Independence and Globalization,
(1945 - Present)

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of communism as a viable worldwide movement, there has been a reshuffling of global priorities and connections. This has led to "outsourcing," "off-shoring," and an expansion of global interdependence. In many ways, the post-Cold War world is fundamentally different then the environment from which it emerged

Important Links

European Union
This is the webpage of the European Union.

The Miniature Earth
If you analyzed the world in terms of just 100 people, what would that world look like?
Important Videos

Crash Course: Decolonization

In which John Green teaches you about the post-World War II breakup of most of the European empires. As you'll remember from previous installments of Crash Course, Europeans spent several centuries sailing around the world creating empires, despite the fact that most of the places they conquered were perfectly happy to carry on alone. After World War II, most of these empires collapsed. This is the story of those collapses. In most places, the end of empire was not orderly, and violence often ensued. While India was a (sort of) shining example of non-violent change, in places like The Congo, Egypt, Rwanda, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, things didn't go smoothly at all. John brings you all this, plus pictures of Sea Monkeys. Sadly, they don't look anything like those awesome commercials in the comic book
You should also turn on the captions. You'll like them.
In which John Green teaches you about the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which used to be Zaire, which used to be The Belgian Congo, which used to be the Congo Free State, which used to be the region surrounding the Congo River Basin in central Africa. So the history of this place is a little convoluted. The history of Congo is central to the history of central Africa, and the Congo Wars embroiled neighboring countries like Uganda and Rwanda. John will talk you through the history of Congo and the region. 
In which John Green teaches you about conflict in Israel and Palestine. This conflict is often cast as a long-term beef going back thousands of years, and rooted in a clash between religions. Well, that's not quite true. What is true is that the conflict is immensely complicated, and just about everyone in the world has an opinion about it. John is going to try to get the facts across in under 13 minutes
In which John Green teaches you about Iran's Revolutions. Yes, revolutions plural. What was the1979 Iranian Revolution about? It turns out, Iran has a pretty long history of unrest in order to put power in the hands of the people, and the most recent revolution in 1979 was, at least at first, not necessarily about creating an Islamic state. It certainly turned out to be about that, but it was initially just about people who wanted to get rid of an oppressive regime. Listen up as John teaches you about Iran's long history of revolution. 
In which John Green teaches you about globalization, a subject so epic, so, um, global, it requires two videos. In this video, John follows the surprisingly complex path of t-shirt as it criss-crosses the world before coming to rest on your doorstep, and eventually in your dresser. (Unless you're one of those people who never puts their laundry away and lives out of a laundry basket. If that's the case, shame on you.) Anyway, the story of the t-shirt and its manufacture in far-flung places like China, Guatemala, and India is a microcosm of what's going on in the global economy. Globalization is a bit of a mixed bag, and there have definitely been winners and losers along the way. In this episode John will talk about some of the benefits that have come along with it. Next week, he'll get into some of the less-positive side effects of globalization.
Also, you should turn on the captions
In which John asks whether globalization is a net positive for humanity. While the new global economy has created a lot of wealth, and lifted a lot of people out of poverty, it also has some effects that aren't so hot. Wealth disparity, rising divorce rates, environmental damage, and new paths for the spread of disease. So does all this outweigh the economic benefits, the innovation, and the relative peace that come with interconnected economies? As usual, the answer is not simple. In this case, we're living in the middle of the events we're discussing, so it's hard to know how it's going to turn out.