Peoples of Europe and the world experienced multiple changes and reformations in the 1960s. It is difficult to determine precisely whether that time was characterized by fragmentation or unification since both processes took place, and each country faced this time differently. Nevertheless, the purpose of this paper is to discuss why this epoch can be considered a period of unification for the majority of peoples of Europe and the world.
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To understand why the events taking place in the 1960s could be considered actions to unite peoples, it is necessary to return to the events that took place shortly before this period. Many countries (especially some of the European states) were in the post-war condition. Two world wars showed that the concept of a national state-led to nationalism and international conflicts, which adversely affected almost all peoples.
Thus, countries needed a long-term peace. Also, it became clear that the economic revival of countries and their gradual social strengthening were possible in the case of a close consolidation of peoples. Therefore, to solve the existing problems, it was necessary to unify countries.
A few years before the 1960s, actions for the unification of peoples were initiated with an emphasis on certain areas. Countries began to cooperate in areas that were the most relevant for them at that time. In particular, measures were taken on the economic unification of the European countries. The US supported such activities and sought the support of these countries, which was evidenced by the statement “On the European Common Market and the Free Trade Area” made on January 15, 1957.
These actions reflected the needs of countries and did not affect such areas as national defense or security, which also had a positive effect on relations between peoples. Apart from that, in 1960, many colonial countries gained independence, and the United Nations formulated their freedom and rights in the “Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”. Therefore, many actions were taken to create a peaceful environment in which countries would be able to build on the well-being of their people.
To facilitate the processes of unification, European countries began to form a unified legal framework and common institutions. In general, due to the joint efforts of states, the living standards of the countries increased, which led to an improvement in the social situation. It can be assumed that such measures were taken to establish a social partnership between states and to strengthen democratic institutions.
Nevertheless, the attempts to unite the peoples were accompanied by instability in the international arena. It should be noted that all unification actions took place against the background of the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Caribbean Crisis, Soviet invasion of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and other conflicts. Thus, these events stimulated the rapprochement of peoples while simultaneously fragmenting others. In the 1960s, many communities established official relations with other states. Trade policy allowed concluding trade agreements with many countries.
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Thus, it can be concluded that the 1960s were a decade of unification, which occurred against the background of fragmentation among some of the countries. The unification of European peoples took place with the support of the United States, and many countries united to improve their economic situation. Such performance entailed the improvement of the social life of general society. Overall, this period can be characterized as transitional since many states had to determine their role and goals in the unification process.