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The term generally means a great deal of suspicion, hostility and aggression between states without direct conflict.


The most famous example which reflects these aspects is The Cold War between the USA and USSR from 1945 until the demise of the USSR from 1989 onwards. Another aspect reflected in The Cold War was "War by Proxy", this was a form of war used by the US, in particular during the Greek Civil War, where the US supplied the Royalists weapons to fight against the rebellious communists (who were backed by the Soviet Union).

The two countries dominated the world and were in constant conflict, but never directly. This conflict was reflected in competing political, social and economic systems, namely communism versus capitalism.

The two countries also backed warring factions and countries throughout the emerging 3rd World. Examples included civil wars in Angola, and Ethiopia wars between Somalia and Ethiopia, in which they switched sides, the Vietnam war and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

They also used events such as the Olympic Games to try and prove that their systems were superior to the other.

Another example was the Arms Race where both countries amassed huge conventional forces and nuclear arsenals in an attempt to prevent the one side gaining sufficient advantage to be tempted into a pre-emptive strike.


The UN was formally established on 24th Oct 1945, after a period of negotiation at a conference held in San Francisco in the summer of that year, and the term "United Nations" appears in contemporary news reports as early as June/ July.


As after the Great War of 1914-18, world leaders perceived the need for some system of resolution and negotiation, which would replace the mutual hostility and defensive military alliances which had dominated international relations in the run up to the war. The founders of the UN hoped to learn from the failures of the League of Nations, and the structure of the UN can be seen as reflecting those lessons.

The Atlantic Charter, agreed between Roosevelt and Churchill in August 1941, had laid down the broader war aims of the Allies. Besides a basic commitment to self government, self determination and free speech, the Charter also envisaged a system of general security, based on international law. These provisions were included in the Declaration of the United nations, which was signed by Britain, the US, the USSR and China on 1st Jan 1942. Almost certainly the first use of the term.

The San Francisco conference is important, not just because it founded the UN, but because the principles laid down at that assembly still govern international relations. What is generally called "international law" is really, in practice, treaty law agreed between sovereign nation states, and the bulk of that law dates back to the foundation of the UN. While attention is most often focused on the Security Council, organisations such as UNESCO, the WHO, the IMF and the World Bank remain essential elements in international relations and economic development, all of which were established at that conference.


The Versailles treaty, explanation below.


The Second world War was very much a continuation of the first. The first world war ended in 1918 with the Versailles peace treaty which was very harsh on Germany. Germany had to pay massive reparations around 132 billion gold marks which is roughly 30 billion dollars today. This along with other requirements like Germany had to limit their Army and leadership led to Germans feeling very resentful to the treaty that had happened when they seemed to be winning the war, no allied troop had entered German territory.

This resentment came to a head in the Rhineland which was demilitarised under the treaty. After failing to pay reparations France marched in and started using the coal and ironwork factories and mines as their own. The Weimar government's weak response led to protests supported by Nazi propaganda. The German people didn't want to be controlled by other powers.

Another factor was Hitler's use of Scapegoats. The Versailles treaty had ended the war while most germans considered they were winning to the point where soldiers were cheered home in the belief that they had won the war. The Versailles treaty and the belief that Germany had lost the war severely dampened German Nationalism. Hitler's scapegoat that it was the fault of the jews was very appealing to Germans as they did not think the German Army should have lost.

The final factor on the road to war was the failure of the Weimar Government. The Versailles treaty and the government set up, as a result, was very dysfunctional. The German people used to the organisation of the Monarchy were not used to democracy and did not like the long arduous process of discussion that hampered the government's ability to act. Only once in the time of the Weimar government did a majority form that could pass laws without opposition and you can probably guess whose party that was, Adolf Hitlers NSDAP.

The Versailles treaty severely hampered the German economy and people and very much was a major factor on the road to war. As a result, it can be said that World War One was a continuation of World War two.

(This argument only focuses on Germany an argument can be made for Russia as well)

Hope this helped.


If we discount early attempts to gain recognition such as the suffragette movement, the real revolution began with the pill


Let's start with this: few intelligent persons ever doubted that women were capable of achieving the goals that men achieved. Human history is full of such characters as Jean of Arc, Elisabeth II or Marie Curie to prove it.

The "suffrage" movement gave womenfolk the opportunity to vote. World War Two gave them ample chance to work, as they replaced factory labourers sent to the front line.
But the radical change and wealth of opportunities came when, in the early '60s, women were freed from the unwanted (and sometimes forced) motherhood that had tied their gender to the crib, the hearth and the oven for millenaries.

Birth control brought radical changes not so much to the way women were considered by fellow men (there still is a long way ahead), but to the manner women viewed themselves. Suddenly they became aware of the fact that they were no longer doomed to "home making" and perpetually brought back to their forbidding maternal tasks and responsibilities. They were not anymore dependent on a man to earn a living for their children while they set the table and cleaned the nest. They could fend now for themselves in the outside world with the assurance that they would take a break from their professional life only if and when they had decided to.

They quickly proved their worth in the medical profession (still tending and caring); then they climbed the ladder of schools and academia (yet children and youths). But these were only the stepping stones of the ‘70s and the ‘80s. By the ‘90s they were in politics, in the industry, in the judiciary… by the new millenary they were piloting fighter jet planes.

Yet, if there is no field of activity today precluded to women, their number within the work force and their salaries are not as they should be. Parity is far from being the norm and pay cheques are (at least in Europe) 20 to 30% lesser for young women entering the professional world than for an equally educated young man. And, worse of all, in many countries of the world women still have to gain public acknowledgement for their irreplaceble function in our societies: maternity. With the inherent community obligation to their maternity leaves.

This is the obstacle that women now have to overcome : change the views of the few unswerving legislations. Having been granted the opportunity of NOT being mothers unless they want to, they now have to win the right to be assisted in their motherhood when they choose to exercise their option.


Well, considering the situation of the Russians under the last Czar, we can imagine that any political idea involving change would have been welcome to a mass of people brutalized by the despotic monarchic government.


In reality Marx ideas were and are quite complex. Under Czar Nicholas II a huge number of Russians were basically illiterate, so the idea of, say, reading Das Kapital was a little bit peculiar.
The communists simply took some of these ideas to use and try to win the masses to their side and in doing so be able to gain control of the government.

Also, the majority of the Russians people under the Romanoff were maintained in a state of almost slavery with no rights, subjected, as objects of property, to the will of nobles and suffering periodically from famine, ill treatment and execution.

At the start the communist leaders such as Lenin "extracted" phrases and slogans from the work of Marx to attract the attention and support of the masses.
Slogans like: "the factories to the workers" or "the land to the farmers" were incredibly successful in a country where workers or farmers had nothing (no tools, no land, no profit from their work) and no hope for the future.

The main ideas I think, were:

1) Revolution against the nobles and "rich": particularly interesting for the population that in doing so could vindicate their sufferings and was tired to wait for reforms that never became real;

2) Distribution of wealth confiscated from the rich: obviously appealing to a population living in extreme poverty and constant danger of starvation;

3) Control of the government by the people: this was good in order to ensure that the old regime could never come back to oppress the masses again.

You could argue that religion as well had a similar message (love, fraternity, equality, respect, abundance and a prize for being good) but in religion you had to wait for the afterlife to get what you rightly deserved!
Marx gave us all of this and even more at the price of some “small” sacrifices.


The issue is an extremely complex one and I understand its political implications no better than anyone else. Here is however the historical background.


It is fair to say that even the number of disputed islands is difficult to assess. There might be twenty or thirty islands of territorial size (for a total of approximately 15 km²). The rest are hundreds of atolls and seamounts scattered over a vast marine domain of the South China Sea whose economic potential is unknown but greatly estimated.

The islands are uninhabited. There is therefore no local claim. The controversy is between the legality of the different historical, treaty and geometrical projection claims.

The whole area was controlled by Japan during the Second World War. At the time of Japan's occupied parts of China, Indonesia and most of French Indochina.
With the Armistice, the Republic of China (Chang Hai Chek) claimed the area as historically belonging to the old empire. The claim was made public in 1943 and was not contested. In the '50s the People Republic of China (Mao Tze Dong) reissued the historical claim. At this time it was contested by the Philippines, who had gained independence from the US in 1946, and by Indonesia, independent in 1945.
Brunei and Vietnam added their own claim as they achieved independent status at later dates.
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There are UN international treaties that establish territorial waters, exclusive interest waters and special interest waters. These areas can extend as far as a 200 km radius around a claimed minuscule speck of land.
It suffices therefore, in a scattered archipelago like the Spratley, to have an acknowledged claim to one tiny atoll, to gain the right to legally hop to all the others.

There are bilateral treaties to solve locally such disputes. The US and the USSR bilaterally resolved the Aleutian controversy, so did Chile and Argentina on Tierra del Fuego. Greece and Turkey solved their inextricable problems smany years ago. But such agreement require good will on both side and, specially, equivalent firing power.

China's claim is therefore historical. The Philippines claim stems from the World War II Peace Treaty with Japan (who was the latest to control the area). The other parties base their position on the United Nation's notion of Territorial Waters and Special Interest Areas.

You can see how the issue is practically unsolvable given, on top of it all, the enormous difference of firing power among the parties.

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