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The Modern World

This general category includes a selection of more specific topics.

The Modern World Encyclopedia Articles

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League of Nations
League of Nations, an organization for international cooperation established on January 10, 1920, at the initiative of the victorious Allied powers at the end of World War I. The terrible losses of World War I produced, as years went by and peace seemed no nearer, an ever-growing public demand that...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
League of Nations
Two-state solution
Two-state solution, proposed framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by establishing two states for two peoples: Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinian people. In 1993 the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on a plan to...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip: pre-1967 borders
Iraq War
Iraq War, (2003–11), conflict in Iraq that consisted of two phases. The first of these was a brief, conventionally fought war in March–April 2003, in which a combined force of troops from the United States and Great Britain (with smaller contingents from several other countries) invaded Iraq and...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
U.S. soldiers in Sāmarrā?, Iraq.
World War II
World War II, conflict that involved virtually every part of the world during the years 1939–45. The principal belligerents were the Axis powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan—and the Allies—France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China. The war was in many...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
World War II
Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from February 6, 1952. In 2015 she surpassed Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Elizabeth was the elder daughter of Prince Albert, duke of York, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon....
Biography
Elizabeth II
Cold War
Cold War, the open yet restricted rivalry that developed after World War II between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies. The Cold War was waged on political, economic, and propaganda fronts and had only limited recourse to weapons. The term was first used by the...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India. As such, he came to be considered the father of his country. Gandhi is internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest...
Biography
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela, black nationalist and the first black president of South Africa (1994–99). His negotiations in the early 1990s with South African Pres. F.W. de Klerk helped end the country’s apartheid system of racial segregation and ushered in a peaceful transition to majority rule. Mandela and de...
Biography
Nelson Mandela.
Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic, the government of Germany from 1919 to 1933, so called because the assembly that adopted its constitution met at Weimar from February 6 to August 11, 1919. The abdication of Emperor William II on November 9, 1918, marked the end of the German Empire. That day Maximilian, prince of...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
Scheidemann, Philipp
Soviet Union
Soviet Union, former northern Eurasian empire (1917/22–1991) stretching from the Baltic and Black seas to the Pacific Ocean and, in its final years, consisting of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics (S.S.R.’s): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia (now Belarus), Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgiziya (now...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
Flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1922–91.
World War I
World War I, an international conflict that in 1914–18 embroiled most of the nations of Europe along with Russia, the United States, the Middle East, and other regions. The war pitted the Central Powers—mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey—against the Allies—mainly France, Great Britain,...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
A British soldier inside a trench on the Western Front during World War I, 1914–18.
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, principal Chinese Marxist theorist, soldier, and statesman who led his country’s communist revolution. Mao was the leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from 1935 until his death, and he was chairman (chief of state) of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 to 1959 and chairman...
Biography
Mao Zedong
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and eastern Europe after World War II. Its original members were...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro, political leader of Cuba (1959–2008) who transformed his country into the first communist state in the Western Hemisphere. Castro became a symbol of communist revolution in Latin America. He held the title of premier until 1976 and then began a long tenure as president of the Council...
Biography
Castro, Fidel
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party (from 1920/21) and chancellor (Kanzler) and Führer of Germany (1933–45). He was chancellor from January 30, 1933, and, after President Paul von Hindenburg’s death, assumed the twin titles of Führer and chancellor (August 2, 1934). Hitler’s father, Alois (born...
Biography
Adolf Hitler
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet official, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from 1985 to 1991 and president of the Soviet Union in 1990–91. His efforts to democratize his country’s political system and decentralize its economy led to the downfall of communism and the...
Biography
Gorbachev, Mikhail
Vietnam War
Vietnam War, (1954–75), a protracted conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam, known as the Viet Cong, against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. Called the “American War” in Vietnam (or, in full, the “War...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
Vietnam War
Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh, founder of the Indochina Communist Party (1930) and its successor, the Viet-Minh (1941), and president from 1945 to 1969 of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). As the leader of the Vietnamese nationalist movement for nearly three decades, Ho was one of the prime movers...
Biography
Ho Chi Minh
Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill, British statesman, orator, and author who as prime minister (1940–45, 1951–55) rallied the British people during World War II and led his country from the brink of defeat to victory. After a sensational rise to prominence in national politics before World War I, Churchill...
Biography
Winston Churchill
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles, peace document signed at the end of World War I by the Allied and associated powers and by Germany in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles, France, on June 28, 1919; it took force on January 10, 1920. A brief treatment of the Treaty of Versailles follows. For full...
Encyclopedia / The Modern World
“Big Four”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States (1933–45). The only president elected to the office four times, Roosevelt led the United States through two of the greatest crises of the 20th century: the Great Depression and World War II. In so doing, he greatly expanded the powers of...
Biography
Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Modern World Encyclopedia Articles

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