A French family returns to their village, Buron, northwest of Caen, which was completely destroyed during fighting, 18 July 1944.

A post-war or postwar period is the interval immediately following the end of a war. The term usually refers to a varying period of time after World War II, which ended in 1945. A post-war period can become an interwar period or interbellum, when a war between the same parties resumes at a later date (such as the period between World War I and World War II). By contrast, a post-war period marks the cessation of armed conflict entirely.

Post-World War II in the United States

See also: Aftermath of World War II and Contemporary history

Chronology of the post-World War II era

The aligned countries in the northern hemisphere: NATO in blue and the Warsaw Pact in red

The term "post-war" can have different meanings in different countries and refer to a period determined by local considerations based on the effect of the war there. Some examples of post-war events are in chronological order:

The Cold War (1947–1991)

Main article: Cold War

The Cold War was a geopolitical conflict between the capitalist and liberal democratic United States of America, the authoritarian and Communist Marxist–Leninist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and their respective allies: NATO and the Western Bloc for the United States, and the Warsaw Pact and the Eastern Bloc for the Soviet Union. Although both sides did not fight each other directly, both engaged through various proxy wars. At the height of the cold war, both superpowers manufactured and deployed thousands of nuclear weapons to target each other's key economic, military, and political centers. Each superpower's buildup and demonstration of nuclear strike capabilities lead to an unofficial military doctrine known as mutually assured destruction (MAD). The doctrine of MAD prompted leaders on both sides to believe that victory following a full-scale nuclear exchange was simply impossible as the destruction on both sides would be insurmountable. Towards the end of the Cold War, a period of détente culminated in the easing of tensions, bans on nuclear testing, and the destruction of various quantities of nuclear stockpiles. The Cold War began to come to an end in 1989 with the overthrow of Communist governments across Eastern Europe in the Revolutions of 1989 which was followed shortly after by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, leaving the United States the world's sole superpower.

Korean War (1950–1953)

Main article: Korean War

On June 25, 1950, after years of tension between communist North Korea and democratic South Korea, North Korea coordinated a series of surprise attacks against strategic points between the 38th parallel. Soon US-led United Nations forces joined the war on behalf of South Korea, expelled the North Korean invasion, and then invaded and nearly captured North Korea. In response, Chinese forces entered the war on behalf of North Korea and pushed the US, South Korean, and UN forces back to the 38th parallel. After 3 years of advances and retreats nearly five million people died. To this very day there are still border disputes between the two Koreas.

Civil rights movement (1954–1968)

Main article: Civil rights movement

In the 1950s African Americans faced discrimination and segregation throughout the United States, especially in the south where many could not even vote. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. By the end of the 1950s, fewer than 10 percent of Black children in the South were attending integrated schools.

Vietnam war (1955–1975)

Main article: Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was fought between the communist North Vietnam supported by the Soviet Union, China, and the Eastern Bloc and China and South Vietnam supported by the United States and SEATO. This war is especially brutal due to North Vietnamese regular forces and Viet Cong insurgents in South Vietnam adapting to guerrilla fighting and ambush tactics against the South Vietnamese military and the United States Armed Forces. Vietnam was one of the first wars to be broadcast to television. Many American civilians and soldiers were opposed to the war due to the condition and many thought the war was pointless. Finally after many protests the United States slowly withdrew from Vietnam due to public backlash.

Cold War era

Considering the post-war era as equivalent to the Cold War era, post-war sometimes includes the 1980s, putting the end at 26 December 1991, with the Dissolution of the Soviet Union.[1][2] The 1990s and the 21st century are extremely rarely described as part of the post-war era, with the more specific phrase "Post–Cold War era" being commonly used, instead.

Post World-War II in the United Kingdom

Main article: Postwar Britain (1945–1979)

In Britain, "post-war":

See also


  1. ^ "The Netherlands History – the Netherlands Travel Guide – Budget Travel – Let's Go". Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Unknown Forum". soapbox.websitetoolbox.com.
  3. ^ "AEC Lorries in the post war years 1945–1979 book | #248690820". Worthpoint.
  4. ^ "The Post-War Years 1945 – 1960". Archived from the original on 5 April 2020. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  5. ^ The Post War Economy: 1945–1960