The Cold War Era
and Contemporary Europe
After World War II, Europe was caught between two superpowers: the Soviet Union and the United States. The Postwar era was one of unprecedented involvement of the United States in European affairs as well as a period of European integration. The early 1990s saw the fall of communism and the signing of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union. Although Europe is more integrated than ever, nationalism remains a strong force in European politics.