How did World War II contribute to the creation of the three-world order after 1945?

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The end of World War II saw a decided shift in global power centers. European powers were too enervated to continue their hold on the colonies they controlled. India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947, and many African nations succeeded in throwing off the colonial yoke in the years that followed.

The Yalta Conference of 1945 served as the setting for the leaders of the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain to reorganize maps and national boundaries. This contributed greatly towards giving shape to the three-world order.

After the war, the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the two most powerful countries on earth. Both were on the opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. The United States, which with its allies constituted the First World, believed in capitalism. The Soviet Union, with its satellites forming the Second World, espoused communism. The Third World countries were those that had recently won independence from European colonists. These countries often chose not to align themselves with either the United States or the Soviet Union.

World War II resulted in real and perceived injustices towards different ethnicities, coupled with expulsions and mass migrations that displaced millions across the globe. This led to a hardening of political and ideological stands and the crystallization of the differences between First and Second World countries. Third World nations were rarely in a position to take a decisive stand, grappling as they were with poverty exacerbated by World War II.

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