities, which had risks that were hard to assess, were marketed around the world and a broad based credit boom fed a global speculative bubble in real estate and equities. The financial situation was also affected by a sharp increase in oil and . The collapse of the American caused the values of tied to to plummet thereafter, damaging financial institutions. The , a severe economic which began in the United States in 2007, was sparked by the outbreak of a . The modern financial crisis was linked to earlier lending practices by financial institutions and the trend of of American real estate mortgages. The emergence of Sub-prime loan losses exposed other risky loans and over-inflated asset prices. The spread to much of the , and has caused a pronounced deceleration of economic activity. The occurred in an economic environment characterized by various imbalances. This global recession has resulted in a sharp drop in , rising unemployment and slumping commodity prices. The recession renewed interest in on how to combat recessionary conditions. However, various industrial countries continued to undertake to cut , reduced , as opposed to following Keynesian theories. From late 2009 , fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed among investors concerning rising government debt levels across the globe together with a wave of downgrading of government debt of certain European states. Concerns intensified early 2010 and thereafter making it difficult or impossible for sovereigns to re-finance their debts. On 9 May 2010, Europe's Finance Ministers approved a rescue package worth €750 billion aimed at ensuring financial stability across Europe. The (EFSF) was a special purpose vehicle financed by members of the eurozone to combat the European sovereign debt crisis. In October 2011 eurozone leaders agreed on another package of measures designed to prevent the collapse of member economies. The three most affected countries, Greece, Ireland and Portugal, collectively account for six percent of eurozone's gross domestic product (GDP). In 2012, finance ministers reached an agreement on a second €130-billion Greek bailout. In 2013, the European Union for Cyprus.


=COVID-19 pandemic

= In 2020, an outbreak of the disease, first documented in late 2019 in , , spread to other countries becoming a , which caused a major socio-economic disruption all over the world. Many countries ordered mandatory on movement and closures of non-essential businesses. The pandemic was described by some commentators as the most important global event of the , as well as the greatest crisis of modern times.


Contemporary world


Present and future

The world is in the . The is the century of the or in accordance with the . It began on 1 January 2001 and will end 31 December 2100. The , or ''The '', decade runs from 1 January , to 31 December . The third millennium is the third period of one thousand years. As this millennium is in progress, only its first decade, the 2000s (decade), can be the subject of the conventional historian's attention. The remaining part of the 21st century and longer-term trends are researched by , an approach that uses various models and several methods (such as "" and ""). Ever since the invention of history, people have searched for "lessons" that might be drawn from its study, on the principle that to understand the past is potentially to control the . A famous quote by has it that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." , in his monumental ', sought regularities in the rise and fall of s. In a more popular vein, devoted a 1968 book, ', to a discussion of "events and comments that might illuminate present affairs, future possibilities... and the conduct of states." Discussions of history's lessons often tend to an excessive focus on historic detail or, conversely, on sweeping generalizations. takes as one of its important attributes ( starting points) the ongoing effort to analyze alternative futures. This effort includes collecting quantitative and qualitative data about the possibility, probability, and desirability of change. The plurality of the term "futures" in futurology denotes the rich variety of alternative futures, including the subset of preferable futures (normative futures), that can be studied. Practitioners of the discipline previously concentrated on present , economic or social s, or on attempting to future trends, but more recently they have started to examine social s and and to build s, question the worldviews behind such scenarios via the method (and others) create preferred visions of the future, and use backcasting to derive alternative implementation strategies. Apart from extrapolation and scenarios, many dozens of methods and techniques are used in futures research.


Socio-technological trends

At the end of the 20th century, the world was at a major crossroads. Throughout the century, more technological advances had been made than in all of preceding history. Computers, the Internet, and other radically altered daily lives. Increased , specifically , had occurred. While not necessarily a threat, it has sparked anti-Western and sentiment in parts of the developing world, especially the Middle East. The English language has become a leading , with people who did not speak it becoming increasingly disadvantaged. A trend connecting economic and political events in North America, Asia, and the Middle East is the rapidly increasing demand for fossil fuels, which, along with fewer new petroleum finds, greater extraction costs (see ), and political turmoil, saw the price of gas and oil soar ~500% between 2000 and 2005. In some places, especially in Europe, gas could be $5 a gallon, depending on the currency. Less influential, but omnipresent, is the debate on Turkey's participation in the . and urban revival continue to be forces in urban planning in the United States. However, evidence shows that growth of American suburbs still outpaces urban growth.


Challenges and problems

In the contemporary era, several issues are faced in the world. First of all, wealth is concentrated among the and Western , along with several Asian nations and countries. The richest 1% of adults alone owned 40% of global assets in the year 2000 and that the richest 10% of adults accounted for 85% of the world total. The bottom half of the world adult population owned barely 1% of global wealth.Extensive statistics, many indicating the growing world disparity, are included in the available report, press releases, Excel tables and Powerpoint slides. See ''The World Distribution of Household Wealth''. James B. Davies, Susanna Sandstrom, Anthony Shorrocks, and Edward N. Wolff. 5 December 2006.
Launch of the WIDER study on The World Distribution of Household Wealth
(includes press release, summary, and data)

(copy of full report with a cover page added)
The World Distribution of Household Wealth
(exact copy of report published at United Nations website) For more.
Another study found that the richest 2% own more than half of global household s.The rich really do own the world
5 December 2006
Despite this, the distribution has been changing quite rapidly in the direction of greater concentration of wealth.


Climate change

and reflects the notion of the modern . The changes of climate over the past century, have been which have resulted in a . This warming is the increase in the of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. Some effects on both the and are, at least in part, already being attributed to global warming. A 2001 report by the IPCC suggests that , such as that of the , , changes in rainfall patterns, and increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events are attributable in part to global warming. Other expected effects include in some regions and increased precipitation in others, changes in mountain snowpack, and adverse health effects from warmer temperatures. It usually is impossible to connect specific weather events to human impact on the world. Instead, such impact is expected to cause changes in the overall distribution and intensity of weather events, such as changes to the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation. Broader effects are expected to include , , and worldwide . Other effects may include changes in , addition of new trade routes, species , and changes in the range of . Until 2009, the Arctic ' prevented regular throughout most of the year in this area, but climate change has reduced the pack ice, and this made the waterways more navigable.


Contemporary technologies

, the recent developments and convergences in various fields of technology, hold possible future impacts. cover various cutting-edge developments in the emergence and convergence of technology, including transportation, information technology, , and , and . Their status and possible effects involve controversy over the degree of social impact or the viability of the technologies. Though, these represent new and significant developments within a field; converging technologies represent previously distinct fields which are in some way moving towards stronger inter-connection and similar goals. The first fully functional was Columbia (designated OV-102), launched into Earth orbit in April 1981. In 1996, Shuttle mission conducted research in space with the generator and other tether configurations. In 135 missions, the program suffered with two shuttles destroyed. The successful landing at Kennedy Space Center after completing STS-135 concluded the shuttle program. The (COTS) program began in 2006. The took place from March to July 2011. There are , including s of and other s (). is flight beyond the that is conducted and paid for by an entity other than a government agency. is the use of equipment sent into or through outer space to provide goods or services of commercial value, either by a corporation or state. plans and predictions began in the 1960s. is any and artificial s. NASA announced in 2011 that its captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars during warm seasons. On 6 August 2012, the Mars Science Laboratory , the most elaborate Martian exploration vehicle to date, landed on Mars. After the observations of the , information was released in 2011 of the work done by the , estimating the age of the Universe to 13.8 billion years old (a 100 million years older than previously thought). Another technological advancement came in 2012 with European physicists statistically demonstrating the existence of the .Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC
/ref>


See also

;General: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Popular culture, s, s ;Policy and bureaucracy: , , ;People's generation: , , , , , , ;Music and arts: , , , , , , , , , ;Agriculture and food: , , , , ;Energy and power: , , , , s, s, , ;War and warfare: , , , , , , , , , ,


References


Citations


Further reading

* Bell, P. M. H. and Mark Gilbert. ''The World Since 1945: An International History'' (2nd ed. 2017), 584p
excerpt
* Boyd, Andrew, Joshua Comenetz. '' An atlas of world affairs'' (2007
excerpt
* Briggs, Asa, and Peter Burke. ''A Social History of the Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet'' (2002
excerpt
* Hunt, Michael H. ''The World Transformed: 1945 to the Present'' (2nd ed. 2015) 624p
website
* Hunt, Michael H. ed., ''The World Transformed, 1945 to the Present: A Documentary Reader'' (2nd ed. 2001) primary source
excerpts
* McWilliams, Wayne C. and Harry Piotrowski. ''The World Since 1945: A History of International Relations'' (8th ed. 2014), 620pp


External links

; General
Internet Modern History Sourcebook
at
''Journal of Contemporary History''
SAGE Publications. (Print )
Contemporary History Institute (CHI)
ohiou.edu (ed., Analyzes the contemporary period in world affairs—the period from World War II to the present—from an interdisciplinary historical perspective.) * https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17858981 on ''BBC'' {{Authority control Articles containing video clips