After World War II, the United States became one of the world's superpowers. It pitted itself against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The US offered to the world its model of capitalism and democracy during the Cold War as an alternative to the USSR's communist philosophy. During this period the US became the leader in global integration—namely world economic integration—by founding the Bretton Woods system. The International Monetary Fund was established at an international conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in July 1944.
These institutions provided a clever way for the US to impose its neoliberal economic vision on countries when they needed to borrow loans. The loans are often conditional upon the borrowing nations implementing privatization and deregulation, countering some countries's previously established economic cultures. These institutions, and even institutions within the United Nations, are criticized for being non-democratically lead. There appears to be a structural underrepresentation of the "Global South" and of developing nations.
The promotion of this "Washington Consensus" bolstering free-market economic policies also led to the spread of American cultural values to other nations. This process is often referred to as "Westernization," in which white, Western (predominately originating from the US) culture spreads to other parts of the world and dominates the local cultures. This is evident from the rise of English language learning around the world, the popularity of American fast food chains such as McDonalds, and of Hollywood movies. Recently, this "Westernization" has created a global backlash. People all around the world are fighting against the erasure of their own culture.