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Europe from One Century to the Next: 1990-2005

For online access to this series of 16 historical maps


L’Europe et les Nations de 1945 à nos jours

See also:

History of Europe 1815-1914

History of Europe 1918-1942

Home The Map as History > Europe and nations, 1945-2005

Europe and nations, 1945-2005

The aftermath of the Second World War was traumatic. The creation of the United Nations and the Nuremburg trials sought to reestablish political stability and a new moral order but these were again threatened by rivalry between the two great powers: USSR and USA. For a while divided by the Cold War, Europe decided to launch a unique political organization that would guarantee peace and restore its influence in world affairs.

History of Europe since 1945: the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences – the Cold War – NATO – the Warsaw Pact – construction of Europe – reunification of Germany – collapse of the USSR

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Map History Europe after the second world war WWII

Europe at the End of the War

The victorious Allies decided on the key issues for the post-war period at the peace conferences, especially those of Yalta and Potsdam.


Map expansion of USSR after World War 2

USSR expands its Territory after the War

In 1945, thanks to its role in the victory over Nazi Germany, the USSR was given new territories along its western border.


Map occupation zones controlled by the Allies in Germany

Occupied Germany and Divided Germany

The Allies’ occupation of Germany led to a division of the country at the end of 1949.


Map Italy after the second world War 1945-1948

Italian Unity under Threat 1945-1948

Italy came out of the war deeply wounded, with its unity under serious threat.


Map new frontiers of Poland after WWII

Poland: New Frontiers 1945-1947

Poland was reconstituted further to the west.


Map Hungary after the Second World War 1945-1948

A Defeated Hungary Converted to Communism 1945-1948

Hungary was forced to return territory it had annexed at the end of the 1930s.


Map history Europe and the Cold War 1947-1991 Nato  and Soviet Bloc

Europe and the Cold War (1947-1991)

Division of Europe into two blocs and construction of the European Union during the cold war


Map the Marshall Plan 1947-1951 and COMECON

The Marshall Plan and Comecon

Aid offered by the United States for the reconstruction of European countries allowed the continent to remain part of the market economy but was refused by the USSR and countries under its influence.


Map history Military Alliances in Europe 1949-1991  Nato and Warsaw Pact

Military Alliances in Europe

European military policy is overshadowed by the opposition between NATO and the Warsaw Pact


Map Crises in Eastern Europe Berlin in 1961 and  Prague Spring 1968

Crises in Eastern Europe

Beginning in 1948, a series of crises demonstrated the Eastern European countries’ desire to throw off Soviet influence.


Map dismantling of Yugoslavia independence Croatia Slovenia 1991

Yugoslavia: From Unity to Disunity

despite the scars left by the war, Tito managed, for a while, to reestablish Yugoslavia’s unity.


Map history partition of Cyprus 1974 Greece Turkey

Cyprus: Independence and Partition

Cyprus became independent in 1960, but tensions between the Greek and Turkish populations led to partition.


Map history Europe from One Century to the Next: 1990-2005

Europe from One Century to the Next: 1990-2005

Emancipation of the ex-communist democracies and the collapse of the USSR led to a tremendous geo-political evolution.


Map history Collapse of the Soviet Union 1990 1991

The Collapse of the USSR

On obtaining their independence, the ex-USSR states had to deal with new tensions but managed to negotiate a peace for transition.


Map history War in ex-Yugoslavia (1991-1995) Dayton Agreement in November 1995

Wars in ex-Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia’s collapse led to a series of military upheavals and saw its populations subjected to ‘ethnic cleansing’.


Map history of the European Union and the Schengen area

European Union: Integration by Increments

As the number of member states increases, can the European Union remain a truly homogeneous entity?



History of Europe since 1945: the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences – the Cold War – NATO – the Warsaw Pact – construction of Europe – reunification of Germany – collapse of the USSR

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